After an initial career in investment banking and corporate finance, I found myself unfulfilled and wondering if there was more to life. Following a life-changing spiritual experience when I was 24, I quit my job as an investment banker and took an 80% pay cut for an entry-level job in mental-health. That began a journey that took me deep into my own personal transformation and spiritual evolution. In 2001, I attended a 10 day meditation retreat that altered the course of my life. I then began a serious meditation and mindfulness practice that has stayed with me all these years. I consider meditation, mindfulness and pure awareness to be one of the most easily accessible and profoundly transformative healing tools available and it is an important part of my approach.
After graduating from San Francisco State University with a MS in Clinical Psychology in 2005, I completed my post-graduate training at UCSF’s Partial Hospitalization Program, where I worked for 3 years with people in acute states of crisis and those with chronic and severe mental illness. While at UCSF, I specialized in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), facilitating over 500 DBT Skills groups. As DBT includes a mindfulness component, it was a natural fit. I continued facilitating DBT skills groups and working with individual clients using DBT, mindfulness, and acceptance in my private practice. I found that the biggest shifts that my clients experienced where based in spiritual growth, a deeper awareness of who they really were and how they fit into the world at large.
In 2012, I felt like I had reached a plateau in my work as well is in my life. After a long period of soul searching, I decided to close my psychotherapy practice in San Francisco, sold almost everything I owned, and embarked on an extended multi-year around-the-world journey. During that period, I explored, studied, and practiced spiritual and healing traditions in India, Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, and Peru.
While traveling in South America in 2014, I encountered Ayahuasca for the first time and experienced the profound healing potential of this sacred plant medicine when wielded by master shamans in a ceremonial context. I then began an intensive training in Upper Amazonian shamanism. This included work with several plant medicines and teachers, including Ayahuasca, San Pedro, and Sanango. I spent 2 years working full-time as an apprentice shaman and retreat facilitator at Blue Morpho Center for Shamanism and Plant Medicine in the Peruvian Amazon, where I guided hundreds of people through their journey with Ayahuasca.
In 2017, I returned to San Francisco and started Transcendent Counsel, integrating eastern meditative practices, western psychotherapy, entheogenic work, and shamanic traditions into a contemporary healing setting.