Josie Valderrama, Psy.D

Josie Valderrama View Specialties

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Mindfulness Psychologist for Women, People of Color, Gender & Sexual Minorities
I engage my therapy clients in a restorative and consciousness-expanding process which encompasses both the shadow and the light, blending acceptance and compassion with moral grounding and clear vision. It has been through my own efforts to overcome internalized obstacles - and the success I achieved by applying certain fundamental practices into my mental routine - that I am propelled to help others on their own journey. The struggles I have worked through have endowed me with an empathetic approach, while my intellectual discipline adds challenging discernment to our collaboration together.
I often assist individuals through times of transition and transformation. Issues which come up for my clients include anxiety, procrastination, indecision, avoidance, alienation, compulsive and addictive behaviors. My clients tend to be women, people of color, and individuals within the LGBTQA community including trans and gender variant individuals. I also have experience serving poly and kink-identified clients - I am knowledgeable and open-minded. You can be assured of professional, confidential and compassionate care.
Clients who work with me typically benefit from a focus on identifying and acknowledging emotions in a directly connective way; investigating the nature of their core beliefs; and discovering their most deeply held values as a means toward moving in the direction of committed action. These techniques are based on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy.
My Training, Education & Background
I am a founding member of Bay Area Open Minds, Therapists affirming Diversity in Gender and Sexuality. I am also a member of Gaylesta, Bay Area Therapists of Color, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom's Kink Aware Professionals, and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, SF Bay Area Chapter (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Researchers & Practitioners).
For my doctoral research, I created and validated a problematic smartphone use scale. In addition, I co-authored "Locating Neurobiological Abnormalities in Internet Addiction," a book review in APA's PsycCRITIQUES. In the fall, I will be participating as a subject matter expert in the revision of the California Psychology Law and Ethics Examination (CPLEE). Her private practice is based in San Francisco.
I have a master's and doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology. My clinical training included three years at a San Francisco community mental health clinic, a year working within the Native American community, and a year working with elders in assisted living. 
 Additional training includes Ericksonian hypnotherapy and certification in neuro linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner. NLP borrows a majority of it methods from Milton Erickson, father of modern hypnotherapy, and Virginia Satir, a pioneer of family therapy.
My background in mindfulness training includes participation in numerous meditation and yoga retreats, and well as past involvement in the Integral Life movement. I am non-denominational, non-dogmatic in my approach, utilizing different schools of philosophy and disciplines to best meet individual needs.
We are each unique - that is what is so great - and yet we often try so very hard to fit into neat little boxes. Instead, I endeavor to engender a way of life that respectfully takes what is needed, while allowing permission to leave what is not. 
My prior work in tech and journalism, as well as my international education and travels, helps broaden my perspective and real world experience, so that I may better understand where you are coming from. As someone who made a career shift farther along my path than many, fellow late bloomers may find me a good fit.
My experience in creative explorations and associated challenges provides me with an enriched perspective that prospective clients who are artists, writers, musicians or other creative types may find helpful, in terms of the shared reality among those who create as well as consume. Common issues that can come up include creative blocks, ambition agony, analysis paralysis, conflict within artistic collaboration, artistic integrity, and procrastination.
Clients who struggle with alienation, feeling like an outsider, poor social skills and frequent interpersonal conflict, or overwhelming emotions in their relationships may also benefit from working with me. I have extensive clinical experience in working with personality issues, and have found these clients to be inspiring in their resourcefulness. I have found the mindfulness-based approaches of  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) to be extremely helpful in alleviating emotional distress in relations with others. Once motivation for change is accelerated, a great deal of progress can be made.
I believe in approaching the therapeutic dynamic cooperatively, with open and honest engagement. I endeavor to provide my expertise to support my clients in their processes, allowing them the space to express their emotions, practice self-determination, and discover both the change that is needed in their lives and the key to motivation so that those changes can become reality.
Josie Valderrama, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
California License PSY27913

Dr. Josie Valderrama Reaches

San Francisco CA