About Me, Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy

About me...

I have a grounded and authentic presence.  I can listen to your story and help you connect to your strength, the part of you that gets you through difficult times, a part you may have forgetten about.  I can design unique arts activities tailored to your specific needs in any given moment, deepening your understanding of yourself and your circumstances and facilitating change in a way that feels right for you.

Photo by Nema Ashjaee

How I Work

A solid therapeutic relationship is the foundation to creating change.  I connect with you by keeping an open mind, staying present, reflecting back to you in a way that helps you further articulate your experience, and being direct when needed.  With a style that is caring, empathic, honest, and matter-of-fact without shaming, I help you connect to your intuition until you are not just tolerating what comes up, but celebrating your humanity.  Therapy helps broaden our emotional range and our ability to respond to life circumstances in healthy ways.  Together we can make that happen for you.  

 

My work is informed by my training in Expressive Arts, Drama Therapy, EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy), Somatic Experiencing, and AEDP (Advanced Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy).  I keep myself informed on the latest research in attachment theory, affective neuroscience, and interpersonal neurobiology.

Languages

English

Spanish

Farsi

Specialties

Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist

Expressive Arts Therapy

     REAT (Registered Expressive Arts Therapist)

Somatic Experiencing

Drama Therapy

Domestic Violence/Trauma

My Background

I graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a major in Human Development and a minor in Art History.  After over 10 years of study in dance, a long time writing practice, and work in the medical field, I obtained my MA in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies (where I am currently a teaching assistant). I have worked with individuals, families, and children in the area of domestic violence and trauma, and have led groups in the U.S. and Mexico.  As an immigrant, I am particularly passionate about working with cultural identity and the immigrant experience.

Expressive Arts Therapy
 

In those moments when all we want to do is numb out, the arts give us a tolerable, even pleasurable, way to stay connected.  Expressive Arts Therapy involves a blend of various arts modalities (including visual art, music, dance/movement, drama, writing, and more) in order to excavate the psyche, document our life experience, and create a testimony of our existence to be shared with others.  It is a deeper, and perhaps most ancient, way to witness and be witnessed.  The arts can be simple enough to promote expression yet powerful enough to facilitate deep change.  Creating and sharing art with a trusted other can encourage mindfulness and bring calm to the nervous system; it can also help engrain new internal and relational patterns.  The best way to understand Expressive Arts Therapy is to experience it.  No arts is experience necessary to benefit from the therapeutic power of the arts.

Drama Therapy

Drama Therapy is the the use of theatrical techniques and theories for therapeutic purposes.  Its power lies in its active orientation.  Drama Therapy encourages us to reflect on and understand the many roles we play in our lives and allows us to rehearse new behaviors and relational patterns.  Its performative nature lends itself to overcoming anxiety and stoking our creativity while harnessing our innate knowing in a way that readily translates to everyday life.  It can also be a powerful way to enter into and heal the wounds of the past

© 2020 by Nadia Ashjaee. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #96988)

Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT)

Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist

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