Psychotherapy, whether viewed as a single session or a years-long relationship, can look many different ways. It can be a space for reflection, for bearing witness to trials and triumphs, for charting life’s course over time. It can look backwards or forwards, or focus on the moment at hand. It may be intense and somber at times, light and playful at others. Sometimes it may feel similar to talking with a close friend or confidante; yet the unique structure of psychotherapy allows for certain interactions and experiences that are impossible within most other intimate relationships.
Therapy can help with
- Depression or anxiety, whether recently developed or lifelong.
- Grief, of the death of a loved one or any other significant loss.
- PTSD, Complex PTSD or other trauma, whether from a single event or a pervasive presence throughout your life.
- Disrupted attachment that impacts your ability to form and maintain nourishing, mutually supportive relationships.
- Any of the above related to your experience of oppression.
- Any challenging life transition that hinders your ability to thrive and grow.
How I work
I use an eclectic, collaborative, client-centered approach to psychotherapy.
I am largely oriented around psychodynamic theory. In plain English, this means that I am attuned to unconscious beliefs, fears and desires. I believe that what shows up in the relationship between us is valuable information about how you experience and navigate the world. I believe that all human beings have psychic defenses against uncomfortable or painful thoughts and feelings. These defenses are as natural as breathing or thrusting your hands out to break a fall, and they may have even saved your life. Yet, they can also cause harm if one is unaware of them.
I am also interested in attachment theory. I believe that our earliest relationships—or lack thereof—to parents or other caregivers create the mold which we use to form other relationships, whether to people, life pursuits or the world itself.
I believe that everyone’s life experiences are shaped by our different positions of power, marginalization and oppression. In the therapy room, we can have a different conversation about the impact these forces have had on our psyches, our values and ways of relating to the world.
I recognize that many marginalized folks have been harmed by the mental health field and mental health professionals, and I strive to be accountable for the power I hold in my role as a therapist. I believe in harm reduction, autonomy and self-determination.
Who I work with
I aim to create a therapeutic space that actively works to counter oppression, including racism, sexism, homophobia and queerphobia, transphobia and transmisogyny, fatphobia, ableism and classism. I recognize that as long as these systems are in place, this work will always be aspirational and incomplete.
I have particular competencies in working with:
- People of Color. I am committed to having challenging, nuanced conversations on the complexities of racial, ethnic and national identities, while also centering those POC most vulnerable to violence and marginalization. I am also particularly and personally invested in developing the discourse around mixed race identity and psychology.
- Trans, non-binary, genderqueer and other gender non-conforming and gender diverse individuals, and their partners and families.
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer folks.
- Polyamorous and non-monogamous individuals, couples, families and other relationship configurations, or anyone who practices relationship anarchy.
- Activists, organizers and others involved in social justice movements and struggles for liberation.
To learn more about my services or schedule your first appointment, call me at 510.545.3415 or email me at email@example.com.
Amina Elfiki, LMFT #124303