Teaching and Research

Urging all of us to open our minds and hearts so that we
can know beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable, so
that we can think and rethink, so that we can create new vision,
I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions – a movement
against and beyond boundaries. It is that movement which makes education the practice of freedom.

- bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress

In addition to my psychotherapy practice, I am Adjunct Faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), where I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in the School of Professional Psychology and the School of Undergraduate Studies.

For the Somatic Psychology Department at CIIS, I advise students, teach and design curriculum around issues of multicultural and queer development, and teach a graduate level course entitled Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy. I have designed and conducted trainings on sexuality in the (counter)transference for the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy, the training clinic of the Somatic Psychology Department.

In the School of Undergraduate Studies at CIIS, I co-teach Interdisciplinary Studies in the Bachelor of Arts Completion Program.

At the Women’s Therapy Center I have taught courses on Starting a Private Practice and The Psychodynamics of Social Justice.

As an educator, my primary interest is in teaching processes of collaborative inquiry which pay close attention to and honor multiple kinds of knowledge, the social and cultural contexts of individuals learning histories, and foster an ongoing commitment to inquiry. To challenge more traditional academic notions of knowledge production and evidence, I use poetry and creative writing, helping students to explore precision in language, their own and that of others, as a tool of self-authorization.

In my own research I am concerned with the ways in which cultural and political identities and dislocations impact empathic attunement between therapist and client, teacher and student, and between students. I am also interested in the ways in which embodied resistance to cultural norms shape notions of the individual’s role in cultural production.

Additionally, my clinical research focuses on developing notions of queer kinship and queer family structures, and the ways in which people navigate the spaces between queer chosen families and families of origin, especially in relationship to queer parenting.

I served as Chair of the 2008 Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy Conference, hosted jointly by the Somatic Psychology Department at CIIS and The Center for the Study of the Body in Psychotherapy. The conference brings together LGBTQI and straight therapists, queer theorists, somatic therapists and practitioners, members of various queer communities, scholars, activists and educators to surface questions, share best practices and case examples, and develop theories about how queer sexualities, identities and lifestyles are held, facilitated and explored in various therapeutic contexts.