Skillful, Compassionate Therapy in Berkeley
Sophie Jani, MA
Registered MFT Intern, IMF #88635
Supervised by Dr. Anthony Guarnieri, MF #16878
I deeply believe that we all have the ability to heal. Your experiences have provided you with a world of strengths that has brought you here, to this very moment. Providing you a safe place to slow down and explore your patterns is the foundation of my psychotherapy practice. By delving into your inner life and unfolding your experiences, I hope to guide you through your own unique process of finding your truth. I’m not going to lie to you, things may feel worse before they feel better. However, I can only say from personal experience that by rising above the stories we have been told and continue to tell ourselves, we can potentially change how we are in this world.
I am a first generation Southeast Asian with a commitment to multiculturalism and social justice. I have a B.S. in Biology and Art History Minor from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. For six years I was a high school science teacher in Queens, NY. It was through my years of teaching in a diverse community that I started to develop kaleidoscopic vision – we hold so much complexity and there are many forces that shape us. Upon moving to the Bay Area, I worked for some time in pharmaceutical sales, only to come back to the helping professions.
I returned to school and graduated with a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Through my coursework, I became drawn to working with clients in the here and now, learning how memories reside in our bodies, the beauty of couples, children, and families, and the power of self-awareness and choice.
Therapy is one of those experiences in which we explore and honor your inner world in a unique way. This is a process that takes some time – time for us to develop a flow and time for me to learn how I can best meet your needs. My style is a bit eclectic. At times, we may be conversational, use art to express yourself, or try Hakomi, which is a body-based (somatic) technique. Because true change means replacing habitual patterns with new, more satisfying ones, Hakomi is less interested in solving specific problems and more focused on studying how your whole self is put together. I believe that if you change how you approach the events in your life, the quality of the events themselves will also change. For this reason, the session will likely focus more on your immediate experiences, and less on what you can do about a particular situation. This may entail studying sensations, feelings, dreams, memories, beliefs, ancestry, or images – whatever presents itself in the moment.
I absolutely love working with couples, which is why I sought further training in Emotionally Focused Therapy. This is an elegant and gentle way of validating the experience of each individual partner, while seeking to gain further insight into underlying factors that keeps the couple stuck in unhealthy patterns. Powerful change happens in the context of a relationship, meaning we all need someone to hold up a mirror to us as well as lovingly witness our feelings (without judgment). It is truly an honor for me to be able to facilitate a deeper level of communication between couples and notice a shift in how they see themselves and others.
For intense therapy, I may use EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This is a well-studied process of targeting core negative beliefs and attempting to replace them with more positive ones. This involves several sessions, including assessment and the actual reprocessing phase. Through inducing fast eye movements, negative beliefs may be unlocked from the brain and re-organized and revisited in a safe space. If interested, you can find out more information here: http://www.emdria.org/
I work with a wide variety of people and issues, such as:
• Adolescents, Children, & Families
• Anxiety & Depression
• Gender and Sexual Empowerment
• Intense Break ups
• Life Transitions
• Spiritual Awakenings or Breakthroughs
• Racial Trauma
• Grief & Loss
• Pregnancy & Postpartum Depression
• Survivors of abuse
Perhaps some of this may appeal to you, and if so, I hope we can meet in order to establish a good connection. I appreciate your interest and best wishes as you embark on your journey of self-discovery.