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.
As a psychotherapist, I work on the level of the heart. I bring warmth, presence, deep empathy, and unconditional compassion to my clients. My work is grounded in mindfulness which allows us to open up to our experience with presence and compassion which supports change rather than judgment which keeps us stuck. I believe we have a natural capacity for growth, healing, and self-actualization which often gets blocked by our beliefs. I blend mindfulness based therapies such as Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Somatic Awareness with other evidence-based modalities such as Internal Family Systems and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. I also draw from Non-Violent Communication to teach effective communication skills.
What I love most about doing therapy is helping people find self-love and grow their self-worth. I’m passionate about providing an emotionally safe and physically comfortable space for people to connect with themselves and express their deepest truths. I feel a deep honor to be a compassionate witness, support, and guide through times of both darkness and light.
The DBT Mindfulness & Skills Group Series is a 22-session series for adults that teaches all the core skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy to a committed group of recovering individuals. This group may be helpful for those who struggle with their own emotional volatility or hypersensitivity in their personal or professional lives, unstable friendships, self-harm, emotionally manipulative communication patterns, reactive suicidality, overwhelming helplessness, emotional eating, codependent interpersonal style, sex or gambling or other form of process addiction, and substance abuse.
The series includes the following:
Required: DBT Mindfulness & Skills Group – Tuesdays 5:30 – 7pm ($75 per group)
Required: DBT Homework & Diary Card Review – Thursdays 5:30pm – 6:30pm ($35 per group)
Recommended: DBT Individual Therapy (Fee varies from $150-200 depending on the licensure level of the clinician)
All clients in this program receive a DBT binder with all skills, homework and diary cards.
All clients must be assessed in order to participate in this group series.
Kat Zwick runs this group, and they will be joined in the Fall of 2020 by post-doctoral associate Zo Amaro Jimenez. Kat was trained in a DBT treatment program and was supervised by a certified DBT practitioner for 3 years in Chicago, and Kat has also received intensive DBT-PTSD training directly from Behavioral Tech, Marsha Linehan’s training institution. Kat brings as much of adherent DBT as they can to an outpatient private practice, though it is modified to fit the setting.
Ride the wave…
Ride the wave is an expression that reminds us that sorrow, pain, happiness, triggers, relapses, slips, high highs, low lows, and everything in-between need not be waves that consume us, overtake us, define us, or drown us; rather we can gently and skillfully navigate these waves, from the surface, as if on a psychological or spiritual surfboard, with the help of others, our Wise Mind, our Higher Power, or Self, or Source keeping us afloat.
Our offices in Santa Cruz sit on the unceded territory of the Awaswas, one of the eight divisions of the Ohlone people. Their descendants are known today as the Amah-Mutsun Tribal Band. You can learn more about their conservation efforts that continue to this day and consider a donation HERE. Our offices in Oakland sit on the unceded territory of the Bay Miwok, also of the Ohlone people. Some of their descendants are members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe.
We honor the history that precedes us, we are grateful for the opportunity to work and live here and offer healing and relationship to clients and each other, on these indigenous peoples’ traditional homelands.
Please join us in taking a moment of silence to pay respect to all Ohlone people past and present.