About Me

tom_8927-1Psychotherapy supports our journey to uncover what is most real and essential, both in ourselves and in our relationships with others. As children, we must shield ourselves against the inevitable pain that results from a complex interplay of temperament and environment. From our families and cultures, we learn to protect the part of ourselves that is most creative and alive. Although this allows us to negotiate the obstacles of growing up, at some point we may find that our habitual patterns no longer serve our true selves. The psychotherapeutic relationship provides an opportunity to recover and elaborate what has been forgotten; in the end, it points toward a life of increased intimacy and authenticity.

In addition to working in private practice, I am Department Chair and an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Golden Gate University, where I teach courses in counseling skills and psychodynamic theory. I am also a Faculty Member at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at University of California San Francisco’s Medical School. I have published two books – Understanding Anorexia Nervosa in Males: An Integrative Approach and Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders: When Words Fail and Bodies Speak – as well as numerous articles in books and journals such as The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Recovery, Body ImageFort Da, and The Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy. I was the guest editor for a special issue of The Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy that focused on the psychodynamic treatment of eating disorders. I am also an Executive Director at the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders and maintain a blog on Psychology Today about males and eating disorders.

My training as a psychologist has been diverse. I have worked in community mental health clinics, a hospital, and private practice settings. In addition to five years of doctoral education, I am Board Certified in Clinical Psychology (ABPP) and am trained as a psychoanalyst through the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. I also am a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS) and am one of the few psychologists practicing in the Bay Area who has been awarded this designation.