Get to know Shari
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love
― Brene Brown
Therapy with me is about helping my clients identify and work on relying on their strengths in order to make choices and changes that will give their life more meaning and vitality. When we use a holistic strength-based perspective, we can hold compassion for ourselves and grow beyond labels that no longer apply. I believe in the wisdom of my grandmother’s words, “be kind to yourself first THEN you will be able to be kind to those around you.”
My clinical focus is on women’s life transitional issues. Life is always shifting, and sometimes those shifts result in struggles and challenges. Maybe there's a snag when you move out of your family home for the first time, when you have a child, or when your child moves out of your home....the list is endless. I am passionate about supporting people when they hit a snag and feel stuck or overwhelmed! It is my belief that when one person in a family enters therapy, change can occur for the entire family system.
Social work enticed me from a young age. I was drawn to people who shared their stories freely. I found I was able to learn about them and their unique perspectives. I wanted to become a therapist but was apprehensive because I didn’t think I was a good enough student to obtain a master’s degree. But I took the leap and during my MSW program I realized I enjoyed school and learning.
I have struggled with perfectionism, codependence, and finding my voice. I was presented with one of the most profound challenges of my life when my oldest son was diagnosed with autism. I mourned the dream of the child I had expected, my husband and I struggled to become the parents he needed us to be. Our partnership also faltered. We sought counseling which allowed us the safety to speak our truth and be heard. It was hard and painful yet loving and renewing and allowed us to reconnect. Through my own experience, I understand the importance of working on myself so I may be a better wife, mother, daughter and most importantly my best self.
I believe that seeking help is a sign of courage and strength. Striving to let go of suffering is courageous. Of course, many of our friends and family can be a great source of support, but they are not trained therapists nor are they unbiased.
It is possible to feel better.
I want my clients to know they have the capability to love and accept themselves, in this moment as they are now. Too often we become our labels (the good girl, the smart one, the anxious one, learning challenged, gifted, depressed, etc.). We are not our labels, I believe every single person has strengths and gifts as well as areas to work on. Too often I hear clients say, “Oh, I am (insert label)” they start to lose their identity to a label, which sometimes is a diagnosis, and lose sight of their whole self.
I received my Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California and am licensed in the state of California (LCSW87309). I was employed as an Oncology Clinical Social Worker working for Cedars Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center. I also worked for El Camino Hospital for the ASPIRE (After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education) Program and In-Patient Psychiatric Units. Recently, I worked for two outpatient Hemodialysis clinics. Each of these experiences provided me the opportunity to work with diverse populations of individuals (teens-adult) and their families. In addition to my professional training and experience, I am a working mother of two amazing young men who are wired differently than I.
The privilege of being present with others facing personal crises served as a daily lesson in humility, empathy and compassion. My clients were my teachers, helping me refine my skills in a way no coursework could. I was able to become grounded in our shared humanity.
I view therapy as an interactive and collaborative effort. My therapy practice offers a safe and nonjudgmental environment where individuals are free to explore and express their feelings. I offer a source of support, guidance and compassion as you deal with depression, anxiety, parenting, low self-esteem, stress, life transitions, grief, and marital issues.