Elena Gardella, MFT

Elena Gardella View Specialties

Have you been struggling with stress or anxiety?
Are you frustrated with yourself for not being able to implement change?
Are you worried that therapy will be nothing more than talking about your problems without finding any real relief?

 In my work with you, I invite you to relate to yourself in ways that you ordinarily do not. Using mindfulness, EMDR, awareness of the body, and movement, you will be able to interrupt patterns of behavior, and to find new ways to respond to situations. Exploring with curiosity and compassion, we can challenge long held limiting beliefs, and work towards living with more ease, joy, satisfaction.
 I have had good results working with people struggling with:
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • PTSD
  • a history of sexual abuse
  • negative self-image

In working with me, clients gain:
  • tools for managing anxiety, and finding a sense of peace
  • better tolerance for stressful situations
  • less fear in everyday situations
  • increased ability to trust others
  • an improved relationship with yourself

 Some of the modalities I use in my practice are:
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
  • EMDR
  • directed mindfulness
  • guided imagery
  • stress management practices
  • energetic awareness

 More than talk therapy

The body and the mind are not separate, though sometimes it may feel that way. There is a constant feedback loop between thoughts and sensations. For example, if your heart suddenly starts racing, it's likely your mind will look for the reason, usually a danger. Likewise, if you think of something scary, your heart rate will increase. Because of this connection between the mind and the body, it is important that therapy treat the whole person.



Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an evidence-based therapy that is useful in treating the effects of trauma, anxiety, addictions, and phobias. It is also extremely helpful for working with negative beliefs, and places where clients feel "stuck". EMDR therapy uses eye movements or bilateral stimulation to process and release memories, beliefs, physical sensations or behavioral habits that are causes of distress. While some clients use EMDR as a focused treatment to work through a recent trauma - such as a car accident or a mugging - most clients benefit from EMDR along with other therapeutic interventions.

You are the expert on yourself
While EMDR and somatic therapies are exciting and effective, therapy is much more than techniques. In our work together, we will explore what your goals are, in what ways you restrict yourself, and how you may find relief from suffering. The work is collaborative. You are the expert on yourself. It is my goal to support you on your path towards greater health (as defined by you).

I work with all people 

Identity and the greater culture are important to our lives, and also in therapy. I am dedicated to my own continued reflection about privilege, and prioritize remaining conscientious of how my life experience may impact those around me, particularly my clients in the room. I work with clients who identify as:
  • Queer
  • Gay
  • Straight
  • Trans
  • Cis-gendered
  • Non-white
  • White
  • Differently abled
  • Poly
  • Monogamous


My office is located in North Oakland, close to bus lines and the MacArthur Bart station.

For more information about me, visit my website at elenagardellatherapy.com 

Elena Gardella Reaches

Oakland CA