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About Marla

As a therapist I use traditional insight-oriented talk therapy combined with more cutting-edge body and energy awareness, along with what is called “mindfulness”: a practice of bringing oneself into a state of non-judgemental awareness of the present moment. I also make use of the latest research on neuroplasticity to harness the brain’s capacity to grow and change, bringing about meaningful, long-term transformation. This can occur as a result of different techniques:  EMDR, attachment work, guided imagery and mind-body awareness.

Modalities might include:

I am interested in working with people who are tired of the way things have been and want to see change beyond the immediate crisis that brought them here. Years of doing insight-oriented talk therapy has taught me that insight alone is often not enough. People sometimes say “I know why I’m doing it, but talking about it doesn’t seem to help,” so my goal is to help you have an experience of yourself in the moment rather than simply talking about yourself.

I am highly trained, very experienced, passionate about my work and committed to my clients. You will find that I am down to earth, authentic and very much “myself.” Although I am not authoritative, I can be a strong presence for people, standing up for them when they aren’t able to stand up for themselves. I am warm, interactive and quiet when necessary. Observant and curious about your experience, I am also thoughtful, intuitive and not afraid to be wrong.

I can be irreverent and feel humor is an important connection. I am very open and comfortable talking about any subject, including things you may feel are difficult to bring up. I’m sensitive to feelings of shame, embarrassment and shyness. I welcome an interactive relationship that includes your input into our work.

Benefits of This Kind of Therapy

I believe that people flourish in an atmosphere of compassion and safety and by finding a place to speak/feel what they have not been able to speak/feel before. Through this process of exploration known as “therapy,” clients get to know themselves more deeply, acquire more compassion for themselves and others and discover new ways of being in the world.

Hopeful outcomes are a deeper sense of acceptance of self and others; deeper, more fulfilling relationships; a strong sense of balance and ability to navigate change, even when things don’t go well. I believe that a truly authentic therapeutic relationship can facilitate a shift in the way you experience relationships in general – with yourself, your partner, friends, co-workers and children.

People I Work With

I have worked with people from all kinds of spiritual and religious backgrounds: Christian, Buddhist/Taoist, Jewish, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Pagan, atheists and agnostics. I welcome people with diverse sexual backgrounds – straight, gay, bi, polyamorous and those in the Kink community.

Education and Training

I hold an MA degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. “Integral” refers to integrating “the religious, mythic and symbolic philosophies of ancient traditions with the empirical, analytic paradigms of modern science.” It represents the idea of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.

I have been seeing clients since 1990 and am trained and experienced in a variety of areas, including assessment and treatment of issues related to compulsive behaviors, women’s issues, sexual orientation, alternative sexuality, depression, anxiety, relationship issues and couples therapy. I also completed Level II training in EMDR in 1999 and have continued my study of EMDR with advanced specialized training. In 2003 I completed a six-month training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to facilitate my understanding of trauma in the body. In 2009 I completed an intensive three-year training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). The heart of AEDP’s philosophy is to create secure attachment in therapy so that feelings that have seemed too overwhelming and hard to experience by oneself can be safely felt and explored with another. In 2013 I was certified to work with shame by Bret Lyon and Sheila Rubin. Shame is difficult to work with by its very nature, and can often be the one area that gets left out of many therapies.

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