California License #100068 MFT Marriage and Family Therapist
I am a licensed psychotherapist living and working in the Bay Area. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and after years working in social services moved to San Francisco to pursue graduate studies.
I hold a Masters in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Art Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Post-graduation, I gained in-depth expertise in addiction medicine and treatment of co-occuring disorders, while working in a long term residential treatment program.
I led a cutting-edge crises intervention and stabilization team, treating individuals with significant mental health and substance use issues, and connecting them to long term community services.
I have also provided grief counseling to adults and children at a grief clinic, taught dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness-based and art therapy to community groups, and worked with adolescents and children to support their social and emotional development.
I am certified in eco-therapy through the Earth Body Institute, and I have led individuals and groups in nature based sessions and workshops.
In addition to my 12 years of professional work in mental health, I am also a close family member of someone with a lifelong mental illness. I understand the difficulty accessing effective treatment and the cycle of crises and rescue families can get stuck in.
I lost a parent to COVID-19 in early 2020 and I specialize in working with grief and loss related to the death of a parent or primary caregiver.
My therapeutic style is active, practical and curious. Previous clients have described me as calm, approachable, patient and kind. I love the outdoors, and I find much healing in the natural world. I hope to hear your story and help you move through fear and confusion into a brighter, stronger future.
I want to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Ohlone, Karkin, Chochenyo, Ramaytush, Coast Miwok and Yokut native peoples. To support reclaimation of indigenous land for stewardship, community and ceremony, donate to Sogorea Te' Land Trust.
How I Work
Remember to Breathe
Clients engage in therapy to help them better manage mental or emotional distress that is interfering with their ability to live a full and meaningful life.
My therapy practice focuses on alleviating these feelings, learning how to tolerate distress when appropriate, and changing behaviors when they are interfering with one's goals.
Grief, trauma, stress are all experiences that are stored in our body memory. I recognize the power of movement and the positive effects of nervous system calming and regulation it offers. I frequently use Mindfulness-based practices with clients such as guided meditation, breathing practices and walk and talk therapy sessions.
Some experiences are so profound that words are not enough. We live and heal through creation. I utilize Expressive Art Therapy, Drama Therapy, and Eco-psychology as ways to uncover new truths hidden in the subconscious and process emotional trauma in a safe and supported way.
Beginning therapy is an opportunity to start offering yourself more compassion and grace.
I have worked with adults and adolescents for over 13 years who have experienced complex trauma, grief and addiction in outpatient and inpatient treatment settings. I specialize in:
Major Depression and Anxiety
Grief and Loss with a specific focus on loss of a parent(s)
Panic attacks and Phobias
Addiction Medicine (Harm Reduction)
Adolescent and Family Therapy
Our relationships can bring out the best and worst in us. Each of us has a history of beliefs, desires, values and experiences we bring into how we relate to one another. I help families learn about their specific conflict and connection dynamic and how to establish specific ways to engage each other with a deeper understanding and a greater capacity for intimacy.
My work with teens and young adults largely draw from my expressive arts background, utilizing writing, music, art, story creation, interactive games and non-judgmental discussions that focuses on reducing anxieties and phobias related to school, social relationships or family stressors. I work with the whole family and it is my goal to help bridge those communication and understanding gaps which create tense and difficult dynamics between parents and children.
Your Mental Health Starts Here
Alicia Parker, LMFT CA License 100068