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 that lies in being heard, seen, and accepted. When these things occur in the context of therapy, this translates to greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance, all of which facilitate growth and 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 can 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 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 each client's unique needs in a collaborative and creative process. 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 inspiring and meaningful—therapy can
be challenging, but it can also be a source of joy and connection.
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.
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 our existential equilibrium—the 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 pediatric Bipolar Disorder) at Massachusetts General Hospital, sorting out which graduate work to pursue. It quickly became clear to me that my passion was not in research but rather 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. My private practice is in Mill Valley, CA. When I am not working there, you will find me with my family or playing outside with my dog in the mountains and waters of beautiful Marin County.
Kiffany Gibbs, LCSW
CA Licencse #LCS20848