MarkOliver.jpg

LOCATION: 
254 Church Street
San Francisco
CONTACT: 
(415) 494-7074
e-mail

Close, intimate relationships are something most (though not all) of us desire throughout our lives. We long and seek to be loved, held, understood and supported, and we discover that loving, holding, understanding and supporting someone else is wonderful too! But relationships are often incredibly challenging as well. We tend to bring all the “stuff” from our childhood, from our relationships with parents and siblings, into these adult couplings, and we end up with a wonderfully rich, sometimes glorious, sometimes unbearably painful situation on our hands. These relationships offer us an opportunity to grow, to heal the wounds and recover the missing pieces of our past, but the path can be arduous and painful at times.

My work with couples involves helping you to become aware of and understand the dynamics that are happening, usually unconsciously, between the two of you. I will point them out as they arise in session, and I will guide you in exploring them with curiosity, respect and kindness for yourselves. At the root of most conflict with couples lies a deep need to be loved, acknowledged and cared for. When we feel that that need is not being met, or that the opposite is happening, we experience a lot of pain and we lash out, withdraw or both. My job is to help you both see that at the heart of it all you want the same thing, but that your conditioning, that “stuff” from childhood, is operating beneath the surface, creating conflict and tension. Together we begin to identify and unpack the conditioning that each of you brings to the relationship, and in that process, understanding, empathy and caring have a chance to grow and flourish.

 I received my masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I am trained as a Somatic therapist, and so bring a body- oriented and mindfulness approach to my work. I also bring 20 years as a student of Zen Buddhism and Diamond Heart spiritual practices, as well as 18 years of experience facilitating emotional support groups for adults and children.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have, and I look forward to our meeting in person!