Larisa Blum, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #89078
I am a somatic therapist who focuses on relational, attachment and childhood trauma issues. I work with individuals and couples to address relationship ambivalence, co-dependence, anxiety, depression, major life transition, PTSD/trauma, shame/low self-esteem, poor communication and conflict, among other issues. I help with building awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and physical sensations to develop greater insight and to uncover new choices.
While there are many varieties of therapy, ultimately their purpose is to support us in liberating ourselves from the angst that our life, relationship, and even our internal experiences are not what we want. In trying to avoid discomfort and dissatisfaction, we often end up entangling ourselves in even larger problems–conflict with loved ones, isolation, depression, addiction, infidelity, and other challenges. Sometimes these problems stem from the past; sometimes they are in the present. Therapy helps individuals to navigate their external and internal realities to arrive at new possibilities and ways of experiencing themselves and others. As a therapist, I work both somatically and transpersonally, guided by my understanding of trauma and attachment theories.
My work is also influenced and informed by the following:
Dance. As a life-long dancer, I give primacy to the bodily experience. The mind exists not solely in our brain, but in the entirety of our physicality. In our therapy, we will refer to the body to gain access to burried information–parts of ourselves previously kept in the subconscious or under muscular tension. We will uncover physical and psychological resources. What holds us back transforms into what propels us forward.
Nature. As a vision quest guide, I am trained to lead people into nature to reestablish contact with our natural rhythms and with parts of ourselves we may not hear in the din of daily life. By accessing our internal state of nature, we can regain our purpose, find a path to healing, and access guidance for our journey. My experiences in nature inform how I hold the therapeutic container–with a fierce dedication to safety and an unconditional acceptance for all parts of your psyche.
Relationship. We do not experience ourselves in isolation. Our organisms are built to synch with one another, and our brains are in a constant, endless loop of mutual attunement. Our very experience of ourselves is shaped by those around us. This is the ultimate reason that therapy “works”–because, together, we create a new, intersubjective field that enables you to experience yourself in a new and expanded way.
As a therapist, my style is warm and direct. While I am nurturing and supportive, I also do not sugarcoat things and am transparent about what I think. I support the development of trust and safety in our relationship, so that together we can explore and process what may be inaccessible or overwhelming to do alone. I have come to this work because I deeply value human connection as a path to healing.
I received a Bachelors in Political Science from Duke University in 1993, a Juris Doctrate from the University of Virginia in 1997, a Masters in Writing and Consciousness from the New College in 2005, a Somatic Educator Certification from the Moving On Center in 2005, and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from JFK University in March 2013. Formerly, I was an attorney and a non-profit organization executive director.
445 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, California 94610
- Individual Therapy
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy
To set up an initial appointment, please call (510) 463-4619.