About Helena

HelenaI am a licensed marriage and family therapist and have been in private practice for over fourteen years. I am originally from New York where I graduated from SUNY Binghamton. I received my Master of Science in Counseling from San Francisco State University, and my Master of Arts in Cultural Diversity from Iowa State University. The combination of these two advanced areas of study and research has allowed me to focus on the best possible treatment approaches for people-young and old-of all backgrounds, cultures, religions and sexual orientations.

Throughout my years of practice and study I have developed a number of areas of interest and specialized focus. I have been teaching and leading groups and workshops for many years on a range of topics related to the creation and preservation of healthy relationships, and I have particular interest in helping clients heal from trauma, recover from addiction and/or growing up in a family with addiction, recovery from eating disorders, developing a healthy body image and a strong sense of self and establishing firmly a lasting, overall state of emotional wellbeing.

  • I am a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and I have advanced training in working with clients in various stages of recovery.  I consult with many intensive outpatient programs throughout the Bay Area, often working within a treatment team including (but not limited to) a registered dietician/nutritionist, a physician and a psychiatrist.  For those in the latter stages of recovery I provide longer term individual and group psychotherapy.

  • I work with the San Francisco Victim Assistance Program in the provision of longer term counseling for survivors of domestic abuse, violent crimes and both acute and chronic trauma.

  • I have advanced clinical training in working with couples and the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships, and I have been engaged in ongoing, intensive group consultation with the Couples Institute in Menlo Park.  From 2004-2010 I ran Interfaith Connection at the JCCSF, which involved curriculum development, creative programming and the facilitation of psycho-educational support groups and pre-marital counseling for couples of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
  • I am a Certified Soul Collage Facilitator, and I am currently an active participant and leader of soul collage groups.
  • I have taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses at San Francisco State University, including Introduction to Counseling, a required course for prospective graduate students interested in becoming mental health practitioners, and Advanced Couples and Family Counseling, both within the Department of Counseling Graduate Program.
  • In efforts to consistently uphold the ethical and legal guidelines of the counseling profession and to remain aware of the most current issues and research in the field, I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA).

  • I believe strongly in the maintenance of high standards of excellence within the counseling profession, and in the professional development and empowerment of highly qualified therapists. It is for this reason that I am a CAMFT Certified Supervisor.  I have provided clinical supervision for a post graduate intern in my private practice for three years, and for two years previously I supervised MFT interns for the Community Institute for Psychotherapy.