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Psychotherapy for Couples and Individuals | Walnut Creek & Oakland Psychotherapy for Couples and Individuals | Walnut Creek & Oakland


“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.” – H.H. the Dalai Lama

“Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens.” – Carl Jung

Psychotherapy Approach


T he interface between psychology and spirituality is central to my work and approach as a psychotherapist. I approach the psychotherapy interaction from the fundamental belief that as human beings we possess inherent qualities of wholeness, goodness, kindness, openness and love, and an innate capacity for healing, growth, and transformation.

Throughout our life journey, these qualities may become less evident due to the impact that difficult experiences, traumas, and challenging life events can have on our being. Our natural resilience, however, can reawaken and reconnect us to our fundamental nature and bring forth profound healing and fulfillment.

Psychotherapy is a process through which we strengthen the connection with our essential human qualities and embody them in daily life so we can navigate the turbulent waters of life with more ease and openness.

holistic approach means honoring the intimate interconnection of all our experiences as a whole, rather than treating them as separate parts. It includes working with the totality of who we are and how we are, through our experiences on an emotional, cognitive, physical, behavioral, mental, and spiritual level.

My primary interest is in helping individuals and couples find resolution to life’s challenges through an in-depth process of rediscovery of our basic nature of awareness and goodness.

Our Space

Creating a comfortable and safe environment in which to welcome you for the duration of our work together is of primary importance.

This means creating together a sacred space where all are welcome for exploration and where new beginnings can take place. The essence of this approach is to meet you as you are, honoring your life experience and inner wisdom without judgment.

Mindful presence and compassionate regard to your experience are central aspects of my approach. It is by mindfully connecting with our experience in the moment that we create the supportive conditions necessary for healing and change to take place. Empathy, compassion, and mindfulness are the natural means through which we can truly connect and communicate, see our human condition, and express, explore, and resolve our challenges.

A non-pathological and non-judgmental premise, means understanding that fundamentally there is nothing “wrong” with who and how we are. Rather there are life circumstances to clarify, understand, and resolve, personal patterns to explore, recognize and modify, and misunderstanding about self and life to elucidate.

contemplative approach means offering the opportunity to meet ourselves and our circumstances from the sacred ground of our Life – accessing the silent wisdom within that is often forgotten and bypassed by the busy-thinking mind. This is the silent space from which profound change and insight can rise and transform our lives.



My orientation is integral in nature. The interface between psychology and spirituality has been of great interest to me even prior to my educational training and it is central to my work and approach.

My formal training at John F. Kennedy University was based on a holistic approach to psychotherapy with an emphasis on Transpersonal Psychology: the integration of the spiritual dimension of human life with modern psychotherapy. During my training, I also dedicated ample time2 to the study of Buddhist Psychology, Existential and Humanistic Psychology and Somatic Psychology.

Over the years I have found that the integration of different compatible theories, when applied skillfully and appropriately, can be a powerful combination for deep insight and impactful change.

Hence, into contemporary therapeutic modalities, I incorporate the timeless wisdom and insight of Buddhist Psychology, Nondual Wisdom, Transpersonal Psychology and contemplative practices, especially Mindfulness Meditation.

From contemporary psychology, I particularly draw on Existential and Humanistic theories by valuing their emphasis on a non-pathological approach, and on self-determination, presence, authenticity, fulfillment, mastery, capacity for being, awareness and responsibility.

I incorporate Buddhist Psychology, nonduality, and contemplative practices for their unparalleled insight into the nature of mind, self, reality and the directions we can take to help us resolve emotional, existential and relational difficulties.The integration of these approaches into therapy is key to a more comprehensive approach to our well-being, and I feel fortunate to be able to offer it and integrate it into my work.

Another level of wisdom integrated into my work is the somatic aspect. By becoming aware of the felt sense of our experience through the bodies, we access our feelings more directly, without mental interpretations. This direct contact allows for both a more accurate assessment of our condition and for the capacity to develop this potent resource.

My use and integration of somatic and body-based therapies into my work draws also from my wide experience in the health, fitness and wellness fields spanning over 25 years. This level of expertise allows me to offer adjunct and compatible support to the client’s needs by providing well-being programs suited to each particular situation and designed to further support client’s therapy.

Education, Training and Experience

I have been practicing psychotherapy since 2008 and in private practice since 2014.

  • MA Counseling Psychology – John F. Kennedy University, School of Holistic Studies
  • BA Philosophy and Religion (honors) – John F. Kennedy University, School of Liberal Arts

In addition to my formal education I pursued the following relevant study and training:

  • Natural Awakening: Advanced Nondual Training (with Peter Fenner PhD.) 2011-2012
  • Nondual Teacher and Therapist Training (with Peter Fenner PhD.) 2010 – 2011
  • Existential-Contemplative Psychotherapy (with Ken Bradford PhD.) 2006 – 2011
  • Authentic Presence Training (with Ken Bradford PhD.) 2011
  • Psycho-Physical Training (with Bill Bowen MFA, LMT) 2008
  • Buddhist Psychology: 2003 – Present
  • Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy: 2006 – Present
  • Consciousness studies, neuropsychology, neuroscience, mind-body medicine: Self study

About Andrea

Licensed MFT offering offering holistic, mindfulness-based and contemplative psychotherapy to individuals and couples.