HI, I'M ALI MILLER.
I specialize in helping adults live more authentic, empowered, and connected lives. This passion came directly out of my senior honors thesis, which focused on alienation and responses to it.
Living in a competitive capitalist culture that conditions us to be alienated from ourselves and each other is bad for our mental health.
I see therapy as a counter-cultural act of resistance and life affirmation, supporting us to recover our "enoughness" in a culture that profits off of us believing we're not enough. When we move towards authenticity, empowerment, and connection, we are moving away from alienation and towards true fulfillment.
I want to help you recover your "enoughness" so you can be who you truly are and live the fulfilling life you long for.
I have a passion for supporting people in developing self-compassion, which is a way of relating to all of your inner experiences with warmth and kindness - even and especially the parts that are hardest to accept. Being harsh with ourselves hurts, and we can shift this way of being.
I want to support you in being kinder to yourself, not only because it feels better, but also because it actually will help you achieve more of your goals.
My work is informed by a perspective that humans are basically "good," we make sense, and that everything we do and say is an attempt to meet one or more beautiful, universal human needs. We don't always understand or like our behaviors, and therapy can help with that. We don't always meet the needs we're trying to meet, and therapy can help with that, too.
As your therapist, I will see you as whole, even if you feel broken, and I will support you in making changes from a place of self-compassion rather than self-criticism. Many people come to therapy believing that something is "wrong" with them, and my perspective is that nothing is wrong with you. You may be suffering; you may be struggling; you may be experiencing an overwhelming amount of unpleasant emotions and unmet needs, and all of this matters to me very much.
I want to accompany you on your path. You don't need to suffer alone.
PRIMARY INFLUENCES AND FOUNDATIONS
The foundation of my work is what humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers called a person-centered approach. I love this approach for many reasons, but first and foremost it's because it is radically respectful of people in general, and clients in therapy in particular. It is rooted in a non-pathologizing, trusting view of human beings, which lends itself to a non-judgmental, compassionate, open-hearted, authentic therapeutic relationship.
I believe that ultimately you and only you are the expert on you. By holding you with respect and high regard, showing up as genuinely as I can, and focusing on empathically understanding what it's like for you to be you, we co-create a therapeutic relationship that is, in itself, a major part of the healing process.
I am a practitioner and teacher of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a process developed by a psychologist and international peacemaker named Marshall Rosenberg.
Four key NVC principles that inform my therapeutic approach are:
- all human beings have the same universal needs;
- everything we do or say is an attempt to meet needs;
- our feelings alert us to our needs;
- everybody's needs matter.
NVC is a radically non-pathologizing approach to healing and transformation. It is the most compassionate approach to understanding human feelings and behavior that I have come across, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. It's the practice I'm most committed to in my life, and it is integral to my therapeutic work.
MINDFULNESS AND BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY
addition to my ongoing training in various schools of
psychotherapy, I have been a practitioner of Buddhist mindfulness meditation (also called insight meditation) since 2001. I enjoy incorporating Buddhist psychology and mindfulness-based
interventions into my work with people to help foster non-judgmental awareness, acceptance, and compassion, which, from my perspective, are the foundations for lasting
change. I am a Guiding Teacher of Mindful Communication through an organization called Mindful Schools.
EDUCATION: I have been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2006, registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (MFT 44090). I earned a Master's Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), which emphasized an integration of western psychology and eastern philosophy/spirituality. I graduated magna cum laude with honors with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Lafayette College, where I focused on studying alienation and social change.
EXPERIENCE: I have been a therapist since seeing my first client in 2002, and since then have worked in various settings including community mental health, addiction treatment, junior high & high school, clinical research, and writing training materials for other therapists. In addition to being a therapist, I also teach Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to therapists, educators, and in various community settings.
I joyfully put up my shingle in private practice in 2007, and have been honored to support a diverse range of people since then. This is my life's work, and I put my heart and soul into each step of the way, especially each encounter with people who are seeking my help.
I warmly welcome the opportunity to support you.
There's only so much a website can do to convey who a person is, and I know how important it is to find a therapist who is a good fit. The best way to see if I'm the right therapist for you is to meet in person and see how it feels. Let's start with a free 15-minute phone consultation and see where it takes us.
Call (415) 820-1433 or email Ali@AliMillerMFT.com to get started on your journey to more inner peace and greater life satisfaction.
Ali Miller, MFT
(415) 820-1433 firstname.lastname@example.org
1600 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 200, Berkeley, CA 94709
Providing person-centered psychotherapy, couples counseling, women's groups, & NVC training and consultation
in the San Francisco Bay Area
Offices near: Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, East Bay, Berkeley, Orinda, San Francisco