Initially my love for myth, fairy tales, and the language and literature of the world drew me to Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara where I obtained a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology.
Depth psychology invites a curiosity about the psyche and encourages respect for the diversity of life and human experience. I enjoyed interdisciplinary courses in literature, mythology, religion, and culture which deepened my ability to link archetypal themes to sociopolitical and personal issues in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. I enjoyed being at the same school that the renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell’s personal library was archived; Joseph Campbell had been a regular visitor in my university myth and literature classes ever inspiring all of the students to appreciate how we all experience a hero’s journey of sorts as we maneuver through the labyrinth of life. I appreciate deeply how Pacifica is dedicated to tending the soul of the world.
Prior to my graduate studies I enjoyed a career as an elementary school teacher, fortunate to teach in many local schools, both public and private, that have clearly pushed the creative limits and have ultimately transformed into a myriad of respected charter schools. Prior to my teaching career I was fortunate to travel extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe, and literally circumnavigated the globe prior to settling down to become a wife and mother of two wonderful children who also share my love for world travel.
I have enjoyed a private practice in Nevada City since 1994 specializing in children and also enjoying work with individuals, families and couples. For over fifteen years I was a lead child custody evaluator for Nevada County Family Courts and have also worked as a Special Master/Parent Coordinator and Child Specialist for the Nevada County Collaborative Divorce Practice Group. As an Authorized PET Instructor I have taught Parent Effectiveness Training workshops to a myriad of local parents, teachers, administrators, and business professionals throughout the years. I am currently enrolled in a six-month DreamTending intensive at Pacifica Graduate Institute as well as progressing through the EMDR training, which will ultimately lead to full certification in the years ahead.
I love to go where my observation and intuition direct, feeling free to change direction at any time. Sessions can include DreamTending, Sandplay, Voice Dialog, EMDR, Play Therapy, Drawing, Collage, Active Imagination, Body Awareness and the communication tools and techniques that are the hallmark of Parent Effectiveness Training. I often tell parents that it may be hard to convince their children to attend the first session, but I can almost guarantee that it will be even harder to get them to want to leave.
I absolutely love what I do. I feel fortunate to be able to witness as my patients awaken, grow, heal and ultimately transform into the people they were destined to become. My work is deeply satisfying.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Artwork by Elma Jella “Sunrise over Machu Picchu” ejella.com