My Approach

My therapeutic style is direct, authentic, and supportive. I use curiosity, creativity, and humor in sessions.

I provide culturally-sensitive therapy with a nurturing, nonjudgmental space for you to express yourself openly. I focus on your strengths, interests, and solutions.

Nothing is too intense for you to talk about with me. Some of the topics commonly discussed in my sessions include: death, relationships, cultural variations, childhood, oppression, racism, insecurities, abuse, violence, sex, and suicidal thoughts. Having a safe place to process these parts of the human experience is essential in therapy.

Treating clients for over 6 years in both private practice and community mental health settings helped me learn ways to empower those dealing with the oppressive and prejudiced social systems in place. My extensive trainings in becoming a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapist (PCIT) and Multidisciplinary Assessment Team Assessor (MAT) for those traumatized in the DCFS and foster systems gave me understanding of how early brain development impacts mental health across a lifetime.

Trauma Therapist Los Angeles

You are welcome here regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, gender identity, sexuality, ability, or immigration status. 

I draw from a developmental and neurosequential perspective in treatment. How to calm the early-developed parts of the brain that get set off when triggered or stressed. Then identifying and challenging negative thoughts. Then applying interventions at your own pace such as identifying and challenging negative thoughts, talking about the event, art, writing, or guided imagery.

My treatment style is a blend of

Person-Centered (Humanistic/Rogerian)

Therapy should be the chance to have a genuine, caring person to talk to – who believes in your ability to thrive. In sessions, we find barriers that are blocking your growth and how to address them. Since you are the expert on yourself, I will act as a support in you being able to manage problems in your own direction and pace.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This research-based therapy shows how your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are connected. In treatment, we identify possible negative thought patterns that add to daily challenges. We gain knowledge about how anxiety, depression, and stress affect mental health. We practice creating new thought patterns using role plays, discussions, homework, and activities. 

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Instead of focusing on what is “going wrong”, we go for what you are doing well. We explore on your strengths, identify resources for various needs, and center therapy around the future. We develop your personal goals, discuss possible obstacles, explore solution options, and apply the solutions.

Existential Therapy

This type of therapy helps find what parts of your life you have control over, even in situations that feel overwhelming. We can chew on difficult topics (transitions, relationships, sex, and death). We openly discuss skills for coping with change, building identity, and finding meaning in life despite it’s challenges.

Trauma-Informed Therapy

I am influenced by the research of those who have studied trauma for decades – Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, Dr. Bruce Perry, & California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris. I apply a holistic and integrative approach. We learn how trauma impacts your brain, body, emotions, and beliefs; how to track when you are in Fight, Flight, or Freeze mode; and tools for how to regulate. We go at your own pace, and can stop an intervention at any time.

Culturally Sensitive Therapy

I want see the world through your eyes. I give a supportive space to explore identity, family, relational dynamics, oppression, and the role that cultural factors have played in shaping who you are. Pressure to assimilate to the majority contributes to trauma, anxiety, and depression. We explore tactics to navigate and overcome them, so that self-preservation is gained.

During therapy, I explain the reason for my interventions and will give you the choice in us applying them as I value your voice in treatment.

© 2022 Mariah Dennis, LMFT. All rights reserved.