Lisa Olivera, LMFT #106546
Hello! I’m Lisa. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, but you might also call me an encourager of self-acceptance, a listening (like, truly listening) ear, an advocate for vulnerability, and a holder of space for hope and healing. I believe we require less fixing and more accepting – less perfectionism and more good-enough – less criticism and more self-compassion.
In my practice, I support people who want to find more acceptance in who they are, but feel suffocated by self-criticism, doubt, sadness, anxiety, overwhelm, or fear. Through holistic and integrative practices, I help clients create more compassion for themselves, more capacity to feel the hard stuff, and more understanding of how to manage the stressors and impacts of our history, our environment, and our daily life.
I serve not as an expert or someone with all the answers, but as a collaborative guide who values and deeply respects who my clients are and the wisdom they already have within.
Why I Became a Therapist
My own transformation and healing started in therapy as a teen. I remember going to therapy for the first time – how nervous I was, how scary it felt to be vulnerable, and how weird it was to talk to a complete stranger about my life. Ultimately, it was a catalyst for healing and growth that I never thought I’d be able to have.
I fully believe that being heard, seen, and witnessed nonjudgmentally by another human is one of the most healing experiences we can have – it certainly has been (and continues to be) for me. Being that witness for others is a gift I am grateful for every day. My clients are my heroes.
Aside from being a therapist…
I’m also an adoptee, a writer, a cat mom, a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), an INFJ, a photography hobbyist, an outdoor appreciator, a believer in small acts of kindness, a student of activism, and always a human first.
What Therapy with Me Looks Like
Being human is hard. It’s also wonderful, but let’s face it – challenge inevitably finds its way into our lives in various ways, and we may not always know how to cope with or manage it all.
I want you to know that you are so not alone – that you matter, no matter what you may be going through.
In my office, you can show up exactly as you are: heartbroken, enraged, confused, excited, grieving, anxious, lonely, depressed, unsure, hopeful… no matter what you’re experiencing, its important for me to create a safe, comfortable, and accepting space for you to fully experience it without judgment.
Our work together will be full of compassion, empathy, and trust. I’ll ask a lot of questions and sometimes hold space for silence. We’ll laugh and possibly cry, we’ll feel uncomfortable at times and we’ll lean into it. I’ll honor exactly where you are in the moment while gently encouraging you to go out of your comfort zone (when you’re ready). Through it all, I will meet you exactly where you are at and support you in growing towards where you want to go.
I bring my whole heart and authentic self to therapy. I utilize warmth, collaboration, storytelling, curiosity, and a holistic lens, viewing the mind-body-spirit connection as integral in understanding who you are as a whole person. I draw from several different schools of practice, but all of them have a central tenet of placing importance on our relationship: on connecting with you, creating safety for you, and allowing you to feel truly and deeply seen.
Other lenses and elements I integrate often:
- Mindfulness practices
- Self-compassion practices
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Internal Family Systems
- Somatic Practices
- Family systems
- Social Justice
- Writing practices
- M.S. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Dominican University of California
- B.A. in Psychology, University of California at Santa Cruz
- Emotionally-Focused Therapy: Attachment-Based Interventions for Couples in Crisis
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- In progress: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction