Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
~ Victor E. Frankel
The therapeutic relationship is the primary vehicle for change and healing in psychotherapy. I am endlessly amazed by the transformative impact of being heard, seen, and accepted. This process leads to greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance, which in turn results in growth and greater resilience. Struggle and suffering are universal and inevitable, but sometimes we suffer more than is necessary. Therapy is a means of identifying what can be changed (in ourselves and our circumstances) and what must be accepted. My approach to therapy is to help you understand what forces are driving you, what might be keeping you stuck, and what can be done to improve your quality of life, your relationships, and your sense of well-being.
My appreciation for this work has only deepened in my twenty-four years of practice. This passion has fueled an ongoing pursuit of skills and training in a variety of therapeutic approaches, and I now enjoy the advantage of being able to tailor a treatment plan to your unique needs in a collaborative and creative process. I have extensive training in psychodynamic therapy, attachment theory and related therapies (EFT), child development, family systems, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy and CBT-i for insomnia), and therapy for grief, loss, and illness. In addition to my private practice, I have worked in community mental health, schools, group homes, and private treatment centers.
A common assumption I hear is that my work must be burdensome and exhausting, but on the contrary, I learn as much from my clients as they do from me. I find the work and the therapeutic relationship inspiring and meaningful. Therapy can be challenging, but it can also be a source of joy and connection. I find that there are often as many good laughs as there are tears in the work I do.
Three passions led me to become a therapist at a young age—understanding the mind, understanding relationships, and alleviating suffering. I grew up in a tiny town in Wyoming, a place where profound community and connection is juxtaposed against a landscape that defines one's metaphysical "smallness." This experience greatly shaped my being and my thinking and continues to inform the way I work (psychotherapy is often a process of finding an existential equilibrium—a balance between connection and isolation, joy and struggle).
I had the good luck to attend Harvard University, where I instantly fell in love with psychology. After college, I spent some years engaged in research in ADHD and Bipolar Disorder in the Child Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, sorting out which graduate degree to pursue. It quickly became clear to me that my passion was not in research but rather in working directly with patients, so I went on to earn a Master's in Clinical Social Work at UCLA. There I specialized in family systems, child development, and integrative mental health. I am licensed in California and Massachusetts.
background and education
experience and approach
Kiffany Gibbs, LCSW
CA Licencse #LCS20848