Introduction: About Robin

Read My Resume

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 small business 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 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 could do 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. Very briefly, I served as a Special Master in Sonoma County Family Court, (hated it!) and more long term, as a preferred therapist for family and criminal courts in San Francisco (loved it!)

In 2013, along with other practitioners from integrative fields, I opened CHI Recovery, an addiction treatment program in West Sonoma County, which I designed and implemented. This scientific centered, evidence-based program participated in a three year study conducted by Dr. James Sorenson, Clinical Director of UCSF’s Addiction Treatment Program, resulting in positive conclusions regarding our efficacy and unique treatment model. CHI Recovery focused on transforming addiction treatment, raising standards within SUD treatment, and integrating healthcare and social services: methods that have been proven in multiple studies to work, supporting long-term sobriety. In it’s second year, services were expanded to serve those with dual diagnosis and somewhat more complex mental health conditions. Unfortunately, CHI Recovery was forced into closure following President Trump’s numerous actions that defunded insurance companies and other financial support entities that supported programs like this.

Practice

Originally trained as a Family Systems Therapist, I have broadened my skills during my career to incorporate many different modalities, including Transpersonal, Ericsonian, Somatic, Brief, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Feminist Therapies. Upon occasion, I throw a little Gestalt in from time to time! Since my specialty is Family Systems Therapy, I especially enjoy work with couples and multiple family members at a time. 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 with the couple, and will see them as individuals as well when doing so is clinically appropriate and all parties agree to this arrangement.

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; families needing redirection and parenting skills; people wanting support around sexual orientation or alternative relationships; those suffering from anxiety, PTSD, depression, grief, or isolation. I work with domestic violence, coercive control situations, low-self-esteem, and trauma as well. In other words, I provide services for all types of clients experiencing a wide variety of situations.

I am equally confident working with difficult, high drama, and extremely stressful situations as I am with more calmer circumstances and clients. 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.

On a More Personal Note

I am deeply spiritual, but not religious, am cis female and a very “out” lesbian, am an adoptive mother of three Chinese born daughters, and am happily married to my beautiful wife who I have been with now for many, many years. We live in beautiful Washington State near the Canadian border on a beautiful parcel that allows me to host retreats and conduct therapeutic travel groups. I love to hang with my family, travel (most anywhere), cook, talk deeply with others, watch movies, attend theater and concerts, be of service, and sit in my spa! I don’t like personal accounting, working out, doing yardwork or cleaning my house…but I do these things anyway.

As an LGBTQI+ and queer-identified person, I love my community member clients, although interestingly, the vast majority of my case load has been straight people. However you identify, you will be respected by me: however you experience yourself in gender/intersex/non-binary/other, sexual orientation, philosophy, and so forth is beautiful. I also have worked with people from cultures that diverge from my own. I love working with people who enliven my life with new ways of thinking and being in the world. I am likely to be super comfortable with you, however you define yourself and your circumstances.