Chynna is Caribbean American and a Womanist in every way. Her mother’s Trinidadian roots and her father’s Puerto Rican heritage are integral to who she is, how she loves herself and how she loves others. In different counseling iterations over the years, first as a substance abuse counselor and later as a case manager, she watched patients wrestle with their pain while knowing there was a better way but lacking the skills and knowledge. For her it is not about solving issues for her patients, but rather introducing more light for them, so that they are able to see their own path to liberation from pain. Over time, Chynna learned the deep power of curiosity and the roaring strength of silence. She learned to love the non-linear healing and wholeness that inevitably reveals itself to patients. She believes in each patient, and that the goals for change they set out for themselves are attainable. It is imperative to her that it is the patient’s goals, not her own, that are primary. The value she adds to the lives of her patients is that she approaches her work from a strengths-based perspective. In assessment, she spends time identifying her patient’s strengths, because these can often be overlooked. Drawing upon these strengths, Chynna helps patients see their own resources for change and growth. Unlearning long held patterns is important work that requires patience. Having patience as a guide to help patients learn to replace unhelpful patterns is key to developing healthier ways of seeing themselves, others and the world. Chynna knows wellness is achievable so she continues to offer hope and possibility as patients grow towards their goals. Her practice is unique in the way she infuses humor throughout her work. Chynna hopes that patients graduate from working with her feeling confident in their abilities to recognize and meet their needs with deeper knowledge and commitment to their own healing journey.
Maria is a first-generation Mexican-American woman who has worked in the mental health field and with the geriatric population for over 10 years. She has provided grief counseling, transitional support through life changes with couples, families and groups of unrelated persons. We are all individuals who require different interventions for navigating our personal goals and challenges/changes in life. The process of creating individual plans based on a patient’s strengths and resources is a creative process that helps Maria find joy and excitement in the work that she does. She loves that her work allows patients to build their tool box for managing phases in their lives. In addition to being a psychotherapist, Maria is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation Counselor (SUDRC) and Zumba Instructor.
Giselle is an Afro-Latina, Army Veteran, survivor, and overcomer. She is also fluent in Spanish. She has always known her calling was to become a therapist in order to help others overcome. After serving in the military, Giselle felt she needed to get into the field to better support and serve those who are struggling and need guidance toward the light out of darkness. She enjoys working with patients who are brave enough to reach out for help and willing to work towards reaching their goals. She walks alongside her patients, helps them process, and teaches them tools and skills to their goals. Giselle adds value to her patients’ lives by giving them her full attention, showing them she is invested in their wellbeing, and by being there for them every step of the way. Giselle most enjoys the therapeutic relationship and seeing progress in the work she does. She uses her own life experiences and curiosity to empathize and validate her patients. She wishes for her patients to graduate from therapy feeling like they no longer need it because they’ve learned the tools and skills they need to make it and to also feel secure knowing that if they ever need help they can reach out anytime.
Geovana is a child of immigrants (First-generation Chicana) and understands the experience of adjusting to both the family’s culture and American culture. She is a feminist who advocates for mental health, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ issues that need to be heard. Her therapeutic work experience includes working with young adults with various mental health concerns. Geovana hopes that sessions are a safe space for her patients to share and grow. She hopes to add value into the lives of her patients by instilling confidence in knowing they have grown within their time together.
The Online Mindfulness Group for Teens will be an 8-week online skills-based group for high-school-aged teens targeted toward those with an interest in developing mindfulness skills. We’ll cover a number of topics, including:
introductory mindfulness skills
skills for navigating intense emotions
managing social media, substance and alcohol use
This group welcomes clients across gender, sexuality and neurodiversity spectrums. The facilitators are committed to the continual pursuit of culturally responsive care.
This group is run by Jeremy Prillwitz LAADC and Darcy Dittrich AMFT.
I endeavor to bring warmth, awareness, and connection to my sessions. I co-create a unique healing experience with clients, often using humor and creativity to encourage mindfulness, self-compassion, and change. I believe firmly that healing is non-linear, and absolutely that it is possible. My colleagues have described me as “compassionate, deep-feeling, inquisitive and intuitive.” My clients have described me as “warm, accepting, and caring.”
I tend to work from a blend of humanistic, relational, and psychodynamic lenses, which means I work to help clients gain clearer insight into their lives, identities, and relationships while holding that each person is a unique, valuable being. We’ll look at patterns that have shown up again and again in your life by gaining a deeper understanding of your emotions, thoughts, early-life experiences and beliefs. Once we can see these patterns clearly is when we can begin to approach the change you’d like to see. We’ll also focus on your relationships, values, and autonomy. I borrow techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Self Compassion, and Motivational Interviewing. You may or may not be familiar with these theories and terms, and ultimately you probably don’t need to be! Once we establish your goals, we’ll develop a treatment plan with what’s best for you.
I pursue antiracism, feminism, Harm Reduction, Health at Every Size (HAES), LGBTQ+ allyship and disability justice. I am trauma-informed. I encourage the discussion of intersectional identity. If you’re not sure what that means, let’s talk about it!
I earned my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute in Berkeley. I completed my Clinical Internship at SF AIDS Foundation’s Stonewall Project, a counseling program dedicated to providing Harm Reduction-based substance use and mental health treatment to gay, bi and trans men who have sex with men (MSM) who are interested in addressing their drug or alcohol use. I have specific clinical experience working with anxiety, depression, substance and alcohol use, sex and sexuality, career coaching, identity, trauma, and relationships. I have a deep understanding of multicultural relationships, work stress, life transitions, blended families, performing arts, chronic pain, and intuitive eating.
Prior to beginning a career in counseling, I worked at tech startups and Fortune 500 corporations for a decade. This helped me develop a strong sense of professionalism, and also exposed me to the pressures of our modern working world. I’ve witnessed the impacts of stress, burnout, and discrimination. Supporting my colleagues in their struggles deepened my interest in pursuing a career helping others with healing and growth.
I grew up in the Northeast, and have also lived in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, plus a brief time in Rome. I love exploring and learning about new cultures, but California has been my home since 2010. My favorite things to do include: walking, hiking, dancing, yoga, listening to music, painting, singing at the top of my lungs, cooking, baking bread, meditating and taking naps.
Are you experiencing critical thoughts or feeling that you’re not good enough? Have these thoughts started to cloud your sense of who you are and weigh you down?
I am here to help you put these painful thoughts to rest.
The burdens of tough experiences pile up and cause both an emotional and a physical toll. You may have noticed that not only are you feeling down, but your work and relationships are also suffering. When our feelings have not been sorted out, it is common to feel the weight of them and to feel stuck.
I view myself as a guide to walk side-by-side with you, supporting you with getting to know the parts of yourself that at times lead you to spiral as well as the parts of yourself that help you to thrive. Confidence, courage and connection are a few of the natural results of working mindfully to manage both what is pleasant and unpleasant.
As you learn to experience calm, it helps with resilience and continued self-discovery so that you enter into a sustainable relationship with yourself and those around you.
When you feel good on the inside, you radiate on the outside.
Click on the “web site” button to schedule a consultation so that we can learn more about one another. I’m excited to hear about the goals you have for yourself and explore ways I can help you to accomplish them.
Join William Ma and Christhmus Presence for pay-as-you-may virtual group therapy. Sessions start 8/24. Late enrollment closes 9/7.
Sessions are 90 minutes and will be held once a week over the course of 10 weeks. Group capacity is 8-10 people and open to those 21 and up.
About Will (he/him/his):
Will (William Ma) is Bay Area born and raised, with a combination of Chinese (by way of Taiwan) and white ancestors. Significant therapeutic influences include Relational therapy, somatics, feminist psychology, as well as existential and transpersonal therapy. He is certified in Internal Family Systems and Brainspotting therapeutic modalities, and can answer questions such as “what even is that”, sometimes at great length. He is nourished by reading, doing ancestral work, spending time under the water and walking in the forest.
He has been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2016. (LMFT #96148)
About Christhmus (pronoun at your pleasure):
Christhmus Presence (Chris Chu) will be facilitating all groups above, and is a 3.5-generation Muwekma Ohlone (San Francisco) land-settler, and Chinese-American Queer by Ancestors’ way of Guangdong, China. Pillars that guide them are liberation psychology, narrative psychology, somatic psychology, trauma-informed therapy, spirituality, and expressive arts. Tools held in support of self-resourcing, clarity, and ancestral connectivity include meditation, Tapping, and Brainspotting. They enjoy plants, creative expression, the power of community, and being in water.
Registered Associate MFT #125037 through The Center for Mindful Psychotherapy, supervised by Shawana Booker LCSW #29165
Sometimes life sucks. We start to lose motivation, or focus. We spend too much time ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. We eat and sleep too much or not enough, or find other unhealthy avenues toward so-called happiness. I know how it is, because I’ve been there.
As your therapist, I’ll relate to you as a human first. My practice centers on creating a safe space for my clients to be themselves. I utilize a cognitive-behavioral approach proven to help overcome everyday, real-world challenges. My approach is tailored to maximize your involvement in your own healing, and centers your humanity as a valuable source of guidance.
I have experience working with individuals of all backgrounds and identities, with a particular expertise on working with clients facing depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and trauma. Send me a message, and let’s figure things out together.