- Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Masters of Arts, Counseling Psychology
I am a warm, supportive, nurturing, and direct therapist. Whether you are struggling with anxiety, depression, the stresses of everyday life, or the aftermath of trauma, we will focus on both alleviating your immediate sources of worry and distress and increasing your sense of safety, security, and well-being.
As a holistic and somatically oriented therapist, I believe it is important to integrate the mind, body, and spirit in the process of psychotherapy so that deeper awareness and true change is possible. As we meet, I will offer you an opportunity to work experientially as well as to share through talking. Whatever approach we employ, I hope you will leave each session feeling supported and accompanied in your journey.
I have come to this work by way of the body. I believe the body holds immense wisdom on a physical, emotional, spiritual, and transgenerational level. Growing up, my identity was tied to my athleticism as a runner. After undergoing four extensive surgeries to my knees as a teenager, my identity and my relationship to my body were shattered. I was told I could never run again. In addition to a loss of a cherished identity, I also began experiencing debilitating chronic pain. In my physical and emotional suffering, I found the mind-body practices of yoga, meditation, and dance at the age of 18. Through these practices, and later through somatic psychotherapy, I began the long (and ongoing) journey of transforming my relationship to my pain and body.
In my healing process, I’ve found ritual and nature to be my greatest resources. Ritual provides a powerful vehicle for personal transformation, providing invaluable opportunities for acknowledging yourself and others, grieving, releasing, grounding, and setting boundaries. My daily yoga practice is a ritual in which I can show up for myself each day. Nature reminds me of my bravery, connectedness, purpose, and of all things sacred. I am an avid traveler and outdoor adventurer.
I received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I am also a registered yoga instructor and Reiki and bodywork practitioner. In addition to my private practice, I work with adolescents as a school-based therapist.
I deeply value creativity and curiosity in the therapeutic process and approach therapy intuitively and relationally. I find it vital to foster a therapeutic relationship grounded in trust and honesty. Together, with curiosity and mindfulness, we will explore and uncover the patterns and beliefs that stand in the way of you living the life you desire. We will co-create a space where all parts of you are held with compassion. In this space, you will move towards what is so that you are able to greet and transform that which limits you. In your therapy, we will explore the language of your body to gain insight into parts of yourself previously kept in your subconscious or under muscular holding, tension, or pain. I give primacy to the breath as our main life force and physical and psychological resource, which means I work closely with your breath during sessions. Depending on what feels right for you, I may incorporate breath work, meditation, yoga poses, gentle movement, or therapeutic touch into our conversation-based sessions. I also incorporate art making and drama therapy techniques into our sessions.
With my commitment to social justice, I enjoy working with and welcome people of all identities and backgrounds to my practice.
- Youth: 12-18
- Young Adult: 18-25
- Adults: 25-65
- Premarital Couples
- Persons in Polyamorous Relationships
- Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
- Interfaith Couples
- LGBTQIAA+ persons
- Persons in Polyamorous Relationships
- Persons Recovering from Traumatic Events/Experiences
- Persons with Histories of Physical or Emotional Abuse
- Spiritual Seekers/Practitioners
- Experiential Therapy
- Relational Psychotherapy
- Somatic Psychotherapy
- Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy
I feel a special affinity in helping individuals, couples, and adolescents with the following:
• Depression and anxiety
• Trauma or PTSD
• Chronic pain/illness
• Feeling stuck
• Loss of passion
• Grief around the loss of a loved one or an aspect of one’s life
• Major life transitions
• Divorce or adult children of divorce
• Challenge with family dynamics
• Difficulty with romantic relationships or attachments
• Relationship ambivalence
• Personal, emotional, or spiritual growth
• Support with developing intuition
• Clearer boundaries with self and others
1919 Addison, Suite 301, Berkeley, CA 94704
- Tuesday Afternoon
- Tuesday Evening
- Wednesday Morning
- Wednesday Afternoon
- Wednesday Evening
- Friday Afternoon
Please call or email to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit for each other. I look forward to speaking with you.
Meridel Tobias, LMFT 48745