I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in addiction, specifically gambling addiction and chemical dependency. I guide individuals and family members into abstinence, sobriety, and healing, and help them navigate the challenges of early recovery.
Although I've researched and studied extensively, this is not just theoretical or something that I've learned from a book. I have been in recovery from gambling, drug, and alcohol addiction for over eighteen years, and intimately understand the torment and heartache people experience as a result of addiction. This is my passion, and I am committed to helping others discover the excitement and fulfillment of life in recovery, through strong clinical knowledge, skill, and personal experience.
I love being a therapist and I believe that it’s deeply reflected in my work. I don’t define you simply as a client or a patient; I see you as someone with a family and loved ones, who has struggled to find balance and emotional wellness and who has entrusted me with the task of helping you to achieve it. I value your trust and respect your process. I believe that therapy is collaborative and not about listening passively, or about telling you what to do. We may meet once a week, but I work between sessions to create solutions that will help you develop greater self-awareness and insight. I strive to be accessible and accepting so that you can feel free to be honest and open.
Gambling Addiction Treatment
If you suffer from a gambling addiction, you and your family are experiencing overwhelming financial and emotional devastation. Gambling addiction is unlike any other addiction, as gambling promises to solve all of your problems, if you just do it long enough. People with alcohol and drug addiction don't drink or use with the belief that it will allow them to pay the rent or get out of debt; gamblers have this hope and belief every time they place a bet.
Like alcohol and drug addiction, compulsive gamblers build tolerance over time and require ever-increasing amounts of money and risk in order to get high. It doesn’t matter if they’re in it for the adrenaline, the action, or to escape reality; they will always need more: more time, energy, and money. Because they need increasing amounts of money to support their addiction, compulsive gamblers often turn to desperate and illegal acts to stay in action, which lead to the destruction of careers, homes, personal finances, and family relationships, and ultimately lead to feelings of extreme hopelessness and despair.
I’m grateful to tell you that there is a way out, and at NO COST to you. The State of California and UCLA Gambling Studies Program have authorized me to provide treatment, beginning with a block of eight sessions. We will complete a thorough assessment and intake, begin working on managing situations and emotional stressors that have contributed to your gambling, and learn to silence the mental obsession and extinguish the fever that drives the compulsion to gamble.
Gambling is based on random reward, which is an extremely powerful psychological phenomenon. Recovery will require patience and mindfulness, which is difficult for compulsive gamblers, as they constantly seek instant gratification. We will work on managing impulsivity related to boredom, restlessness, and low self-esteem, and learn to cope with discomfort in healthy ways. As a recovering compulsive gambler, I get it, and I understand you. I have experienced everything that you are going through and understand what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t. You can speak to me candidly and naturally, and I will understand you without needing to reference a manual or workbook. I have extensive clinical skill and personal experience, which are essential in recovering from the incomprehensible demoralization of gambling addiction.
Family Members and Loved Ones Affected by Gambling Addiction
Anyone close to a person with a gambling addiction experiences the pain and destruction of their actions. Gamblers create financial and emotional devastation that can feel endless, as the lies pile up one after the other, contributing to increasingly intense anger and resentment. I’m grateful to say that there is healing for you as well, and as an authorized treatment provider for the State of California and UCLA Gambling Studies Program, you can receive this care at NO COST.
I want to share something very important: I often hear from family members that everything will be fine if they can just get their loved one into treatment, and if the gambler stops gambling. This may happen, but it will be very difficult if the family member hasn’t worked through their pain, anger, and resentment.
I’m not saying that you have a problem or an issue with codependency. I’m saying that you have a deficit of skills, and after all you’ve been through, you’re deserving of healing, support, and protection from the chaos and insanity of gambling. We will work through your feelings and learn to develop healthy boundaries, effective communication skills, and how to practice self-care. Gamblers can make you feel as though you’re losing your mind; we will work together to restore your sanity and also increase the possibility that your loved one will get help for their gambling addiction.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment
Alcohol and drug addiction come in endless shapes and levels of emotional intensity. Despite feelings of hopelessness and pessimism, people do change and recover. My belief is that change happens through positivity, knowledge, and empowerment. Therapy can help in understanding what motivates your desire to drink or use, and why it’s so difficult to stop or control it. We will begin with a thorough assessment in order to identify underlying issues that have contributed to your substance abuse, including stress, trauma, or family history of addiction. We will collaborate on a treatment plan that works best for you, and modify it if needed to fit your changing needs.
Your treatment plan will include developing healthy and adaptive coping skills as you regain your physical and emotional well-being and begin integrating your new coping strategies. We will work together in setting empowering and achievable short and long-term goals that will allow you to reestablish your sense of purpose and truth, to recover, and to address overall healing and wellness and not just your drug or alcohol use.
Family Members and Loved Ones Affected by Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Anyone close to a person with an alcohol or drug addiction experiences the pain and destruction of their actions. They endure selfish behaviors, lies, and disrespect. They live in constant fear of overdose, are often in conflict with other family members, and feel emotionally exhausted.
Again, this is very important: I often hear from family members that they just need to get their loved one into treatment and that everything will be fine if the alcoholic/addict gets their mind right and stops drinking or using. This may happen, but it will be very difficult if the family member hasn’t worked through their anger and resentment and begins focusing on themselves.
I’m not saying that you have a problem or that you’re codependent; I’m saying that a problem exists within your family, and the more people involved in the recovery process, the more likely that change will occur. I’m also saying that after all you’ve been through, you’re deserving of healing and support, and protection from the chaos and insanity of alcoholism and drug addiction.
We will work through your feelings and learn to develop healthy boundaries, effective communication skills, how to identify actions that are supportive of recovery, and how to practice self-care. The changes you make will allow you to feel better about yourself and find fulfillment, even if your loved one does not stop drinking or using right away. We will work together and focus on you and your needs, how to restore your sanity, and in the process increase the possibility that your loved one will get help for their alcohol or drug addiction.