Los Angeles, CA
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I am passionate about helping individuals, couples and families find deep, meaningful, harmonious and passionate relationships! With over 24 years experience, I have the knowledge and wisdom ...
About MeI am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in West Los Angeles, California. I have over 24 years experience working with individuals, couples and families in transition. As a certified IMAGO therapist, I work with spouses and parents to deepen communication, resolve conflict and rediscover the joy of being together. In addition to private sessions in my Los Angeles office, I am also passionate about leading workshops for Engaged Couples. With years of experience in premarital counseling, I am happy to offer an Imago based workshop entitled, Start Right, Stay Connected. For couples who may desire deeper, more intensive, quicker resolution, I also offer one and two day Intensives.
I am also active in educating and training students and interns to become practicing therapists. I have taught and supervised at various universities and training sites around Los Angeles. Prior to coming to California, I served as a team therapist and supervisor at Houston Child Guidance Center working with children and troubled adolescents. I have given numerous workshops and presentations, taught graduate courses, and supervised many interns on their way to becoming licensed.
I am an active member of the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, Los Angeles Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, IMAGO Relationship Institute, and the Southern California IMAGO Institute. I am active in various spiritual settings and community endeavors. I love my profession and truly enjoy helping others to heal, grow, develop a heightened state of well-being and create more love and peace in their lives.
Recently, I co-founded the The Conversation Group, an organization of like-minded licensed and pre-licensed therapists. We work with you in a very safe and collaborative way to create conversations that open up paths to clarity, insight, and healing which can motivate movement toward the life you desire. Join our Facebook page for daily meditations and healing quotations.
Additionally, I employ three, very gifted, Marriage & Family Therapy interns:
Sexual Dysfunction Counseling
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Kayna specializes training in counseling for sexual dysfunction, sexually compulsive behaviors and sexual/gender diversity. Kayna provides individual and couples therapy for men and women struggling with internet porn use, compulsive sexual behaviors and general sexual dissatisfaction.
Counseling for Teens and Parents
Marriage & Family Therapist Intern
Kristine Gottesman, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, specializes in addressing the challenges facing adolescents (pre-teens and teens), young adults and their families. Kristine offers both individual counseling and family therapy. She has experience working with anxiety and depression, self injury, substance abuse and school related issues. Contact her to schedule an appointment. First consultation is half off her regular fee.
Emotional Issues of Chronic Illness
KAREN OLENDER KIPNIS
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Karen is a wonderful resource for families, couples and individuals with a variety of issues. Under my supervision, Karen also aids clients needing to work through emotional issues arising from chronic illnesses, especially Thyroid Disorders. Contact her for group or individual support.
Kayna, Kristine and Karen are available by appointment on a sliding-fee basis.
The Reason I Became A Helping Professional
In my 20's, I had the blessing of giving birth to identical twin daughters. Having received a degree in Psychology from the University of Denver a few years prior, I was fascinated with my daughters growth and development and the special relationship they shared. I enrolled in a graduate program at California Lutheran University in Marriage & Family Therapy in order to learn more about personality and family dynamics. Once my degree was complete, I moved to Houston, Texas in order to do an internship at Galveston Family Institute. I then did a post-graduate fellowship at Houston Child Guidance Center, where I continued to learn about relationships and families. Eventually, I moved back to sunny (but not so humid!) California and started a private practice in Santa Monica. About 10 years later, I learned about Imago Relationship Therapy and continued my training by becoming Certified. Over the years, my interest in working with couples led me to train in Encounter-centered Couples Therapy. I am passionate about relationships, and am continuing my advanced training in a three year Master Class with Hedy Schleifer in Miami, Florida.
I love working with couples to help them nurture their relational space and create deep and transformational connection.
Articles by Mary Kay Cocharo
In Imago theory, we posit that we come into the world as perfect, complete, vibrating balls of energy. If we receive messages from our caretakers which encourage our thinking, feeling, sensing, moving, being…then we remain relatively whole. If, however, our early messages are repressive (”stay still”, “don’t cry”, ” you’re not smart enough”, “I wish you’d been a boy”, “you were an accident”, etc.) , then certain parts of our wholeness are either shut down or exaggerated. We make these adaptations to our personalities in order to survive the family of origin. These “lost parts” are called the denied self, the lost self, the disowned self, or the “shadow” in Jungian terms.
In a recent training on Characterological Growth, the participants were asked to come to the workshop as their Lost Self. One woman who had been sexually molested as a child came dressed as a beautiful, sexy, powerful woman after years of having shut down her sexual self. One man came as a daredevil after a lifetime of “playing it safe”. I dressed as a goofy, silly, outrageous girl in response to parental messages about the importance of behaving within acceptable guidelines. Get the picture?
So, back to Halloween. Is it possible that we love Halloween because it offers us the possibility and the freedom to play with our Lost Selves; to dig deep into ourselves and bring out that missing part? I invite you to think back on your choice of costumes, this year and in years past. Perhaps, in your choice of playful disguises there is a kernel of information to help you see what you may have lost along the way. It’s never too late to grow into your perfect, complete wholeness!
I have the tools to help you heal the wounds of the past and experience your full potential as an individual and an intimate partner.
|Main Specialty||Communication Problems|
Dating/Being Single Support
|Time in Practice||25 years +|
|I practice in||My state/province only|
|Additional Expertise||Marriage and Family Therapist|
YourTango Expert Partner
|I offer my services||At my office|
|I am fluent in||English|
|Licence information||Expiration 1/1/15|
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