Torey Haden's books about traumatized children captured my heart when I was 10 and awakened my curiosity about how we heal from the unimaginable. After graduating from Amherst College with a degree in psychology I headed to Atlanta to co-author a book about emergency contraception and then took a job teaching sex ed to 8th graders in the Atlanta Public Schools. Never will I enjoy a more attentive audience! My experiences in the classroom followed by a position at a locked residential treatment center for teens deepened my interests in human sexuality, trauma and recovery. I moved back north for my Masters of Social Work degree from Smith College School for Social Work and completed one internship at a LGBTQ health clinic in Washington, DC and another in a treatment program for families impacted by sexual violence in Albany, NY. After graduation I worked for a rural community mental health clinic, The Community Hospice of Saratoga and I really enjoyed running groups at the Skidmore College Counseling Center. I have been exclusively in private practice since 2005.
After completing the mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher training at the University of Massachusetts School for Medicine/OASIS, Dr. Selma Nemer and I co-founded the Saratoga Stress Reduction Program in 2005. We were later joined by Buddhist Chaplain Pierre Zimmerman and have since graduated over 2,000 students. After teaching over 50 cycles of this class I am awed by how mindfulness meditation continues to tenderize me and can open incredible avenues for self-discovery and peace.
My high school yearbook predicted I would be a sex therapist. In 2017 I finally made it happen. I received my certification through the American Society of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and began to more formally address sexual concerns in my practice. Patricia Farrell, a fellow clinician and dear friend, and I co-founded a sex therapy practice: Upwell, LLC (https://upwellcenter.org). We offer workshops on pleasure and consent for teens, raising sexually healthy teens in a digital world and we run groups for couples wishing to optimize their sexual relationships.