Since 1999, I’ve been counseling troubled teens, parents, families and individual adults from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Growing up with financial struggles, a broken home, and in a high-crime city, I was an at-risk youth. As a teenager, people in my neighborhood, friends, and peers were involved in drugs, gang activity, and crime. My father who raised me as a single parent, worked diligently to support me in various sports, school, and church youth groups to help me stay focused. My father was a counselor, trainer, and educator, considered an expert in identifying and treating criminal thinking patterns and behavioral problems. My grandfather, a pastor and social worker, influenced and guided my interest in reaching out to those marginalized and hurting in our community. My mother has had a special influence on my life. I’ve been inspired by how she loves others through teaching, mentoring, and giving of her time and resources. This inspiration, along with my desire for helping troubled teens, motivated me to get myself through college so I could eventually give back to the community in need.
As I entered the field of social work, I anticipated the challenges and had a profound awareness for the need to support troubled teens, their families and adult offenders. I found that very few clinicians were willing to go to court and advocate for the mental health services this population desperately needed. I took it upon myself to be the voice for this population and started advocating for individuals in court. My work experience lead me to managing a unit in a residential facility. I continued my work with youth convicted of sex offenses and gang activity who struggled with substance abuse and mental health challenges.
Over time, I developed credibility with judges, law enforcement, probation officers and other prominent members of my community. My work expanded into several states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, California) and diverse locations such as, homes/communities in the inner city as well as suburbs, jails, prisons, residential facilities, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Initially, my career started with youth 12 years old through transitional age (TAY), but extended to adults of all ages.
From that point, I continued working with adults and developed skills helping people overcome anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges including mood disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. I have managed wellness centers with adult populations of all ages, including a Forensic Transitional Assertive Community Treatment program in Oakland, working with the behavioral health/collaborative court system.
My passion for working and engaging with teens inspired me to focus on providing individual therapy. Prior to starting my practice, I worked at Axis Community Health in Pleasanton, providing individual therapy for teens and adults struggling with depression and anxiety. I also enjoyed providing parent coaching. With newthink therapy, I’m eager to have an even larger reach and profound impact on the quality of your mental health care.