Therapize, Psychoanalyze, Write, Snap Pics


    licensed therapist

    As Jung said, the privilege of a life time is to become who we truly are, are you being your authentic self? If not, let's work together.


    published author

    Writing is my passion. I've authored two books, and currently act as a freelance writer for the Georgetown Gazette.


    photo hobbyist

    On my travels, I'm always looking for the photo that tells a story, my husband and I enjoy photography as a hobby on our adventures.

  • schedule an appointment


  • Counseling

    Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #90280

    What to expect

    Finding a counselor can be challenging, my approach is collaborative, down to earth, and honest. I currently work with kids, teens & families who have experienced trauma, grief, loss and child abuse. As well as couples who are struggling with communication in their relationships, and individual women who are working towards finding a balance in life from the many pressures modern women experience.

    Our collaborative goal is to help you gain the internal clarity you need to live your best life. I believe we each have undiscovered (and sometimes discovered!) elements within ourselves that contribute to difficulties in our relationships with our loved ones, at work, and even with perfect strangers. Together, we can work towards mindfulness, alleviating stress and anxiety to work towards finding happiness and contentment.

    Through my experiences as a volunteer in trauma centers as a Pet Assisted Therapist, and as an EAGALA certified therapist, I have witnessed the amazing way that animals have an innate ability to heal. I offer clients Equine & Pet Assisted Therapy, Art in Therapy groups and Love & Logic parenting & educator classes, for more information about groups, see below.

    The Equine Experience

    • Improving Relationships for Individuals, Couples & Families
    • Life Skills for Kids & Teens
    • Team Building for Organizations
    • 1st Responder /Trauma program

    I am the Co-Facilitator of "The Equine Experience," at HartSong Ranch, a ground-breaking experiential approach to growth and learning using horses as a catalyst for change. Each session is facilitated by a dynamic team (the horses, an equine specialist, and a psychotherapist).


    Our programs use the EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) model, code of ethics and safety techniques. Our model allows the clients to gain their own insight and conclusions from working directly with the horses. Our experiential activities allow client's the opportunity to overcome fears, anxiety, depression, addictions, process emotional traumas, and learn invaluable life skills which will transcend all areas of life.


    My location is just minutes from Highway 50, in a comfortable private practice setting. At South Fork Counseling & Mediation Center, you will be surrounded by team of holistic practitioners. When you arrive for your scheduled session you'll enjoy a confidential lobby area with soothing music, magazines, tea and water.

  • Love & Logic Parenting Classes

    Love & Logic Parenting is a proven method for raising happy kids, built around the science of love. In this 6- week class, parents learn skills for how to handle stressful parenting situations, poor grades and behavior, and tools for raising self-confident, motivated children.

    Art in Therapy Workshop

    In this workshop participants explore their inner child and true-self, while learning key strategies for reducing anxiety, and will have explored areas for personal growth. Using a variety of techniques and tools- such as oil pastels, paint, markers and more, you will experience creativity and learning with a therapeutic focus. No art experience needed.

    The Equine Experience

    The Equine Experience at HartSong Ranch is also excellent for team & morale building within companies and sales organizations as activities with horses can serve as metaphors for leadership, communication and decision-making .


    Available in paperback, Kindle & at Audible

    Award Winning Memoir

    Third Place Books Review

    "Teetering on Disaster is a funny and poignant autobiographical novel, which tells how she fought for her American Dream through the Sierra Nevada's and beyond."

    Laura Delaney of Rediscovered Book Shop in Boise, ID says "Michaela Renee is friendly, personable and all around lovely."

    Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, Author of Silent Sorority included it in her Amazon Listmania as one of the "eclectic mix of memoirs that take a look into the unpredictable and absurd ways of life written by women with a sense of humor."

    4.5 Stars On Amazon

    San Francisco Book Review

    "Sarcastic and witty, 29-year-old Alex Swanson planned to be a serious journalist until her stepping-stone-into-the-business talk radio position became a path to nowhere. Now the Suits in charge are offering up her dream job on a platter-if only she'll help them out with one little project: an endorsement deal for CreateADate's online dating service. All they're asking is for her to broadcast her personal life for listeners' entertainment. Never mind that she lives with her grandparents and hasn't been on a date since high school prom. Still, Alex finds a way to put her own spin on the assignment and enlists the help of her conspiracy-theorist Grampa and reality-television-loving grandma Moe as she tries to figure out the dating world. Along the way, she must evaluate her objectives in life and love and finally face demons she'd thought long buried. Alex's self-effacing wit paired with Moe's flamboyant enthusiasm makes for an entertaining story as Alex wades through her tragic past."

  • Who I Am

    Psychotherapist, PhotoJournalist, Author, Mommy, Wife of an Ocean Angler

    on paper

    Award winning author, licensed psychotherapist and former Managing Editor of the Georgetown Gazette (owned and operated by the Mountain Democrat -California's oldest newspaper- a division of McNaughton Newspapers). Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism Communications, and a Master's of Arts in Psychology.

    the real me

    Down to Earth, honest & full of laughter. I live in Northern California with my husband and our son, Tucker. We have a full house including fish, chickens, two dogs; a retired racing Greyhound (Rio), and a Golden Retriever (Dennis), and a rescue cat named (Moonshine) Stilly. We are an organic family working towards self-sustainability.

    I draw inspiration from my hometown in the Sierra Nevada's and have a passion for traveling around the world (16 countries & counting). I have a great love of the ocean and everything in it, especially crab with a side of drawn butter. I rarely find myself without an activity whether it be hiking, yoga, tinkering in my garden, golfing, reading or spending time outside. In my most simplest I love poetic quotes and all things metaphysical.

    other fun things

    I'm a lover of Shakeology, and firmly believe it's the way to get all the superfoods and nutrition I need to stay healthy (so I can keep doing my 50 million activities). To learn more about this wonderful way to optimize health, click here. To reorder your Shakeology click here.