Introduction: About Robin
I started providing counseling at the age of 14 at a youth crisis center, working the suicide hotline. At 17, I initiated a program using theater and mime with troubled teenagers. By 19, I was the Director at San Jose State University’s Women’s Center where I instituted the Rape Crisis Counseling and Self Defense Programs, along with other peer counseling services. I partially put myself through college by working as a Counselor at residential facilities for teens and also at San Jose’s Job Corp, an alternative program for low income, troubled adolescents and young adults.
By the time I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies, I had been working as a sexual trauma consultant and trainer at various women centered programs throughout the Bay Area, including Isla Mujeras and the Women’s Building in San Francisco, as well as numerous university campus programs, where I also guest lectured. Throughout my years living in San Francisco, I worked for Lighthouse for the Blind, The Transpersonal Counseling Center, UCSF (as a mobile Ward Clerk,) and The City of San Francisco as Director of their “Youth At Risk” Summer Program. Across the Bay, I worked at Oakland’s Feminist Fertility Clinic and Sperm Bank.
I ran the first of several non-counseling related companies at age 20, initiating the growth of my business knowledge which has allowed me to develop valuable skills as a corporate mediator and communications trainer. I have been the CEO of six separate companies in my lifetime while simultaneously holding a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT29894) for 20 years. I am also a Certified Amanae (Somatic-Emotional Release Bodywork) Practitioner, which allows me a broader understanding of treating pain and trauma, and while addressing healing.
I seriously injured my back in an auto accident at age 22, which lead to long-term chronic pain and disability. I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree and become a clinical psychotherapist—something I knew I do…I could earn a living at while sitting down! Upon graduation, I was invited into my favorite professor’s private practice and have been doing private practice therapy ever since, except for when I took a leave of absence in the early 2000’s to serve as the CEO for three real estate development related companies. I also briefly served as a Special Master in Sonoma County Family Court.
I have worked with hundreds of people in a multitude of contexts; those who are highly educated and professionally successful and those who are struggling to survive. Most of my clients are not terribly dramatic: they are couples in conflict or suffering disengagement, teens acting out or confused about their next steps; they are families needing redirection and parenting skills, people wanting support around sexual orientation or alternative relationships, and those who are depressed or suffering following a loss. I provide services for all types of clients from a wide variety of heritages.
I am equally confident working with difficult, high drama, and extremely stressful situations. It has been my honor to assist substance abusers and codependents, court mandated individuals and families, hospice patients, domestic violence situations, “at risk” youth, newly blinded individuals, trauma victims, witness protection participants, ex-convicts, and so forth.
In 2013, along with other practitioners from integrative fields, I opened CHI Recovery, an addiction treatment program in West Sonoma County. This scientifically-based program is part of a three year study on transforming addiction treatment, raising standards to treatment that has been proven in multiple studies to work in supporting long-term sobriety. We are accepting applicants now; go to: www.chirecovery.com
Trained originally as a family systems therapist, I have broadened my skills during my career to incorporate many different modalities, including Family Systems, Transpersonal, Ericsonian, Somatic, Brief, Cognitive Behavioral, and Feminist Therapies. I love my work with all age groups, and have a particular expertise with both adolescents and adults—as well as adolescent adults! I treat many kinds of problems since I see individuals, couples and families, and groups, and I will work with all ages, 7 years old and up.
Since my specialty is Family Systems Therapy, I especially enjoy work with multiple members from a family. I am confident I can support and lend guidance to parents—single, divorcing or disagreeing—as well as to blended or alternative families, and transitioning individuals and couples. Unlike many therapists, I often work both individually and as a group with multiple members from the same family.
On a more personal note, I am an adoptive mother of three Chinese born daughters, ranging in age from 10 to 17.