Psychotherapy in
Petaluma and San Rafael



Mindfulness for Adults

If one or more of the benefits described at the bottom of the “Mindfulness” page are what you are looking for, then finding instruction in its practice is the next step. I offer individual instruction and coaching in mindfulness for adults, both in person and by phone. This can involve teaching a beginning client the basics all the way to coaching experienced mindfulness practitioners at the deepest levels of practice.

I provide both secular and spiritual styles of mindfulness instruction, depending on the interest and need of the client. I offer mindfulness coaching or instruction in person in San Rafael and Petaluma, and by phone.

Secular Applications of Mindfulness

Secular mindfulness focuses on the physical and psychological benefits mindfulness can catalyze. I work individually with beginners as well as seasoned practitioners. A beginner can expect to be introduced step by step to various mindfulness techniques, which, if practiced between sessions gradually develop into a deepening ability to attend to one’s ongoing, present moment experience in a relaxed, open, and equanimous manner.

For those who already have a well-established mindfulness practice, I offer the opportunity to refine the clarity and consistency of your practice leading to deepening insight. The practices and the choice of objects for mindful attention I teach to experienced students are tailored to the specific interests and needs of each person.

Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy

I also use mindfulness as a powerful tool in my psychotherapeutic work with adults. In the psychotherapeutic context, I guide the client through a process of mindful inquiry focused on problematic behaviors, challenging emotions, and underlying beliefs about oneself and the world. As insight deepens, patterns shift resulting in greater ease of being. Depending on the client, mindfulness in psychotherapy can be applied in either its secular or spiritual forms, depending on the wishes of the client.

My approach to mindfulness-based psychotherapy utilizes both Imaginal Psychology, with its openness to the imagery that naturally emerges from the unconscious through art, sandplay, dreams, etc., and Cognitive Therapy, which focuses on thoughts and their relationship to our emotional life. Within the imaginal approach, mindfulness, the ability to attend without judgment to present moment experience, allows greater access to the underlying emotions and transformative intuitive insights that such imagery can evoke.

In Cognitive Therapy, the therapist assists the client in the identification and changing of dysfunctional thinking, emotions, and behavior. Strengthening mindfulness skills helps the client to better track their own emotions, thoughts, bodily sensations, and behaviors as they are occurring in present time. It is this conscious attention to present moment experience that reveals a degree of choice with regards to problematic thoughts and emotions that had been previously hidden. Clients begin to gain more personal control over their own inner experience and its outward expression.

Psychotherapeutic work is always done in person in my therapy offices in Petaluma or San Rafael and, in my capacity as a post-doc intern, is always under supervisory guidance. Brief phone consultations between sessions are available, as needed.

Mindfulness for Parents and Teachers

In addition to my individual coaching of beginners, I also offer classes in the fundamentals of mindfulness in Petaluma especially designed for parents and teachers new to mindfulness practice. Call me for the details of the next class series.

Mindfulness as a Spiritual Practice

Imagine that increasingly subtle layers of your experience, including some that you may not yet even be aware of, are being gradually peeled back, eventually revealing in direct experience the underlying ultimate nature of mind itself. This is the domain of mindfulness as a spiritual practice.

My own experience of mindfulness includes both its secular applications and its use as a deeply spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition. This second style of mindfulness instruction that I offer draws on my 40+ years of Buddhist mindfulness or Vipassana practice, including my experience as a Theravadan Buddhist monk in Thailand and my many years of practice in the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions. I am authorized as a teacher in several Buddhist lineages that use various styles of mindfulness as a central practice.

As with my coaching of secular mindfulness, I tailor my teaching of mindfulness as a spiritual practice to fit the practice level, interests, and motivations of those I work with. My special areas of interest and expertise are using mindfulness and deep concentration to cultivate an experiential understanding of the Buddha’s teaching of Dependent Origination, the uses of deep states of Samadhi (the jhanas) as a context for mindful inquiry and liberating insight into the nature of mind, as well as the exploration of subtle energy and its relationship to experiences of spontaneous imagery that may arise in practice.

If you are drawn to explore in these ways, I encourage you to give me a call. I offer guidance in person in San Rafael and Petaluma, as well as by Skype or phone.