I've worked as a social worker since the mid 1990s, first as an MSW degreed social worker, then as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the past nearly 10 years.
I earned my Master in Social Work from San Diego State University, and proceeded to work as a social worker with the County of San Diego in Child Welfare. Much of my tenure as a protective services worker within CPS was spent working with severely emotionally disturbed youth, primarily teens, in various levels of care.
After a long, rewarding career in the public sector, I decided to branch out into purely clinical social work within such organizations as non profit agencies in crisis houses, where adults were stepping down from inpatient hospitalization for mental health and/or substance use issues. I've also worked within insurance agencies with patients requiring inpatient hospitalization, or outpatient treatment at varying levels of care and treatment.
Finally, I've managed my private practice since 2013, and find it to be ever fascinating, rewarding, challenging, and inspiring. In the capacity of a psychotherapist, I've provided therapy with individuals, couples, families, and groups, with a significant focus in adult individuals. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, my primary focus of treatment is Family Systems and Social Theory. I believe very strongly that one cannot remove a person from their family, culture, community, or, even their environment, as each impacts and acts on the other. Primary treatment methods are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). And, of course, like most therapists, I find that an "eclectic" approach is often best, as it allows one to draw features of any number of treatment theories and modalities.
Areas are, however, of primary interest to me, as follows:
Native American Culture, Associated Transracial Adoption and Acculturation Issues, and Individuals and Families impacted by Severe Mental Illness.
I have worked with the Native American population after receiving my Master in Social Work both as a social worker and as a therapist. Additionally, I, myself, have Native American heritage. As an Indian baby born before 1978, when the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) came into being, I have an intimate knowledge and a highly personal understanding of the impact of being Native American, but raised white within a white culture. I have struggled all these years to connect to my "roots," and have experienced difficulties, as I may "look" like a Native American physically, but I think and feel like a white person. I, too, understand what it is to be an "apple," i.e., white on the inside, red on the outside, and how hurtful it can be to lose your true self. Let's take the journey together.
And, an area of endless interest and fascination is helping families who are impact by a family member with a serious mental illness. It can be so frightening when a member of your family is diagnosed with a mental health condition, and navigating the “waters” of treatment, how to manage symptoms, and, even how to interact with that family member or others is a challenge.
It’s important to understand that the individual with the diagnosed mental health condition isn’t the only one dealing with a world that has significantly changed. It has a profound effect on the entire family, and, indeed, extended family and friends, as well.
One area that I'm also a specialist in is Communication, as I hold a Master in Communication, and find that communication is the cornerstone of all relationships, from family to friendship to romance, even professional and business relationships. I find that without respect and reciprocity, communication cannot succeed, and that can have a profoundly negative impact on various aspects of people's lives.
I'm an LCSW who has practiced in many areas within the field for 25 years, and find it to be ever-changing and I've retained my passion for working with people from various walks of life and cultures. I look forward to joining with you on your impending journey.
- Stress, Anxiety
- Relationship issues
- Family conflicts
- Trauma and abuse
I also have experience in Addictions, LGBT, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Eating disorders, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Coping with life changes, Coaching, Compassion fatigue, ADHD
LCSW #LCS28096 (Expires: 2021-06-01)
She is kind and knows a lot. She is easy to talk to.
I look forward to my meetings with Leslie every week! It really helps me to have someone to talk to without judgment and also positive motivation. Though I have friends and family I can talk to, they don't usually understand everything I'm going through and I'm grateful I have Leslie to help me through my challenges by asking me tough questions that get to the heart of the matter. Thank you, Leslie!
She’s is really amazing and very helpful in my recovery
Leslie is a wonderfully nurturing and intelligent individual. I am so glad and grateful for our time together. She listens, never judges, and offers her expertise and reasoning for certain behaviors and life events. You can definitely tell that she is experienced by the way she explains and offers actions/homework to work on. My sessions with her feel as though I am talking about life with a relative. I would highly recommend Leslie to anyone who is in need of her services.
Leslie is the best counselor I have ever had (and I have been looking for a good fit for 15 years). She is kind, compassionate, caring, an incredible listener, and gives solid advice. I am so grateful she is in my life!
Leslie is great. She listens and makes great suggestions. She knows when to push and when to sit back. I really enjoy working with her and her different insights.
This is my first time doing online therapy and I am extremely pleased! Leslie has given me different ways to look at the various situations I'm dealing with in a different perspective, without being judgemental I have found our sessions to be extremely helpful. She always takes the time to listen fully before she responds. I have definitely made positive progress from working with her.
Leslie is a truly wonderful counselor. She is kind, intelligent, empathetic, patient, and so wise. She established clear personal goals for me, and she is very effective in helping me think and talk through various challenges, while relating them back to my personal goals. I enjoy my time with her and I give her my highest recommendation!
In this online platform, you'll want to get a good therapist match asap. Don't wait for BetterHelp to match you--do it yourself by going to Leslie's schedule tab & book her first available conference date. I highly recommend video conferencing. Then get a summary of issues to her ASAP. She will review your texts & always get back to you quickly. Leslie's extensive education & history of actual practice in a myriad of fields is impressive. But the most important thing about Leslie is that she is just someone who really wants to help. She listens first. Then she talks WITH you like a normal human being. Her compassion & non-judgmental approach to resolving your issues are apparent from your very first communications with her. She's a warm & comfortable person to deal with. And all the great things the other reviewers have said about Leslie are true, just so we're clear. Good luck & thank you Leslie.
Thank you for working through the tough patches with me.
Leslie is awesome. She responds quickly to all messages. I have only been working with her for a short time but I enjoy our sessions and find them very helpful.
Leslie is fantastic. She's upbeat and positive like me and really seems to understand my issues. She responds several times a week and if I go a few days without messaging she checks up on me. She is the perfect match for me!