When I was in high school, I hung out with a lot of musicians who seemed to all congregate around one house in Costa Mesa that was the nexus of a lot of creative and musical magic. There was a message painted on the wall over an outdoor couch at this house, which read, “THE REVOLUTION IS PERSONAL,” on top of a big red heart. I was always drawn to this message, but never quite knew what it meant. After six years of working closely with people in the mental health field and being privy to their most intimate experiences, I have come to understand this message in a new way. When we end the war with ourselves, that inner love and peace is expressed outwardly in the world. I know that not all people are in the same situation, or able to experience the same levels of safety or peace within which to engage in a deep self-love or self-compassion practice. And these practices do not solve the problems of the world overnight. But I believe all people are worthy and deserving of the most basic wellness practices and contemplative practices that they can access at any time for free. It’s like the “people’s medicine” of mental and emotional preventive care, AND, incidentally, it tends to help us be kinder. Welcome to the revolution <3

Hi there! I’m glad you’ve found your way to this page ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m Annalise Oatman, your local Hayes Valley licensed psychotherapist in the heart of San Francisco. As a therapist, I am described as extremely present, grounded and grounding, warm and deeply compassionate. I combine my experience working with trauma, depression, anxiety and addictive behavior with a depth-informed, attachment-informed and somatic approach. I consider the work that I do with clients to be messy, sacred soul work. I integrate a feminist therapy approach into my work, which is an evidence-based therapeutic modality, designed to subvert the traditional therapist-client power paradigm. Feminist therapy is not designed only for females: It takes into account the way that cultural messages about how we are supposed to be impact all of us, regardless of gender identity or expression. In the light of this approach, I view clients as equal partners in their own unique process of healing. There will always be art supplies in my therapy room. Despite my devotion to ongoing training and learning, I try to never allow my education to become a “clutter” between myself and the people I work with, as I believe each person is entirely unique, and I will follow your lead in your healing process.

This practice is spiritually-oriented in the sense that I am committed to always being a spiritually-competent therapist, versed in non-traditional spiritual paths, and in the depth and uniqueness of each spiritual path. Our spirituality is an important aspect of the way we make meaning, especially in times of suffering. I love helping people fully articulate their unique and authentic spirituality, as this is an aspect of our lives that is sometimes secret, and is often carried in the body as memories of emotional-somatic sensations of the spiritual or sublime, connected to certain experiences or concepts. Sometimes concepts don’t even have anything to do with it, and the unique spiritual path of an individual who does not subscribe to any particular metaphysical beliefs can just be a relationship to Mystery itself. Dreams can be a great entryway into our unique spirituality, and I am committed to wedding the meaning-making to the individuation processes in my work with clients through dream work, and integration of transcendent experiences.

This practice is geared towards artists and creatives, due to my competence in the demanding path of the artist, and my devoted practice as an artist. This practice is also geared towards womxn, due to my passion for, and competence in what I will refer to as “the female experience,” and my belief that empowering womxn is a damn good way to love our threatened earth. Having said that, I want my practice to be a place of love, where all are welcome. For that reason, my practice is open to all gender identities and expressions. Men, and trans and non-binary folx are most welcome. My areas of greatest clinical expertise and competence are: trauma, anxiety, depression, dissociation, panic, life transitions, meaninglessness, identity and purpose confusion, and attachment issues. Regardless of your gender identity or expression, if you are seeking therapy for one or some combination of these issues, we could do great work together.

EMDR: Training will be complete in October 2019. See EMDR page for more information on this evidence-based trauma treatment.

Reiki: Reiki Master certification will be complete by December 2019. See Reiki page for more information on how I already integrate these principles into my practice.

Original Voice Creativity Training with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes: I have been trained in the Original Voice approach to the creative life, developed by Jungian psychoanalyst, Dr. Estes, which takes a depth and dream work approach to discovering one’s own ‘original voice,’ and tapping it with daily practices in order to access one’s own original creative voice and source, rather than producing work that is derivative or uninspired.

Clinical Applications of Deep Imagination: I have been trained in the Clinical Applications of Deep Imagination at John F. Kennedy University, and I find that it can be particularly powerful to take a Deep Imagination approach to healing trauma, when appropriate. This can, at times, involve inner child work, but it does not have to. It is guided completely by the client’s instinct for where they would like to go in their imagination, and, once in a deeply relaxed state, the imagination usually takes us right to where the client needs to go in order to begin integrating trauma at their own pace, and accessing information about what is needed to begin healing or shifting old patterns. Often, this process also provides an entryway into wells of previously unknown or usually un-felt wisdom. Imagination may sound woo-woo (I don’t love that descriptor, personally), but our species has a great history in the realm of the imagination, as it is where all of our great innovation and development has occurred. Call me to find out more ๐Ÿ™‚


~2006-2010: Oxbridge Masters in Philosophy (Mental and Moral Sciences) at Trinity College Dublin. Dissertation on the existential view of anxiety. Volunteered in an orphanage for HIV-positive children in Jaipur, India.

~2010-2013: Customer service (in addition to customer service experiences stretching back to age 15). Manufactured a huge messy pile of visual art. Volunteered at Corazon de Vida (an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico).

~2013-2014: Worked in a level-14 group home for traumatized and system-involved teenage girls, many of whom had CSEC and/or sexual trauma.

~2014-2016: Earned a Masters in Social Work through the University of Southern California, with a Mental Health Direct Clinical Practice concentration, while interning at Acacia Network in Bronx, NY, where I gained experience in direct clinical practice in the chemical dependency inpatient and outpatient programs, and in the skilled nursing home for individuals with HIV/AIDS (Casa Promesa). During this time, I wrote a chapter (‘Rape as a Weapon of War in Myanmar’) of the Oxford University Press textbook, ‘Women’s Journey to Empowerment in the 21st Century: A Transnational Approach,’ to be published in 2019.

~2016-2018: Earned my clinical hours by working for nearly three years as a clinician at the SF Connections branch of Seneca Family of Agencies, providing community-based mental health services to system-involved children and youth, all of whom had endured early life, attachment and other trauma. My work continues to be deeply informed by the approach to trauma that I learned and developed at Seneca.

Request Appointment

Annalise Oatman, MA, LCSW
45 Franklin Street, Suite 214, San Francisco, CA 94102

949-533-4651 annalise@awaketherapysf.com

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