Background & Experience
In case you were wondering about me.......
I am originally from Fiji and am of Indian descent. My family immigrated from Fiji to the United States and then to Australia. While in Australia I completed my undergraduate studies and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure/Recreation Management; followed by a Graduate Certificate in Community Management a few years later. I obtained both of these through the University of Technology, Sydney.
My professional career in Australia centered around case management and program development within marginalized communities; including high risk youth, juvenile offenders, people with disabilities and people living with with HIV/AIDS. I also had extensive volunteer experience within the environmental movement; liaising with traditional Aboriginal communities on issues of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism development.
In 2000 I returned to the Bay Area and continued to work primarily within disenfranchised communities. I have 10 years experience providing a range of services for pregnant and parenting adolescents in San Francisco's Mission & Bayview/Hunter's Point Districts. These services included comprehensive case management, vocational services, program development and therapy - individual, group and family.
In 2007, I was asked by the San Quentin T.R.U.S.T to create a curriculum addressing mental & emotional, health & wellness for long term incarcerated men. This formed the basis for an ongoing weekly group I subsequently facilitated at California State Prison - San Quentin, on trauma & healing. I was privileged to work with the men of the San Quentin community for 10 years & it has been a truly transformational experience in my life. Click here to read an article in the San Quentin News about the health & wellness group I ran there.
I also developed a comprehensive mental health assessment designed specifically for people returning to the community after incarceration. I have worked with various community based agencies to provide these comprehensive assessments which are utilized by case managers who work directly with re-entry clients.
Additionally I have worked in programs within the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and the S.F. Sheriffs Department providing individual and family therapy and assessments for clients with a range of offenses that had resulted in involvement with the criminal justice system.
In 2005/06 I completed a 9 month intensive training program with UCSF's Child Trauma Research Project which works with children under the age of 6 years and their parent who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence. I helped to adapt this program to the specific needs of adolescent parents.
In 2006 I also completed a 6 month training program on somatics and trauma through Generative Somatics - which utilizes body based (somatic) practices in the healing of trauma.
In 2007 I began working within a private practice setting; where I see clients for individual, couples and family therapy around a number of issues including navigating racism and oppression; relationship challenges; substance use; navigating cultural pressures; incarceration trauma; sexual trauma; depression; anxiety; life transitions etc.
In 2017/18 I furthered my skills & qualification in working somatically with clients, by completing a 6 month training program on Somatic Attachment Therapy. This therapeutic modality looks at utilizing body based interventions to enhance the attachment relationship as a means of creating healing for trauma & other wounding experiences.
I hold a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies; and am licensed with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
In October 2018, I relocated to New Zealand in order to be closer to family; and am happy to remain connected to my Bay Area community of clients via tele-therapy.
My passion for racial and social justice and my desire to be of service to my community have found fulfillment through the choices I have made over the course of my professional career. As I continue to strive for integrity and intentionality in all areas of my life, I trust that my personal and professional accomplishments will continue to reflect these core values of mine. Om Shanti.