Leah Sykes, MA
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #87641
As a therapist, I believe that my primary role is to support my clients in developing an internal sense of safety. With safety, pain can loosen and release. What remains is a felt sense of openness, ease and well-being. I cultivate safety through a warm, calm and accepting presence, and carefully attend to emotional and physiological regulation. Put simply, I help my clients feel grounded, contained and present while navigating emotional territory. For many, this is a new experience.
I tend to work well with people who struggle with anxiety and people who often feel hurt or missed in their important relationships. I also work well with people going through life transitions related to education, career and family. I especially enjoy working with new parents, single parents, and those who have used or are considering alternative approaches to family growth, including donor conception and single-by-choice parenting. I work with couples and individuals of all genders and sexual orientations.
I am influenced by humanistic psychology, somatically oriented trauma work, and attachment theory. My work is client-centered, resource oriented, somatic and relational. Client-centered means that I believe that my client knows best what is best, and its my job to create an environment for that knowing to emerge. I guide the process; my client guides the rest. Resource oriented means I may invite the client to focus on what is working and what feels good. Rather than seeking to push away challenging or painful experiences, this approach creates the safety necessary fully address difficulties. Somatic means that I work in a way that keeps the body in mind. This may mean talking about the nature of the nervous system, tracking breathing, or bringing awareness to the body’s sensations, feelings and images. Relational means that I pay attention to what is happening between my client and myself. Deeply inspired by attachment theory, I hold awareness that we are shaped by our relationships from before we are born until the day we die. In the same way that we are hurt in relationships, we can be healed in them. Therapy is one place where such healing can occur.
431 30th Street
Oakland, California 94609
- Individual Therapy
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Child & Adolescent Therapy
My fee is $100 per 50 minute session. I have several income-based sliding scale slots available.
Shirley Bar-Dvir, MFC #44258