Sylvia’s Bio


I have been in practice almost 25 years and have over 30,000 hours of experience working with individuals and couples. I am fully licensed in California and Arkansas and am licensed for telehealth in South Carolina and Florida.

I am a San Diego native and had the great opportunity to grow up at the beach. I went to college right after high school and gladly adopted the “career student” title and obtained two Bachelor’s degrees and two minor degrees. I moved to the East Coast for a short period of time after graduating and worked at Harvard Book Store on Massachusetts Avenue which was a great experience.

I then went overseas to Japan and taught English as a Second Language for a year and a half. Upon returning from Japan, I was searching for a permanent career which would allow me to utilize my passions. I had undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Comparative Religions and minor degrees in Psychology and Sociology.  After investigating the field of Counseling, I knew it was a good fit and that I wanted to be a therapist.

I applied to the University of San Diego and was accepted into their Master’s program for Marriage & Family Therapy. After graduating from USD in 1999, I worked on accruing the required 3000 hours of experience needed to test for licensure as a Marriage & Family Therapist with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. I gained my 3000 hours experience as an intern in private practice and as a therapist at Scripps Mercy Hospital. When I became a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFC 43147) I expanded my practice and moved to my current Mission Valley office.

I find the field of counseling a rewarding profession as I’m able to use all my educational and life experiences in varying degrees. It’s one of the only fields where life in and out of the office isn’t divided. I love my profession and appreciate my clients and all the hard work they do to make their lives and relationships better.

My Education

I have spent several years learning, training and studying in order to be a therapist in San Diego. I hold a Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from the University of San Diego and am a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in both California and Arkansas offering individual and couples counseling. I also hold two Bachelor’s degrees in the fields of Comparative World Religions and Philosophy and have minored in both Psychology and Sociology. I believe my solid academic education coupled with diverse life experiences contribute to the breadth and richness of my counseling approach and the insightful and challenging form of therapy I offer. I work hard to discern the unique needs of my clients, thereby creating an environment which is comfortable and conducive to growth and discovery.

In addition to traditional counseling, I am also trained in EMDR and utilize relaxation and meditation techniques if desired. I have been trained and facilitated court mandated domestic violence groups and have run groups for victims of domestic violence.  I also worked as a therapist with the chronic mentally ill at Scripps Mercy Hospital for eight years.  My varied work and educational experience help me meet the differing needs of clients in my practice.

My Counseling Approach

I strive to create a caring and safe, yet challenging environment and I’m having great success doing this via internet counseling after more than 23 years of in-office experience. All of us at some point encounter times of uncertainty, worry, sadness or crisis. You may find yourself responding to people or situations in a repetitive and unproductive manner leaving you frustrated and tired, unable to effectively work with life’s challenges or develop optimal relationships. I invite positive change and new direction while we explore ways to break patterns that rob you of your potential. Whether you want to make better sense of your situation, or move life along an entirely new course, you will be encouraged to use your strengths, talents and potentials to foster insight and change. No person is broken, nor needs to be fixed, but only rediscovered.

…you will be encouraged to use your strengths, talents and potentials to foster insight and change.

The therapeutic and theoretical approach I use varies depending upon the issues and struggles of each of my clients.  I don’t use a “cookie cutter” approach or use one theory with all clients.  I believe different theories and therapy techniques work best in certain situations and with certain types of people.  I want to get to know my clients as individuals and approach each situation with a theory or framework I think would be most effective.  Some theories I draw from include Solution Focused, Cognitive-Behavioral, Emotionally Focused, Client Centered, Strength Based and Existential.  Feel free to call me to get in contact with a San Diego therapist at (619) 318-1901.

Get Started Today

I offer individual counseling, couples therapy and premarital counseling. The issues I work with are diverse and range from problems arising from sudden circumstantial changes to long standing and complex struggles. My approach to counseling is varied since individual needs and circumstances inform the methods I use. I don’t approach any two people the same and personalize my methods for each situation and client. Click the button below to book a session and we can begin your journey to rediscovery.


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