- Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology
We are living in strange times. COVID-19 has made social distancing a new normal that changes so much about the way we live. However, though keeping distance is a present necessity, our need for connection remains the same. I am still accepting new clients and offering video/phone therapy for all seeking support during these times of uncertainty.
Humans are pack animals. We depend on our relationships to survive. So, when we are deprived of the love and care of supportive relationships, we find ways to meet these needs in their absence. These strategies help us minimize our pain allowing us to survive childhood and navigate adulthood.
Now you are finding that these survival strategies are becoming problems of their own. Do you struggle with letting your guard down, even for the people you love? Is it difficult to put your needs over the needs of others? Have you developed habits of avoiding "feeling" and find that you are disconnected from the world around you?
Therapy offers a unique relationship that invites you to explore your patterns and practice new ways of relating to others. I offer warmth, curiosity, and openness as together we seek out your ideal YOU and explore how to let this person shine through in all your relationships.
Therapy is my second take on a career. I previously spent 8 years working in Education, where I came to truly recognize the uniqueness of each student I encountered. We are all different learners, different thinkers, different feelers; all possessing unique talents and sensitivities. As a teacher, I saw first-hand how each person’s unique strengths and struggles affected their ability to succeed in school, and how limited our school system is for accommodating individual needs.
I made the decision to be a therapist so I could celebrate what is special and unique about each person I contact, rather than reinforce only the behaviors that fit the public-school model. The fact is: some characteristics are more rewarded in our society than others. In fact, character traits are devalued or even stigmatized if they don’t fit the norms of the dominant culture. I take a strong stance towards social justice, looking beyond these messages to find the strength and beauty in everyone.
I received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology at the University of California at Davis in 2008 and a master of arts in counseling psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2018. I have extensive experience working with teenagers and their families in the non-profit sector and educational settings. More recently, I have trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, supporting couples and individual adults with navigating their relationships to others and with themselves. I also have experience working with individuals struggling with addiction and am very comfortable working within the 12-step program framework.
My approach is warm, relational and collaborative, built upon the belief that you are the expert on your life and have the agency to be the change you are looking for. I offer compassion and a bit of playfulness as a fellow traveler on your healing journey. I believe this journey is both about looking inward at growth areas, problematic patterns, and strengths as well as looking outward to contextualize your struggles within the realities of your early life experiences, attachments and the many greater forces of the world around us.
I value storytelling. I believe in the healing power of telling one’s own story. As a therapist, I am a listener, first; and I look for connections that can help you understand your story in new ways.
I value context. So often people carry feelings of shame and guilt about their perceived deficits, past mistakes or present difficulties. I view every person as the product of their ecology, not by their personal struggles. This context matters! You are who you are because of where you came from and the world you live in now. I strive to see the whole picture of YOU and add depth and color to the parts of your picture that may not have been given the attention they deserve.
I value trust. It is a big deal to share your story and your vulnerabilities with another person. I take this privilege of holding your story very seriously. I come from a place of openness and acceptance and wish to honor your truth without offering judgment.
- Youth: 12-18
- Young Adult: 18-25
- Adults: 25-65
- Premarital Couples
- Persons in Polyamorous Relationships
- Foster Youth
- Gender Fluid or Gender Non-Conforming Individuals
- LGBTQIAA+ persons
- Persons Experiencing Grief and Loss
- Persons Recovering from Domestic Violence
- 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
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Relational Psychotherapy
- Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy
My office is two blocks away from the Downtown Berkeley BART Station. There is also plenty of metered parking available on the street in front, or free two hour parking on the other side of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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1911 Addison St. #102 Berkeley, CA 94704
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I have immediate availability for video or phone appointments and I am expanding my sliding scale openings to support those in need of support during these times of uncertainty.
If you are interested in setting up a phone consultation, please call or text me at (510) 422-1316 or email me at email@example.com.
If you reach my voicemail or send an email, please leave me a message with some good times for me to reach out to you via phone so we can discuss your needs and how I can help.
Deb Lyman, LCSW 22113