Ryan Hoffman, MA
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #90826
“It isn't by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.” -Ken Kesey
Sacred Space for Individuals
The complex demands of daily life in the Bay Area can activate adaptive strategies that cause further pain. Amazingly, the natural healing capacity of the human being runs so deep that even the parts of ourselves that are causing us difficulty can guide us toward becoming more whole. Addiction, Depression, Anxiety, Compulsions, Obsessions, Stagnation, Rage, Fear, Going Numb – are all attempts to communicate misalignment somewhere within the system. These defense mechanisms can be soothing in the short-term but can become obstacles to further self-development and long-term health if their messages are not understood. If we listen deeply and compassionately enough to the wisdom of our body and mind the previous obstacles to our wholeness can become the catalysts of deeper awareness, meaning, agency and personal fulfillment.
My aim is to help you explore both the known and unknown parts of yourself so that you can more easily navigate your inner world, your relationships and the demands of life. My work is inspired and informed by a number of psychological modalities including Transpersonal, Somatic, Depth, Experiential, Humanistic and Psychodynamic approaches.
My primary goals as your individual therapist are:
- To understand where you are now and where you want to be
- To clarify the ways in which historical experiences are alive in your present felt sense of the world and relationships
- To expand awareness and alignment of mind, body and spirit
- To deepen understanding of your nervous system and help decode your emotions as a form of valuable information rather than experiences to be avoided or conquered
- To support the continued evolution of healthier relationship patterns and boundaries
- To use the embodied wisdom from the above processes to support your ability to choose the future you want
Neutral Ground for Couples, Families and Small Groups
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ― C.G. Jung
Navigating the intricacies of our own being can be difficult enough. The complexity becomes even more challenging to negotiate when you add the myriad variables involved in maintaining relationships. We are often too busy maintaining our own worlds to sit down and hash out the interpersonal issues that are causing discord in the home or workplace. Designating a time to communicate with each other in a neutral space can provide the common ground needed for mutual understanding and compromise.
Couple’s or Small Group therapy can be helpful in any phase of any relationship, whether the relationship is between intimate lovers, family members, business partners, or roommates. Therapy can change the momentum of a downwardly spiraling relationship, deepen an already strong bond by ensuring that minor conflicts don’t boil over into larger issues, or help the process of consciously uncoupling in a manner that invites deeper respect rather than deeper division. Therapy can be short or long term depending on the relationship of the participants and the particular goals for their work together. Exploration can be focused on solving a single pressing issue or it can zoom out and incorporate a broader picture while drilling into deeper layers of the relationship.
Developing more authentic relationship involves:
- Developing honest and open communication
- Working through conflict avoidance strategies
- Owning personal experience AND honoring the experience of the other(s)
- Emotional awareness and self-regulation
- Responding mindfully rather than reacting automatically
- Examining familial attachment patterns that affect how we navigate relationships
- Establishing healthy boundaries that are comfortable for all parties
- Creating shared meaning and rituals
- Using the above strategies to establish more safety and trust in the relationship
This transformation can be smoother and more sustainable with the aid of a neutral third party to provide tools, feedback, translation and reality-checking.
Personal Development Tools for Teens and Adolescents
The coming of age journey is often most challenging during the teen and adolescent years. There is enormous pressure to fit in, to get good grades, to excel in extra-curricular activities, and to decide what to do for a living. Factor in changing hormones and the challenges of school and home life and these years can become downright treacherous. Being a former struggling young adult myself, I am committed to offering sessions for teens and adolescents who are having difficulty finding their place in the world. As the world becomes more complex and demanding, anxiety and depression are becoming more and more prevalent in middle and high school. If you are a teen/adolescent or the parent of one, this is likely already evident to you. Talking to those we love the most can often be particularly difficult during times of struggle. This is often true for both the person in pain and those who want to reach out to them. Having a non-judgmental safe space to unpack and develop deeper self-understanding, emotional regulation and relationship skills is life changing for many young adults. The benefits are evident in their sense of self, as well as relationships with peers, family and the world as a whole.
What do people explore in therapy?
- Spiritual/peak experience integration
- Sense of stagnation/regression
- Obsessive and compulsive behaviors
- Substance use
- Developmental trauma and relationship wounding
- Identifying and setting boundaries between self and others
- Compassion/caregiver’s fatigue
- Existential crisis
- Identity formation
- Entering into new relationships or consciously uncoupling
- Adolescence and navigating adulthood.
- Adding a new child to the family
- Grieving the loss of a loved one
- Matriculation into a new academic program
- Graduation into the “real world” with a degree and debt
- Starting a new job or soul searching for a more meaningful career path
A few potential benefits
- Reinvigorating connection to awe of childhood and sense of play
- Resolving challenging dynamics within families or other relationships
- More authentic communication with self and others
- Deeper connection with wisdom of body and mind
- A compassionate and non-judgmental toolkit for working through mental/emotional blockages
- Integration of powerful experiences
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” -C.G. Jung
A note on Diversity
Knowing the systemic challenges of diverse populations is important for good therapy, understanding privilege and lack of privilege is essential to understanding our experience as humans. Understanding the legacy of trauma that our ancestors have endured helps put our own suffering into context. I strive to study the past and stay aware of the present social climate in order to understand the unique challenges of different populations. Despite this knowledge of overarching patterns, I do my best to assume that I know nothing about your identity and your experience of being who you are. Race, gender, sexuality, spirituality, and all other ways of categorizing ourselves are an awe- inspiring spectrum with infinite points that do have patterns but that we all experience in our own unique way. My goal is to help you deepen your connections with your culture of birth and your culture of affinity, while honoring the authentic unique you
Who am I?
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Psychology and earned an M.A. from John F. Kennedy University in Holistic Counseling with a focus on Transpersonal psychology. I wrote my master’s thesis on the intersection of spiritually emergent experience and soul work. I strive to bring honesty, mindfulness, compassion and humor to my personal growth edges and those of my clients. In addition to my academic studies I draw inspiration from personal experience, observation of nature, and art.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” -C.G. Jung
1600 Shattuck Avenue
- Individual Therapy
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Child & Adolescent Therapy
My fee is $100 for a 50-minute individual session and $120 for an 80-minute couple's session. I am committed to offering a sliding scale to make therapy more accessible.
Rawna Romero, LMFT #41466