Psychotherapy in San Francisco or Oakland
Jim Walker, MFT
Counseling and Psychotherapy Cell phone: 510-684-4508
My Approach to Psychotherapy
My approach to therapy is supportive, engaged and interactive. I have over 15 years of experience and during those years I've helped people find different things from therapy. We start by helping you find some relief as soon as possible. We also start discovering what gives you the ability to manage your life more clarity, confidence and fulfillment.
Therapy is about you making discoveries that work for you and implementing those discoveries. That usually means reconditioning you away from what hasn't been working. It helps tremendously if you're willing to explore and discover more about yourself. It really helps if you're willing to do the daily work of changing what hasn't worked.
As we work together, we'll find your growing edges. We'll explore, experiment and put into practice what we learn. We'll help you integrate those changes into your life. As we go along, I'll attune the pace and intensity of our work together from your feedback.
Please call me to discuss this more: 510-684-4508 mobile. Let me explain to you how we might work together. There's also more to read below and on the other pages in this site.
"Therapy is first about discovering. It's about who you are and about what your deepest emotional attitudes are. It's not just about who you think you are. It's not opinion. It's not something you can know with the intellect. It's about who you are in the very heart of yourself." www.hakomiinstitute.com
Two Office Locations
Oakland office (near Grand Lake Theater):
445 Bellevue Avenue, Suite 104
Oakland CA 94610
San Francisco Civic Center office:
414 Gough Street, Suite 3 (cross street is Hayes)
San Francisco CA 94102
Personal Transformation and Neuroplasticity
Our past ways of responding to life have conditioned us to relate to our world from those experiences. When those were difficult, painful experiences, we can feel bad in any number of ways: anxious, numb, angry, lost...those old conditioned ways of being in the world make us know it's time for a change.
Your brain and nervous system have an amazing ability to change how you relate to life. That ability is called neuroplasticity. When we change how you feel deeply about core issues, your nervous system changes. Your feelings change. Your old limited ways of being in the world change. But in order to make those changes, you need to find them in therapy and apply in your daily life.
As we find new ways in therapy for you to handle your old issues, your feelings and thinking will become conditioned to new ways of being in the world. Your mindbody connection will feel better too. That transformation will help lift your mood and change your core approach to life. It's a journey of transformation.
Your Better Self
Better living comes from having a wise, observing, skillful sense of self that's guiding your daily actions, thoughts and feelings. People call this skillful self-knowledge different things: the better self, the wise mind or higher power. Whatever it's called, we can help you develop it. We'll help you refine how you use your inner wisdom on a daily basis.
We’ll carefully experiment with changes in your life tailored to help your life improve. As you experiment with these changes, we’ll discuss and reflect on them week by week. We'll discover what works better for you and you'll experience how your life gets better.
Journeys into Insight and Self-Knowing
As we work together, you'll see you can trust in my skills and experience to help you understand yourself more fully. From increased emotional intelligence about yourself, your insight, your best judgment and your communication skills will develop.
Expanded, concentrated self-awareness on a moment by moment basis in your daily life--coupled with your willpower and non-judgmental curiosity--are needed for meaningful change. I help you bring into play together all these skills and realizations so they reshape your life.
One of the universal truths about all of us is that we all have made mistakes. We can get stuck in blaming ourselves. Compassion for yourself helps you not get stuck in blaming yourself. Compassion for others helps you move on from being stuck in relationships--while remembering what you need to do to protect yourself from what those people may do to you in the future.
All of these elements combine through mindfully attending to yourself to move you out of your old, automatic, dead-end reactions and habits. This is utilizing the mind-body interface to direct your change process. Current therapeutic research shows us that living from mindful, present-centered noticing of our inner process--with clear intentions of what's best for us--gives us the best support in responding to life from a much more resilient and resourced state.
As our work together deepens in you knowing and trusting yourself, you will live life more spontaneously from your embodied, guiding wisdom. As your inner wisdom is more in charge of your responses and your planning, you’ll be hijacked less often by your old negative patterns. More fulfillment from life will come. You'll guide your life by using your abilities to take in information, assess it, prioritize it, and respond wisely to it with what you most need in each moment.
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” - Lao Tzu
Fees, Insurance and EAPs (Employee Assistance Plans)
My usual session is for about 55 minutes. We can schedule a longer session if desired or needed. Please ask me for my current fees.
I'm a contracted provider on several insurance and EAP plans. Call me to find out if I'm in your insurance's network. If I'm not "in network," as they say, with your insurance company, and you have a PPO plan, I can provide receipts to you for reimbursement from your insurance company because I'm an “out of network” provider.
Onions and Your Consciousness
People say that counseling is "like peeling an onion...taking you deeper and deeper inside you." Mindfulness in therapy increases your ability to go deeper more effectively, and it enhances your ability to see helpful options in your life. You become less automatically reactive to your old limiting ways.
Like meditation, mindfulness involves turning your ordinary consciousness inward. By closing your eyes and turning your attention more inward, you can notice more attentively what's happening inside you. We can study you more in-depth.
Unlike meditation where you try to free your mind, we use mindfulness to help us discover more about what's happening in you. Unlike meditation, we talk to each other as you take an inner journey. We study together what's happening in your deeper inner process. We learn more about your core emotions, thoughts, beliefs, movements, etc. through your concentrated noticing supported by my guidance.
Just as the deepest areas of the brain and heart have the greatest impact on you, going to these deeper states of consciousness in therapy will help us transform you from your core outwards.
Mindfulness improves your focusing and increases your concentration. From using mindfulness, we learn more clearly how you organize and manage yourself in your daily world, and that helps us find ways for you to improve living.
I can show you, if you want, how to direct your consciousness through mindfulness to explore and understand yourself on deeper levels. Mindfulness is only one of the powerful tools we can use.
Self-Compassion and Exploration
When people realize in therapy how deeply they're blocked by their most deeply-held beliefs and behaviors, they're very motivated to change them. They want to stop the self-sabotaging.
Through you attuning to your inner process with kindness for yourself and with caring non-judgment, we can guide you in learning so much more about yourself in ways to help you. I can help you set new intentions for yourself and we can help you reach them. So you can have more of what you want from life.
Jim Walker, MFT, provides psychotherapy or counseling in Oakland and San Francisco.
He works with stress reduction, trauma, anxiety management, personal growth, relationships, couples issues, abuse, depression, shame, anxiety and other issues. He's experienced working with people of many different backgrounds and countries of origin.
He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. License MFC 38741
Jim Walker, MFT, uses an integrative approach to counseling which includes: CBT--cognitive behavioral therapy--cognitive therapy, solution focused therapy, Hakomi, somatic psychotherapy, Sensorimotor psychotherapy, transpersonal therapy, narrative therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness-based psychotherapy and relational therapy.
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All Photos by Gary Morgret
except headshots by Cary Virtue