Born in northwestern Ohio (the oldest of four children), I grew up in a small farm town. I was named after my great-grandfather Michael, who reportedly had the first Ford dealership in the State of Ohio. Eventually, I escaped the farm and made it to the big city of Cincinnati, where I earned a B.A. in Personnel and Group Development.

After graduation, I moved to London where I worked at a punk clothing store in Covent Garden and did window displays for Selfridge’s department store. During much of my twenties and thirties, I lived in France, England, Egypt, Denmark, Greece and (the former) Yugoslavia. In San Francisco I was the Clinical Director for the Homeless Children’s Network. In San Diego, I was a licensed psychotherapist for Kaiser Permanente, Psychiatric Centers at San Diego and San Diego Hospice.

I opened my private practice in 2002.

Professional Affiliations

Certified School Counselor, State of California (1997)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of California (LCSW License #20738) since 2002

Certified Bioenergetic Therapist (Somatic Relational Psychotherapy) since 2010

Internal Family Systems Certification Program:

  • Completed Level One training (72 hours)
  • Completed Level Two training (72 hours): “Using IFS with Couples: The ‘Intimacy from the Inside Out’ Model”


B.A. in Personnel and Group Development (Honors department, graduated Magna cum Laude), University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Course work in Psychology and Sociology at University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom

M.A. in Developmental Psychology, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York. Interned with:

  • Children’s Television Workshop, producers of “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company”, where I worked in the research department
  • Sarah Lawrence College’s Preschool, where I was an assistant teacher for both the three-year-old and Kindergarten classes

M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work (State of California, Title IV-E award winner), San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California. Interned with:

  • Aptos Middle School, where I was an assistant school counselor and lunchroom monitor
  • Potrero Hill Middle School, where I was an assistant school counselor and facilitated an Anger Management group (for “hard-to-control” students referred by their teachers)

Southern California Institute of Bioenergetics:

  • Completed a four-year certification program in Relational Somatic Psychotherapy
  • Received my certification as a Certified Bioenergetic Analyst after two years of clinical supervision by senior bioenergetic analysts

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway.
Eleanor Roosevelt

If you’re honest and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear or jealousy.
Dalai Lama

Never be bullied into silence. Accept no external definition of your life; define yourself.
Harvey Fierstein

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.
Oscar Wilde

They lied to us – no one here was ever ugly – look.
Ocean Vuong –

Don’t treat your heart like an action figure: wrapped in plastic and never used.
Amy Poehler