Hi, I'm Anahita
I first became fascinated by the dance of mind-body connection when immersing myself in early autism intervention and research training during my undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. It moved me to see how once a key ingredient attuned to the needs of the child’s nervous system became part of the picture, the magic was unlocked and a child on the autism spectrum could more fully come into expression of themselves and start to connect with themselves and others through their ever-growing verbal and motor skills.
This became the essence of my path forward as I pursued the field of clinical psychology. I am a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY 30468) and take an integrative approach to psychotherapy, interweaving somatic, compassion, and mindfulness evidence-based treatments. My goal in working with people is to help cultivate the balance between finding grace in being present with life experiences and manifesting this as a settled nervous system response, and the motivation to create meaningful changes in one’s life through just the right amount of nervous system activation. I obtained my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, where I was trained in a range of therapeutic techniques. It was during this time that I experienced the powerful effects of bringing the active use of somatic and mindfulness techniques into psychotherapy, with the implementation of tools from third-wave CBT-informed modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
In the years following
I became a certified yoga instructor trained by Tracey Rich and Ganga White at the White Lotus Foundation of Santa Barbara, and was trained in the facilitation of Buddhist meditation by Drs. Radhule Weininger and Michael Kearney through the Mindful Heart Programs of Santa Barbara. I am currently being trained to become a certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP), and actively incorporate techniques informed by Somatic Experiencing into my clinical work. I am a trained teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) with the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, and co-lead MSC groups in the Santa Barbara community with Hattie Bluestone, DPT, as well as integrate this modality as a primary tool for building the inner resource of self-compassion in my psychotherapy sessions. I am a trained Reiki practitioner and received my training by local reiki master Darren Marc. I have enjoyed contributing to our community of psychologists-in-training as an adjunct faculty at UCSB, Antioch University, and Westmont College, and have served on the board for the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association (SBCPA). As a person of color, I am particularly passionate about advocating and providing culturally responsive care for marginalized members of our community, and now serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committees of SBCPA and Yoga Soup.
My training has also included conducting research and obtaining certification in providing behavioral treatments such as Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental disabilities through UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center and UCLA’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART). Since this time, I have also deeply enjoyed working in community mental health settings such as Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) and Morrison Child & Family Services based in Portland, Oregon. In these contexts I have provided treatment for underserved children and families experiencing various forms of trauma. I also provide treatment for couples and families, and am trained in the Gottman Method of couples therapy.
In my work, I find joy in the incorporation of techniques from somatic psychotherapy, Reiki, music therapy, sound meditation, and art therapy and see that psychotherapy often benefits from the exploration of different tools in practice, in attaining the right fit for each unique situation.
Mastering Your Own Nervous System
In under 10 minutes, this FREE meditation will teach you to gain mastery of your own nervous system responses by:
Experiencing a sense of grounding and centering through mindfulness
Learning to register cues of safety in your physical environment
Find and increase your sense of pleasure
Create more bandwidth to be able to stay present and navigate distressing thoughts and sensations so that you can more effectively work through them