I was born and grew up in Coburg, a town in Bavaria, Germany. In 1980, I began to study psychology and literature at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and received Master's Degrees in both fields.  In 1986, I also received a Masters Degree in philosophy from the Munich School of Philosophy, which is one the of European Jesuit Universities.  

In 1989, I moved to Berkeley, California, to continue my studies. I was licensed as a psychotherapist in the State of California in 2000. In 2001, I received a Doctoral degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Since then, I have been teaching philosophy at the California State University, and I also work as a psychotherapist in private practice in Oakland, California.  You can find my academic website here. 

Clinical and Professional Experience

From 1982 to 1984, I worked as a psychological assistant at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Munich with people who had severe forms of mental illness. 

In 1987, I completed a two-year training in Art Therapy at the Academy of Art in Munich with Elisabeth Tomalin

From 1985 to 1989 I did bodywork with Adrian Pouwels, a psychotherapist who practiced in the tradition of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen. 

After my graduation, I came to the Bay Area of California in 1989, where I continued my education and training. 

For many years, I was in psychoanalytic treatment with two Freudian analysts, Nathan Adler and Mel Torly. 

I completed a two-year training in the Hakomi method, a body-oriented form of psychotherapy, which was taught by Ron Kurtz. (1990-1992) 

Between 1992 and 2006 I have taken numerous workshops in existential-humanistic psychotherapy with Jim Bugental (Arts Omega). I have also  participated in many psychodynamic groups  for therapists,  and I have led intensive workshops. 

I have been studying the theory and practice of Jacques Lacan, a French psychoanalyst, since 1994. Influenced by his work, I wrote a dissertation about the relationship between psychoanalysis and theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. During these years, I was also involved with the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis in Berkeley. 

From 1995 to 2005, I worked at the Gladman Psychotherapy Center in Oakland (Montclair), first as an intern, then as a therapist. I received my MFT license to practice psychotherapy in California in January of 2000. 

I joined the Board of my local CAMFT organization (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) in 2010, and I was the President from 2011 to 2012. I also was elected to the State Board of CAMFT as CFO from 2014 to 2016. In this function, I lobbied for the profession in California and in Washington DC.  

I served as a Clinical Supervisor for a geriatric mental health program in the Fruitvale District of Oakland from 2015 to 2016. I supervised many interns, and we worked with a very diverse population of elderly people and their families. 

Since 2019, I am a member of the Grand Rounds Committee for the Sutter Health Psychiatry Department at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley: Our group organizes and facilitates the Continuing Education presentations for a large audience of psychiatrists, therapists, and social workers.  

My own psychotherapy practice has been in operation since 2000, with a wide spectrum of clients, and a consistent caseload of about 20 hours per week.