- Registered Associate Clinical Social Worker
Masters of Arts, Social Work
I believe (and research supports) that the best predictor of successful therapy is the quality of the working relationship between the therapist and the client. Like any relationship, much of that bond is based on a hard to pin down sense of fit. Finding this fit isn’t always easy, and I encourage any potential client to shop around a bit before selecting a therapist. Should you choose to work with me, I will honor the weight of that choice and endeavor to foster a space where your whole self feels welcome.
I support individuals who are exploring a wide variety of challenges and goals. Some areas of focus in my practice include:
*Grief and Loss
*Chronic Pain and Illness
*Creativity and Creative Blocks
*Relationship and Communication Challenges
*Disordered Eating and Challenging Relationships with Body/Food/Movement
*Major Life Transitions
*Highly Sensitive People
*Seeking One’s Voice in Life and Relationships
*Sexuality and Gender Exploration and/or Challenges
*Preparing for and Integrating Expanded State Experiences (psychedelics)
*Impacts of Oppression (racism, ableism, fatphobia, etc.)
*Engaging Reflective and Action-Oriented Anti-Oppression Work.
I love my work as a therapist. I am also a writer of many things— poetry, music, humor, and plays. I gravitate toward analytical and intellectual territory as much as I gravitate toward the realms beyond, where logic takes a back seat.
I have close to a decade of experience as a community counselor, social worker, and therapist working in various settings: suicide and crisis hotlines, schools, community mental health clinics, residential programs, and private practice. I received a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and I am a Master of Fine Art candidate at San Francisco State University.
My style is warm, curious, and straightforward, with a well-placed sense of humor. I’m a sensitive and attuned listener, skilled at navigating intense and complicated thoughts, feelings, and interactions.
In my experience, good psychotherapy involves more than just listening, and I especially enjoy working with clients who are seeking a collaborative and engaging experience. I will undoubtedly (and sincerely) smile, nod, and at times ask, “how did that make you feel?” I will also ask other kinds of questions, share my thoughts with you, reflect on patterns that may be emerging, and offer tangible tools.
I find that a flexibility in approach helps me meet the needs of different clients, and the needs of the same client, in different moments. Some of the schools of psychotherapy I draw from are: Feminist, Narrative, Psychodynamic, and Depth/Jungian. My attention to the mind-body connection and nervous system processes is informed by my training as a massage therapist and by continuing studies in body-oriented trauma healing modalities. If a client is interested, I enjoy using tarot cards as an alternative frame for exploring oneself and one's situation.
My work with people struggling with challenging relationships to food, exercise, and body is informed by the philosophies of Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size. For those with more acute eating disorders, I may want to collaborate with your physician, an eating disorder registered dietitian, and other members of your care team.
I strive to situate my life and my therapy practice in social, cultural, historical, and environmental context. Psychotherapy conducted without acknowledgement and engagement of these broader contexts can dismiss people’s real, lived experience, and perpetuate harmful dynamics and narratives that pressure people and communities to hide aspects of themselves not in conformity with dominant paradigms. Tending to our own “shit” is in part tending to collective “shit”, and doing such tending can be an act of generosity towards ourselves as well as something that helps us show up in deeper ways for the relationships, communities, and ecosystems we are a part of.
It’s important to me to work against the historical tendency of the psychology and social work fields to position clinicians as experts over the lives of others. So while I do have experience and knowledge that I will share in our sessions, I will also be transparent when asked questions, clear about my biases, expectant of us hitting territory that is in my blind spot, and grateful for feedback every step of the way.
I welcome clients of all ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation, class, relationship structure, ability, weight, spirituality, and demeanor.
- Young Adult: 18-25
- Adults: 25-65
- Seniors: 65+
- Gender Fluid or Gender Non-Conforming Individuals
- LGBTQIAA+ persons
- Persons in Polyamorous Relationships
- Persons Recovering from Traumatic Events/Experiences
- Persons Struggling with/Recovering from Addiction
- Persons with Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Persons with Histories of Physical or Emotional Abuse
Spiritual Seekers/Practitioners, Persons Experiencing Burnout, Persons in Kink/BDSM Communities
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Expressive Arts Therapy
- Humanistic Therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Relational Psychotherapy
- Somatic Psychotherapy
- Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy
Hakomi, Somatic, Jungian/Depth Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, Narrative Therapy, Psychedelic Integration
I do not at this time accept health insurance. If your insurance coverage includes reimbursement for therapy services, I can provide you with a superbill on a monthly basis.
- Credit Card
I reserve part of my practice for reduced fee/sliding scale spots. Please inquire if needed.
I currently offer video and phone sessions to California residents.
- Tuesday Afternoon
- Tuesday Evening
- Wednesday Afternoon
- Wednesday Evening
- Thursday Afternoon
- Thursday Evening
Please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (510) 394-2051 with any questions and/or to set up a free 20 minute consultation to explore if we are a fit.
Michael Marsman, LCSW #92899