About Deborah

Creative Background

Art has been a passion for me from my earliest memories of childhood. I creatively expressed, using a vast array of art media during my grade school years, continued creating through sewing during high school years and embraced apparel design and pattern making in junior college. Creative expression was a way of interacting in my world that was natural and fulfilling for me.

As a parent of two children I ran the art program for an open alternative classroom for ten years. I understood, from personal experience, the importance of creative process in the life of a child. So, with art being cut from the schools in the mid-80’s, my mission became to provided creative “hands on” activities for at least a handful of children, mine included.

Training and Education

In the late 80’s I returned to school to complete my Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at John F. Kennedy University in the California Bay Area. During that time I took as many art classes as I could, at both JFK and two local junior colleges, where art took on a new form of expression for me… Thus began the use of art as a tool for emotional healing. A door had been opened that would forever change the direction of my life.

In the late 90’s I yet again returned to JFK University to complete three years of graduate work in Holistic Studies. I spent those years using “creative art process” to delve deeply into exploring and healing my own childhood issues. Using a wide range of media I pushed through them one at a time. During that time I was also in therapy. I would create art pieces (many collages) that expressed emotions and feelings I found difficult to share verbally. I would take my art into sessions and use it as a starting point for discussion and eventually healing. It was also during those therapy sessions that I experienced EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). As my years at JFK continued and my experience in doing EMDR as a client also continued, I began to heal, one art piece at a time followed by one EMDR session at a time. I knew that bringing the combination of creative process and EMDR to others was going to be my life’s work.

I hold a Masters Degree in Transformative Arts, Holistic Studies from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, Ca. I have been in private practice in the Sacramento area since my graduation in 2000. I am an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) practitioner (Level I & II) and trained under Francine Shapiro, founder of EMDR. I attend ongoing Advanced EMDR Seminars. I am also trained in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and use sandPlay as an enhancement to the healing process. My emphasis lies in using “creative process” for personal transformation. I believe that the journey towards wholeness can be profoundly supported through the use of image, in many forms, combined with EMDR and Reprocessing and/or EFT.

My Personal Belief

I believe that each person holds the answers “within” to their own, true-authentic self. As we move through life we sometimes need to have another person help us put the pieces of the “puzzle of life” together. One’s process is personal, and as a clinician my objective is to help clients explore origins of self-limiting beliefs, address past or present traumatic events, clarify current unwanted behavior patterns, and act as a guide. At the same time I help clients define the goals they have for their own growth and future and help them come up with solutions and ways that they can reach those goals.

This process is a “teamwork” approach. There are many objectives in treatment. Of course symptom reduction and self-awareness is vital to well-being. Additionally, my desire is to move at the client’s speed, to create a safe and trusting environment in which the client can explore the unknown depths of their psyche, to whatever level is desired. In trauma cases, especially in childhood abuse, the client frequently has a difficult time trusting the world. Lack of safety and control are often issues, and my goal is to create a space where the client feels totally safe and can be in control of their own process, at all times. Another objective is to help clients explore how they have recreated the destructive dynamics of childhood in their adult relationships and then explore options and ways of changing those patterns.

My Approach

My approach is simple, straightforward, and using the imagePathways process makes therapy more like a Magical Journey rather than a dreaded event. It was during graduate school that this process spontaneously emerged, through my own personal experience of using image. I found that using a combination of healing modalities, which incorporated a variety of ways to use image, enhanced with EMDR, created changes in my behavior patterns that were profound and lasting. It worked for me, so it knew that it would work for others.

Additionally, in school I witnessed others take huge steps forward in terms of personal growth as creative process was explored. My own personal healing and a longing for wholeness has always been a lifetime calling, so it would follow that I would choose to work with others who had that same desire. This process is about dealing with life’s issues in a creative “hands-on” way rather than coming from a “talk-only” clinical approach. I work intuitively and strive to provide clients with as many choices and healing modalities as possible. I have great respect for people who are committed to taking responsibility for shortcomings and have a desire to face life-long issues head on. It takes courage to walk the road of change.

My Commitment to Clients is as follows. I will:

  •  Help you assess current life circumstances that are causing distress.
  • Provide a safe space in which to explore your thoughts, feelings and reactions at your desired speed.
  • Be available to help you define your goals and begin to focus in a positive direction.
  • Assist in helping you explore your core issues and how they affect and limit your potential to become all that you desire.
  • Aid you in determining the self-limiting beliefs that keep you emotionally stuck.
  • Help you become aware of reactionary behaviors and how they interfere with establishing healthy, quality, relationships.
  • Guide you in establishing and setting realistic intentions while developing a plan to reach your goals.
  • Help you establish a plan of action that suits your time and financial needs and limitations.
  • Make available image and art materials for use that will promote quicker awareness of issues that need to be processed.