About Jen

Psychotherapy Approach

I am a California-licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with specialized training in behavioral medicine and a specialization in psycho-oncology. I have 25 years of experience working with patients who are sad, scared, traumatized, stuck, and who want to find a way to live differently in the face of challenges.

My psychotherapy training and approach is focused heavily on evidence-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy approaches, with an emphasis on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I studied with the originator of ACT, Dr. Steven Hayes, and I am a recognized peer-reviewed trainer in ACT (if you are not familiar with ACT, here is a recent article about it from the Washington Post that I was featured in.)

Therapy is a warm, caring relationship where patients can safely experience their thoughts and feelings in order to be able to build skills to better manage them in their lives. In therapy, my clinical approach utilizes mindfulness and evidence-based interventions, with a strong focus on helping patients live in ways that are consistent with their personal values.

Training and Background

I received my clinical internship training at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration with a specialization in behavioral medicine in 2003, and have served in multiple professional and consulting roles working with PTSD and cancer in veterans within the Veterans Administration.

Since 2005 I have been a professor in the psychology department at San Jose State University. In addition, I served as a psycho-oncologist at The San Mateo Cancer Care clinic, part of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, in a clinic where I worked as a psychologist with cancer patients and their families for nearly 15 years.

Throughout my career, I have conducted research on ways we can live with more meaning, connection, and awareness, both in the context of serious medical illnesses and in the handling of everyday stressors. I have authored or co-authored two books for the public and dozens of research publications in my field.