Margaret M. Clausen, Psy.D. (510) 851-9765
Areas of Focus for Psychotherapy
Traumatic Stress ----- Addiction ----- Depression
Relationship Difficulties ----- Loss & Grief
Life-Threatening Illness ----- Chronic Pain
A wide variety of men and women work with me in psychotherapy presenting the kinds of challenges listed above. I particularly work with after-effects of traumatic stress which may be the result of childhood experiences, military or job-related primary or secondary traumas, medical traumas, societal-level trauma, and traumatic loss.
It's common that we use substances or behaviors that become or simply are harmful to ourselves to cope with the after-effects of traumatic stress. I work in both harm-reduction and abstinence based models, again, depending upon your circumstances.
Some would say that much of psychotherapy is about processing loss and grief -- these are certainly some of the most difficult circumstances humans experience. We can feel grief from a variety of experiences, including the loss of an innocent childhood or the loss of a healthy body.
For many years I worked in hospice settings and cancer retreat programs especially with younger adults dying. I've accompanied many people at the end of life and continue to offer end of life doula services as well.
My Approach to Psychotherapy
Collaborative. Warmly intelligent. Seasoned. Interested in you.
Psychotherapy is a process. While I work from weeks to years with clients, I work toward lasting growth in any case. I'm interested in your unique experiences, strengths, challenges.
The modalities I use in psychotherapy all have in common that we are products of our history, biology, identifications, present circumstances, and the wider social environment. Mindfulness, psychodyanmic-psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, EMDR, and other somatic psychotherapies are among the perspectives I use to greater or lesser extent depending upon your needs and goals. We work together to use what is most helpful, and frequently what is most helpful evolves over time. Commonly, the psychotherapy relationship itself is the greatest vehicle to support transformation, and I pay attention to our interactions to deeply understand ways you relate to yourself, others, and the world.
Together with clients I work to ease distress, build on strengths already present, gain insights, and cultivate relating to yourself and other people in life-enhancing ways. Meaning-making, self-compassion, and relational skill-building are frequently a part of the process too.
I'm a seasoned psychologist with over 17 years of experience. I offer a secure therapeutic relationship where you can be yourself and grow.