About2019-12-16T16:04:57-08:00

About Me

Lisa Olivera, LMFT #106546

Hello! I’m Lisa. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; I’m also a human who feels so honored to witness others in their humanness and journey. 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, wholeness, and aliveness in all of who they are. I work with people who feel suffocated by self-criticism, doubt, sadness, anxiety, overwhelm, or fear, as well as people who are navigating what it means to show up as themselves in various areas of their life. Through holistic and integrative practices, I support people in creating more compassion for themselves, finding more capacity to feel the hard stuff, and developing more understanding of how to manage the stressors and challenges of life while also making more room for presence, connectedness, and joy.

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 and it has led to a lifelong journey of remembering myself, over and over again. 

I fully believe that being heard, seen, and witnessed without judgment 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 wife, 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, a seeker of joy, 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.

My Approach

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
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. (CBT)
  • Internal Family Systems
  • Somatic Practices
  • Family systems
  • Social Justice
  • Writing practices

Education

  • 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

Trainings

  • Emotionally-Focused Therapy: Attachment-Based Interventions for Couples in Crisis
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • In progress: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction