Keri (Kathryn) Sills-Payne
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology
I help people who are seeking deeper meaning, connection, and purpose in their lives. As a queer- and spiritual-identified woman, I often work at the intersection of spiritual, sexual, and gender identity, supporting the complexity of that experience. People like me often find communities that will honor one part of their identity while ignoring the others. In my practice, LGBTQIA-identified individuals and couples in the Bay Area can access a safe therapeutic environment that affirms each layer of their identity, facilitates meaningful connections, and awakens purpose. My unique relational-Gestalt psychotherapy approach encourages clients to tap into their true potential and live a life with deeper meaning and fuller joy.
I also specialize in autism and educational therapy. Anxiety can have a large impact on quality of life. If you have autism, strict behavioral methods will not reduce chronic anxiety because they do not address the underlying social and emotional experience. My well-developed approach uses the latest findings in psychology, education, and neuroscience to tremendously reduce autism-related-anxiety.
What's the best compliment you've ever been given? I remember mine. I once said to a friend, "I have an idea!" and he responded "YES!" I laughed and reminded him that I hadn't told him my idea yet. I'll never forget what he said back to me. He looked me in the eye and said, "I always support your ideas because I trust your character. I know you'd never suggest anything that would put me in harm's way." My friend really saw me in that moment and I was so grateful for his trust in me.
Trust is important in therapy and can be built over time. I hope you come to know me in this way: trustworthy and having your best interest at heart.
I studied at University College London, consistently ranked a top ten university for psychology worldwide. At the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University, I further developed my clinical psychology expertise.
I developed a strong relational-Gestalt framework by training intensively for three years at the Relational Center in Los Angeles. I am certified in Brainspotting, a somatic, brain-body approach derived from EMDR techniques and used for trauma recovery and central nervous system regulation. In 2018, Daniel Franklin, PhD, acknowledged my support and intellectual contributions to his book Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities, published during my time as a director at Franklin Educational Services.
Many people fear meeting with a therapist for the first time. Will it be too intense? Will they "get" what I'm going through? So they put off that first appointment because it can feel scary to take a chance on someone they’ve never met. I get it.
I have trained intensively in several different approaches of therapy and over the years I have thrown out every technique and theory that has not proven to make a significant difference for my clients. In my experience, a dual approach has proven to really work: Brainspotting and relational-Gestalt therapy.
Here is why it works:
1. It feels genuine and authentic for my clients and myself.
2. It cuts through surface symptoms to deeper issues that really need our attention.
3. It is affirming and inclusive of diverse experiences.
4. It feels safe and transformative.
5. Although we collaborate on how our time is spent, as the client you are your own expert.
I value freedom from trauma. I value meaningful relationship with oneself, others, and any higher power one might acknowledge. I value showing up—however you are. I value being honest with myself and others, which touches on being genuine and pure of heart. I value hermeneutical inquiry and a phenomenological lens. I value curiosity and radical inclusion. I value diverse community, healthy interdependence, and social justice.
- Youth: 12-18
- Young Adult: 18-25
- Adults: 25-65
- Persons with Disabilities
Persons with Autism or Learning and Behavioral Differences
- Gestalt Therapy
- Humanistic Therapy
- Relational Psychotherapy
- Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy
- Credit Card
462 Elwood Avenue Suite 3, Oakland, CA 94610
- Monday Morning
- Monday Afternoon
- Tuesday Morning
- Tuesday Afternoon
- Wednesday Morning
- Wednesday Afternoon
- Thursday Morning
- Thursday Afternoon
My full fee for a 50-minute session is $180. I have a limited number of sliding scale slots available based on financial need.
Appointments are available in-person during daytime and evening hours at my office near Lake Merritt in Oakland. Though I do not highly recommend it, I also offer appointments via online sessions.
Email me at email@example.com or call (510) 214-2486 to set up a free 20-minute consultation.
When we connect, feel free to share what you are experiencing, what prompted you to call, and ask me anything about my therapy practice. If you leave a message, please let me know what times are best to call you back.