Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples in Oakland
My specialties include:
Many clients come to me because they are ready for a change. They have been struggling with anxiety, stress, or excessive worry that keeps them from sleeping at night, or prevents them from doing the things they want to do in the world. Or they seem to have one dysfunctional relationship after another. Other clients are dealing with a high level of dissatisfaction, feeling that nothing they do is ever good enough, that they are not the person they thought they could be.
More than talk therapy
Because our bodies are not separate from our minds, and all of our lived experiences happen on the physical level, it is useful to have a therapy that addresses the whole person.
Somatic psychotherapy incorporates the latest in neuroscience to help clients create lasting change. In working somatically - with the body in the room - using mindful awareness, there a unique opportunity to change behavioral and thought patterns.
Somatic interventions may be as simple as noticing what your physical sensations are as you recount a stressful event, or using the breath to calm a feeling of anxiety. Being able to notice and stay with bodily sensations in the present assists clients in tolerating strong emotions, and enables them to navigate situations skillfully, rather than reactively.
I work with all people
I work with clients from a range of cultural and ethnic origins, of varying abilities, with a variety of sexual orientations and expressions of gender, who are in diverse relationship configurations, and who come from all economic backgrounds. I am dedicated to my own continued reflection about privilege, and prioritize remaining conscientious of how my life experience may impact those around me, particularly my clients in the room. I invite conversations around identity as an important part of the therapy.
People seek therapy for many different reasons: to work through a difficult situation, to get a deeper understanding of themselves, to face specific fears or to change habits, to understand relationship issues, to heal from difficult histories, for general support (because life is hard).
In my work with you, curiosity and compassion are central; we cannot learn without curiosity and we cannot truly change without compassion. There are good reasons we have come to be who we are. Even if parts of our personality don't serve us, it is important that we understand how we came to use certain strategies in order to let them go and choose new ways of being in the world.
We are also shaped by the world and the systems in which we live - family, cultural, educational, economic, religious. We are constantly interacting with these systems. In therapy, it is important for us to make space for how the world impacts you, how you may experience injustice, and how you grow your own resilience and positive relationships inside and outside of these systems.
Whatever your reasons for coming to therapy, it is my goal to support you in your process.