My greatest passion in life is educating the general public about mental health, mental illness, psychotherapy, and how our brains work. I’m a certifiable nerd for all things related to the mind. I find the human experience to be endlessly captivating.
My interest started early when I went to therapy for the first time as a child, which is something that I spoke about in my 2011 TEDx talk.
A few things had happened, namely an unexpected brain hemorrhage that my mother had when I was 7 years old, and I was fortunate to be raised by a family that understood the value of therapy and didn’t buy into the stigma.
That early experience began a lifelong love of the art, and by the time I was a senior in high school I was taking AP Psychology as an independent (I told you! Total Nerd!) and I went off to college knowing exactly what I was going to major in.
At nineteen I got my first job as a mental health worker at a local psychiatric hospital, and at twenty-one I had a job in Paris (this was after my junior year abroad) working for a French government agency that educated international law enforcement officers about the psychology of serial killers.
I took some time off in my twenties to work in the music industry in New York and to gain some overall life experience, but by the time that decade was over I was ready to go back to school; I moved to San Francisco to get my masters and doctorate from The California School of Professional Psychology.
For the past decade I’ve worked in private practice as a therapist and a coach, both out of my office in San Francisco and around the world via phone and Skype – and today I’m mostly focused on what helps people thrive. My primary belief about the human condition can be summed up this way:
Our past experiences in life shape us, but they don’t have to define us.
With the right help, we can transform ourselves and move toward a life that we choose on our own terms.
In addition to my work in private practice, I also consult in private industry (advertising agencies, technology companies, and the like) to help people design products and experiences that are human-centered. My greatest area of interest currently is in helping filmmakers (screenwriters, directors, and industry executives) to create depictions of psychotherapy and the human experience that are true to life, and I’m an advisory council member for Bring Change to Mind, a foundation devoted to changing the way that people think about mental health.