HI, I'M GWEN!
I help kids, ADULTS AND FAMILIES to work through life’s challenges, learn new skills, and create healthier relationships.
Change, loss, relationship issues, past hurts, and other challenges may be a normal part of life, but they certainly don’t make it easy! When a child, adult or family is coping with such challenges, it is natural to need a little help along the way. I provide a safe space to help individuals and families express feelings and guidance to navigate hurtful experiences and overcome other obstacles that are keeping them stuck.
STRENGTHENING FAMILY CONNECTIONS + SUPPORTING TRAUMA HEALING
With an extensive background helping people across diverse settings for more than 15 years, I am experienced in working with issues related to adoption/foster youth, anger, anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, blended/step families, divorce, domestic violence, sexual abuse, family conflict, grief, and parenting.
I believe that creating healthy attachment and supportive, respectful relationships can have a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing.
With expertise in family therapy and parenting support, I specialize in helping families, including nontraditional, blended/step and foster/adoptive families, find better ways to connect with each other and the world around them. I am also passionate about working with all types of parents to manage the parenting challenges they face. Certified in the highly effective Positive Discipline approach, I offer parents strategies for addressing child and teen behavioral challenges.
Our pasts are with us, but they don’t have to define us.
As a trauma therapist with training in evidence-based approaches that focus on the mind-body connection, I am dedicated to providing a supportive environment and gentle guidance for those who have experienced traumatic or extremely stressful circumstances so that they can make sense of the experience and integrate the trauma into their life.
I work with those who have experienced various types of trauma, which may include childhood trauma, relational trauma, domestic violence or other impactful events that affect the person’s relationship with themselves and interactions with others. I also provide encouragement and counsel to parents who are unsure how to support their children and may be coping with distress themselves.
By practicing new coping skills and techniques to manage symptoms and through processing our experiences and emotions, we can learn to move forward so that our lives are filled with greater joy and wellbeing.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
I graduated with a Master of Social Welfare from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and went on to complete 3,500 hours of supervised experience and a comprehensive examination in order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Over the course of my professional career, I have participated in many trainings in the areas of play therapy, trauma, mindfulness, positive discipline, co-parenting, and several other topics.
In addition to my work as a therapist and child welfare advocate, I have served as an adjunct professor at the college level, teaching courses in Psychology, Marriage and Families, and Sociology. I have also provided training classes through the San Gabriel Consortium and San Bernardino Valley College for foster and adoptive parents, relative caregivers, and residential treatment staff on a variety of parenting topics and child behavior. Additionally, I have provided training through the Public Child Welfare Training Academy and the Foundation for California State University, San Bernardino for social workers and those in related service fields on topics such as adolescent development, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and permanency for children.