Skillful, Compassionate Therapy in Berkeley
Stuart Sovatsky, PhD
Stuart Sovatsky, PhD, serves as Clinical Director of Blue Oak Therapy Center. He has been a therapist for 34 years specializing in saving troubled relationships. He holds degrees in Religion from Princeton University and Psychology from CIIS, where he was a Trustee from 1991-2007. He was the first choice to co-direct Ram Dass’s first “prison ashram” in 1977, and was first to introduce meditation to incarcerated youth and the mentally-ill in 1972-79. He is Co-president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and directs the first-ever “spiritual emergence” service, the Kundalini Clinic. He was co-convener of the forty-country World Congress on Psychology and Spirituality in Delhi, India with BKS Iyengar, Jack Kornfield and Sri Ravi Shankar. He is the author of Eros, Consciousness & Kundalini, Words From the Soul: Time, E/W Spirituality & Psychotherapeutic Narrative, Euro-Hinduism in the Columbia University Reference on Eastern Religion (ed, Robert Thurman), Your Perfect Lips, and articles on suicidal linguistics, gender, awe in infants, spiritual approaches to couples counseling, Buddhist impermanence, the enneagram, India’s “Culture of Enlightenment,” “Clinical Admiration,” and tantric yoga. He has presented throughout India, Russia, France, Germany, Slovenia, and the US. As a musician, he has three CD’s: “Mystery School”, “Eternal Trance Dance”, and “Feeling Energy”. He has directed Blue Oak Therapy Center since 1991.
To learn more about Stuart Sovatsky visit him at his website.
Nancy Carleton, MA, LMFT
Nancy was one of the founding interns present at the conception (in 1987) and birth (in 1988) of Blue Oak Therapy Center, and has served on its Board of Directors since receiving her MFT license in 1991. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, Nancy has over twenty-five years of experience editing books in the field of psychology, health, and spirituality, including works by bestselling authors such as Dan Millman, Lynn Andrews, John Robbins, Sanaya Roman, Terry Lynn Taylor, don Miguel Ruiz, and Deepak Chopra. She has a BA in Humanities from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She was recognized by the Commission on the Status of Women as an Outstanding Woman of Berkeley in the year 2000, and has served as Chair of Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustment Board and as Vice Chair of its Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as on the boards of various nonprofits. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her dogs, rabbits, birds, and an occasional hamster, and can be contacted through her website.
Claire Jeannette, MA, LMFT
Claire completed her Master’s Degree at Cal State, East Bay in 1987 and was licensed in 1989. Since then, she has completed two two-year post-graduate training programs and numerous seminars and workshops. Claire has also participated in weekly consultation groups and has always had regular individual consultation to support her in her clinical work. Prior to being a therapist Claire worked in government, universities and the private sector and as an activist for a number of years.
Louise Monsour, MA, LMFT
Louise has been in private practice for 14 years and has worked extensively with people who are in a transition period in their lives, and with those who have a trauma history. She works primarily with individual adults and couples in her Berkeley office. In addition to her teaching schedule at the JFKU School of Holistic Studies on the Campbell campus, she supervises interns, and is a consultant to non-profits that provide mental health services. She is a past board member and continues to be an active member of GAYLESTA, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender psychotherapists’ association of the greater San Francisco Bay area.
Michael Murphy, MA, LMFT
Michael graduated from JFK University’s School of Holistic Studies in 1990 with an emphasis in Transpersonal Psychology. A former intern at Blue Oak Therapy Center from 1991 until his licensure in 1994, he has been in private practice in North Oakland ever since. His therapeutic approach draws from intersubjective and relational theories, as well as an interest in the application of mindfulness and Buddhist principles. Michael’s intention and hope is to assist clients with enlarging their sense of identity, placing past–often hurtful–conditioning into a context of acceptance and compassion, thus increasing the capacity for choice and presence.
Sue Ellen Wise, MA, MFT
Sue Ellen is a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) with a private practice in Berkeley, California. Sue Ellen received her MA in Counseling Psychology from the Graduate School for Holistic Studies at John F. Kennedy University in 1993. She currently is Chair of the Counseling psychology program with a specialization in Holistic Studies at the Campbell Campus of John F. Kennedy University, and teaches “Ethics and the Law” and “Advanced Clinical Skills” in the MA program. Sue Ellen provides psychotherapy for individuals and couples who are seeking to improve their lives and their relationships, particularly during life transitions.
To learn more about Sue Ellen Wise visit her at her website.
Blue Oak Therapy Center was founded as a non-profit agency in 1987 in Berkeley. The vision of the founders was to create a counseling center in the East Bay that would serve the community. There was particular interest in serving the low-income individuals and families who were in need of psychotherapy services, but could not afford to pay licensed therapists. The creation of Blue Oak Therapy Center began when a few Marriage and Family Therapy Interns wanted to have the freedom to choose mentors and supervisors that embodied and worked from the psychological orientations that they found useful for themselves and their clients.
The founding interns also wanted to work at a place where they could maintain their relationships with clients as they became licensed therapists and shifted to private practice, rather than having to interrupt the therapy and transfer clients to other therapists, as so often happens. To stay in line with their vision, the founding members chose board members who would be supportive without a need to overly control the philosophy of the center.
Interns at Blue Oak Therapy Center take more responsibility for the running of the center than at other agencies. Rather than a top-down hierarchy where board members make policies and pass them down to interns, Blue Oak Therapy Center’s decision making process is one where interns make suggestions and requests, while the board reviews them and provides input and approval. This allows for change, fluidity, and responsiveness to the group of interns and clients who are at the center at any particular time, as long as the basic principles that Blue Oak Therapy Center was founded on are upheld.
In 1991, Blue Oak Therapy Center had become so successful that it outgrew its original space and moved to its present location on Prince Street. The large open space on the second floor was transformed into the current configuration of two waiting areas, five therapy offices, and a staff office.
Blue Oak Therapy Center Today
Today Blue Oak Therapy Center is thriving. Our collective culture is strong and supportive. Present interns make decisions not only about the running of the center, but also about what new interns to take into the group, subject to approval from our clinical director. We look for thoughtful, heartfelt practitioners who are committed to serving and making a difference. We choose interns who are not only interested in expanding their expertise, knowledge and professionalism, but also who have a desire to be there for each other and the East Bay community we serve.
Blue Oak Therapy Center is deeply committed to supporting and participating in charitable activities in the Bay Area. One of the ways in which we support our community is through charitable donations to local organizations. Blue Oak Therapy Center gives a monthly donation to local community organizations. The following organizations are amongst those we have given to:
Dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV and supporting individuals infected with the virus.
Focused on a charter high school for challenged students, after school programs, and childcare by youth for working families.
Bay Area Women Against Rape
Provides support services and a crisis hotline to women who have been sexually assaulted or abused.
Providing emergency food and shelter, transitional housing, and support services to homeless individuals and families.
Berkeley Women’s Refuge
Provides emergency shelter for women and children.
A South Bay non-profit, helping families from South Asia facing domestic violence, emotional abuse, cultural alienation, teen violence and family trafficking through counseling services, hotlines and support groups.
This Berkeley non-profit provides comprehensive services for dual diagnosis clients; their mission is to rehabilitate and restore the dignity of people who have “hit bottom”. Employees are former clients in recovery.
A San Francisco non-profit, which provides programs and services for the LGBT community; their mission is to unite and give visibility to this community, and to organize and plan for its political and cultural future.
A Berkeley non-profit which provides critically needed services to families with disabilities; their mission is to encourage non-pathological and empowering resources and early intervention services.
An Oakland non-profit which provides comprehensive, palliative services for women and their families recovering from cancer and/or grieving the loss of a loved one.
Blue Oak Therapy Center is a non-profit counseling center.
Established in 1987, we provide low- and moderate-fee psychotherapy services to the East Bay community. Because we provide our services at reduced rates based on our clients’ incomes, your donations are greatly appreciated. All donations go directly to the operations of Blue Oak Therapy Center, supporting its work in serving deserving clients, as it has for more than 20 years.
Donations to Blue Oak Therapy Center are tax deductible.
Donations in any amount may be sent in the form of check or money order to: Blue Oak Therapy Center, 3101 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, California 94705.