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(415) 820-3920

San Francisco
3236 Sacramento St.
San Francisco
CA 94115

Berkeley
3155 College Ave.
Berkeley
CA 94705

Orinda
23 Altarinda Rd.
Orinda
CA 94563

 

 

Who I am as a Therapist

“Resolve to be thyself, and know that he who finds himself loses his misery!”

— from  Self-Dependence,  by Matthew Arnold

Most people come to see me because they find themselves repeating patterns that do not serve them, patterns that cause them great distress and threaten their relationships, their families, their jobs, and their well-being. It is my belief that these patterns are the psyche’s attempt to convey childhood traumas or wounds that were never fully acknowledged or metabolized at a bodily and psychic level. And when a person keeps a part of him or herself walled off or at a great distance, they become estranged from themselves, and this creates a vicious cycle of repetition of that which has not been owned, which causes tremendous suffering and distress. Thus, it is only when one is truly willing to find oneself, as Matthew Arnold says, that one can truly be free of this misery. And this is when deep healing can happen.

The way that I work as a therapist is to listen and watch for that which has not been owned and acknowledged — so that I can help my clients to slowly begin to discover and reclaim their full and authentic selves. In bringing language and meaning to painful feelings and experiences of childhood, I help my clients begin to dismantle the damaging repetitions that are plaguing them, so those patterns no longer hold sway over their thoughts, their relationships, and their lives. The burdens and secrets that so bound their minds and their bodies become freed up, so that they can be in the world in a truly embodied and empowered way and can forge new and more gratifying relationships, and find more fulfillment in their lives.

My greatest strength as a therapist is that I make myself available to be fully engaged in the therapeutic process and the therapeutic relationship. To paraphrase one of my longtime clients, “You are not one of those therapists who sits back in her chair and lets me do all the talking.” I use all of the tools available to me: my training, my expertise, my thoughts and feelings, and the whole of my being to try to understand what my clients are communicating to me both verbally and nonverbally and to discern what they need from me in any given moment in order to heal. I hold sacred that my clients are willing to go to scary emotional places with me, to acknowledge and to grieve their losses with me, and to trust me and be vulnerable with me. I have great faith in and regard for how transformative the therapeutic relationship can be. Beyond skills, techniques, and strategies, it is a place where a new experience of oneself and of another is possible. And within that crucible great transformation can happen.

 


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