Anneli Richards, MFT
I have always had a calling to do healing work with people, and in particular with families, children, and adolescents. Working with children in homeless shelters was my starting point. Later, I worked with women who were victims of abuse, and then with adolescents and children in group homes and residential treatment centers. I also worked therapeutically with children, adolescents, and families in the schools around the Bay Area for 12 years. Now I work in private practice with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. I am an avid learner and I am always growing and expanding my knowledge in the field, often with new and cutting-edge treatment modalities. A natural listener and observer, I am deeply interested in helping people grow and heal through difficult experiences. I learn so much from my clients and feel blessed to be doing this kind of work in the world. On a personal level, I find inspiration from doing yoga and meditation, being out in nature, reading books, playing with my children, being with family and friends, writing, and doing almost anything creative.
I received my BA in Psychology and the Arts from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, completed my Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Expressive Arts Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California, and completed a School Counseling Credential at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California.
I have been a guest lecturer for Expressive Arts Therapy and Child Development at JFK and also offer seminars on Expressive Arts Therapy, on Child Therapy, and on Parenting throughout the Bay Area.
Sarah Foxfire, MFT
Sarah is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with adults, couples and children of all ages since 2005. For many years Sarah taught classes on stress management, anger management, resiliency training, parenting skills, and communication skills to the military and their families. She counseled families at a Gestalt based clinic in San Francisco from 2005-2009. Sarah has worked with children in therapeutic wilderness settings, in residential therapy with severely emotionally disturbed children, she has led therapeutic groups for adolescent girls, and she has been a school counselor in the public school system. She has taught mindfulness and connection workshops since 2013, as well as teaching mindfulness and yoga in dozens of studios, retreats, and workshops since 1999. Sarah has worked in private practice settings since 2005.
Some of Sarah’s trainings and specialties include Gestalt Therapy, Parent Child interactive Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Embodiment modalities (Hakomi, Yoga Therapy), and Emotionally Focused Couples Counseling. She is passionate about helping and supporting families to enrich their relationships. She is deeply committed to her client’s growth. She has an enormous amount of compassion for the brave individuals and families who show up at her office to do this work.
Sarah’s own therapeutic process has been invaluable to her as a person and therapist. Learning a lot of the techniques from the inside out has given her true confidence in their lasting efficacy. Sarah suffered traumatic loss early in life, and was called to find healthy ways to heal the wounds left. Therapy taught her to access more connection with others, understand herself more deeply, and shine despite life's inevitable difficulties. She has grown to love the journey of her life even on the more difficult days. She has found access to life's richness inside of these challenges and complexities.
Sarah lives in Marin County with her husband (who was actually born with the last name Foxfire) and their two daughters. She teaches yoga too!
What Is EMDR? EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a well-researched and highly effective psychotherapeutic technique that processes disturbing experiences and memories that contribute to issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, and self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. An aspect of EMDR called Resourcing is also helpful for increasing feelings and experiences of well-being.
How Does EMDR Work? We start treatment in the assessment phase by taking a thorough life history. Through this process, you and I will identify a specific symptom or problem you want to resolve. We work with experiences and memories related to these problems and symptoms. Once we start processing the memory, you will hold in your mind the image of the experience, related body sensations, feelings and emotions, and your beliefs about the situation. At that point, we start the bilateral stimulation of the brain by using alternating left-right tapping or eye movements. This process continues until the memory is no longer disturbing and symptoms subside. Through the process, thoughts and beliefs about the experience often change. Feelings and physical sensations are processed and clients no longer feel disturbed by the memory.
How Long Does Treatment Take? Treatment length depends on what issue you want to work on, what is currently happening in your life, and the amount of previous trauma you have had. Sometimes treatment can be a few sessions to resolve symptoms from a single-incident trauma. In other cases, long-term treatment is necessary to resolve symptoms and process the trauma.
Is EMDR The Same For Children As Adults? EMDR has the same effect on children as it does on adults, but it can look slightly different. Depending on the situation, I may see the child alone or with a parent. Children often respond quickly and positively to EMDR treatment. For older children the process may look very similar to an adult’s. For younger children I may use EMDR in conjunction with Play Therapy, using toys and play to help with the process.
To learn more about EMDR visit www.emdria.org.
Expressive Arts Therapy
I am a licensed psychotherapist who also has extensive training in Expressive Arts. By using expressive arts in my practice, my clients explore their issues through a creative lens. This form of exploration and collaboration opens doors and brings clarity to what may have felt like a stuck situation. There is no need for any artistic training; the focus is on the process, not on the product. Some of the modalities I use are visual arts, drama, dance/movement, sand tray, music, dreamwork, and guided imagery. Through creativity we access the left brain to understand what is happening in a new way and find new solutions to old problems. That being said, my work is client-centered and I follow the lead of my client's comfort level with the arts. Some clients delve right into the process and feel very comfortable using the arts while others are more comfortable primarily talking. At times we may explore issues through whatever creative outlet clients are comfortable with.
To learn more about Expressive Arts Therapy click HERE.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment which can be of great benefit therapeutically. This practice helps one to develop beneficial qualities such as acceptance, attention, compassion, equanimity, and presence. All of these qualities are important in the healing process. These qualities can also enrich and enliven our lives by creating more balance, kindness, and fulfillment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people's difficulties, and so change the way they feel. Cognitive Behavioral skills are used to treat a varied of mood and behavioral issues for both children and adults.