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As an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (License No. 131235) located in Hermosa Beach, California. 

launched private practice focusing on work with couples

I come from a very relational and attachment framework in my work. I can't help but be intrigued by the ways in which relationships impact peoples' lives!  Before you ask, I do still work with plenty of individuals.

solidified interest in couples' work

Worked with couples, kids and their parents, and other individuals with all kinds of presenting issues.

worked in a non-profit mental health agency

Master’s of Science in Marital and Family Therapy

Mediating people who are about to get divorced wasn't my cup of tea; I realized that helping people make it work is more my jam. That's when I decided to become a therapist!

special training in Conflict Resolution and Mediation

extensive experience working with children with special needs and their parents

Bachelor's in communication with a minor in business

Spent a lot of time dancing and acting, developing my love for storytelling.

Fascination with stories and storytelling influenced my approach in therapy by paying special attention to stories people tell themselves, stories people hear about themselves, and stories people wish to write about themselves.

born & Raised in Croatia

A little more about me

education and experience

I prefer my coffee strong and black. That probably says everything you need to know. I prefer to skip small talk and head right into a deep midnight conversation. When I'm not helping others heal through relationships, set boundaries, or feel comfortable with who they are, you're most likely to find me buried in mythology or Russian literature (or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time). Now, it's only fair for me to tell you what I'm less great at... in case you're curious, it's putting up with the mundane, traffic, time management, and not knowing the answers.

You wanna know more about me as a human...

let me guess

My style is direct, strengths-based, person-centered, and creative. In a session, the client is the expert of their life and I, as the therapist, play a few roles to facilitate the client’s journey. I am a co-author: helping you bring life to the stories that don’t align with the description of your problem-saturated stories. I am a guide on your journey of self-discovery and self-actualization: helping you figure out what stories you want to have about your life and how to get there. Finally, I am a teacher: helping you identify your emotions and unmet needs and finding constructive ways of communicating them. 


...and as a therapist

certifications & trainings

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Training 
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Certification Training
  • Anxiety Certification course
  • Complex Trauma Certification Training with Interventions from EMDR, Parts Work, CPT, and Polyvagal Theory
  • Treating Complex Trauma with Internal Family Systems (IFS) Course
  • Transforming Trauma with Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) Course
  • Accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy for Trauma and Attachment Wounds course
  • Peter Levine's Trauma Master Class: Somatic Experiencing

Individuals

  • Imago Couples Therapy with Harville Hendrix certificate
  • The Relational Life Therapy Approach to Couples Therapy with Terry Real master class
  • Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy: “Teaching Couples the Art of Connection” training
  • The Gottman Method to Treating Affairs and Trauma: An Advanced Training Course
  • Healing from Affairs Training with Tammy Nelson: Moving Past the Trauma of Betrayal and Infidelity
  • Integrative Sex and Couples Certification Training: Certified Sex Therapy Informed Professional (CSTIP) Course 

Couples

We rewrite your dominant narrative to rightfully include those positive stories to create a more realistic story of yourself and your life. This results in the realization that people are people and problems are problems; your problems are not who you are; they are just obstacles that happen to everyone. We all are just people who live our lives and occasionally encounter unusual and difficult life experiences.

The goal of rewriting our story is to have an agency over our lives. It is important to understand how we have contributed to our own reality; what is in our control; and how we wish to change it (and then doing the work!). When we understand what part we play in a problem-saturated narrative and take responsibility for it , we can move our focus toward solutions.

third, we rewrite:

We stop actively engaging in those negative stories that do not accurately represent your lived experience and begin to focus on the positive stories which highlight your strengths and achievements.

second, we stop:

We realize that those negative stories are not the only stories about your lived experience.

first, we realize:

I believe that problems happen when our expectations do not match our realities. Time and again people blame themselves or others into believing something is wrong with them, and that THEY are indeed the problem.  When you can't separate person-from-problem, an assortment of negative stories that impact our emotions, relationships, and self-esteem get created.

How does this all apply to your story? In our work together, we'll focus on three steps to a solution:

Let's talk about your story...

Enough about me

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all problems are relational problems

albert adler