Skillful, Compassionate Therapy in Berkeley
Marie-Michele Atkinson, MA
Registered Associate MFT #105256
Supervised by Justine Polevoy, LMFT #36954
My approach to this work is highly relational, psycho-dynamically oriented, attachment-based and trauma-informed. My background is in Somatic Psychotherapy. The word “Somatics” can be defined as: “the body as perceived from within,” and points to an approach that greatly values the subjective experience of one’s own internal landscape. Together we work on fostering of a greater awareness of the mind-body connection and how the latter influences how you are relationally: with yourself and with others.
Each one of us has been and continues to be shaped by a unique, complex and ever-changing set of circumstances and intersecting identities. My aim is to connect with you from my own positionality and to facilitate the co-creation of a “safe enough” space in which emotions can be fully felt and explored. Within the context of a solid therapeutic alliance, learning to be in contact with and to express one’s authentic emotions can be the fuel for transformation. When working with couples, I like to incorporate elements from the EFT, AEDP and PACT approaches with principles of Non-Violent Communication (NVC). I am passionate about working with individuals, couples and families as I find that each of them offers its own sets of challenges and rewards.
I hold a Masters of Arts in Integral Counseling with a Concentration in Somatic Psychology (’17) from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (’12) also from CIIS. I completed my practicum at the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy (CSP) in San Francisco, CA where I worked with individuals and couples with presenting issues ranging from anxiety, depression, substance use and eating disorders to gender identity exploration, sexuality, immigration and economic hardship. My studies and practicum led me to develop a focus on developmental trauma, disorganized attachment and self-fragmentation. I have an extensive background in insight meditation, conscious movement and therapeutic touch. I can provide therapy in English and French.