My offices are in San Anselmo, CA and Forest Knolls, CA, Marin County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Anselmo is 19 miles NW of San Francisco, 20 miles W of Berkeley, 13 miles S of Novato, 39 miles SW of Santa Rosa. Forest Knolls is 5 miles W of Fairfax, 7 miles W of San Anselmo, 25 miles NW of San Francisco, 28 miles W of Berkeley, 17 miles E of Limantour Beach, Pt Reyes National Seashore, 10 miles E of Pt. Reyes Station, 2 miles E of Redwood-covered Samuel P Taylor Park.
SUPPORT FOR HEALTHY LIFE PATTERNS, RELATIONSHIPS & ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOALS...HEALING FROM LOSS AND TRAUMA...FINDING RELIEF FROM INACCURATE, SELF-SABOTAGING, SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS...GAINING TRUST IN SELF & ONE'S OWN INNER AUTHORITY...ENJOYING A FULFILLING, MEANINGFUL LIFE...
"My Focus is always that everyone deserves the utmost respect for his/her process of healing and recovery in a genuinely safe therapeutic environment."
COLLEEN RUSSELL, California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC29249) Oregon Licensed Professional Counselor(C2815) andCertified Group Psychotherapist (41715) ) has over 20 years of experience in the San Francisco Bay Area providing general psychotherapy, counseling and consultations to individuals, couples, and families. She facilitates supportive, exploratory groups, interactive workshops, and presents to organizations. She is nationally recognized by the American Group Psychotherapy Association for her experience and training in psychotherapy groups. Working collaboratively and interactively with each person based on individual needs and goals, her theoretical approach is psychodynamic, cognitive, relational and family systems, including aspects of interpersonal neurobiology. Colleen offers short and long term psychotherapy, counseling, and consultations to individuals, couples, families, and groups, in her offices and through phone.
Colleen specializes in trauma and loss; post-traumatic stress; complex post-traumatic stress; relationships (marriage, partners, family, friends, associates); depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders; dissociation; compulsive behavior; transitions; adults neglected and/or abused as children; early parent loss; identity issues; current stressors or crisis; meaning of life concerns.
"Motherless Daughters", women who have lost their mothers through death, illness, or separation in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood share commonalities (as well as differences) related to the many consequences of mother loss including "normal" responses to loss and grief, trauma, trust, relationships, family of origin issues, self-identity. Colleen understands mother loss through her professional work and as a motherless daughter, losing her mother at 15. She began specializing in motherless daughters around the time Hope Edelman's NY Times best seller, "Motherless Daughters" was released and shortly thereafter she began facilitating time-limited support groups that developed into the on-going group format she currently offers. Since 1997 she has facilitated on-going psychodynamic Motherless Daughters Support Groups in Mill Valley, CA, and currently in her offices in San Anselmo and Forest Knolls, CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Colleen also offers individual sessions to motherless daughters, adult men, women, and adolescents who have lost their mothers or fathers, at any time of their lives.
High-Demand Group or Cult Education and Recovery for former members, families, and partners (Current and Past) and the general public. These abusive, authoritarian groups share characteristic structure, dynamics, and coercive influence, causing varying degrees of harm. They may be identified as "Spiritual", "Religious", "Political", "Eastern", "Christian", "New Age", "Large Group Awareness Training Programs", "Residential Teen Programs", "Philosophical", "Family", and "One-on-One," the latter of which can involve clergy abuse. People Colleen works with includes those born and/or raised in such groups. Colleen is experienced in working with myriad issues that can affect survivors. In addition to offering individual, couple, and family sessions and workshops, for over 10 years she has facilitated an on-going Group for Former Members of "High-Demand Groups" .
At a time of our economic crisis, groups are more affordable than individual psychotherapy and, in many cases, they are a preferred option.
On-Going, Psychodynamic MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS SUPPORT GROUPS are offered in San Anselmo and Forest Knolls, Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area. For 14 years Colleen has successfully facilitated theses safe, supportive groups for women to explore relevant issues in their lives, current and past, with opportunities to heal from and integrate trauma and loss. Participants have a safe environment to grieve the loss and emptiness they may feel inside; gain validation, acknowledgement, and self-empowerment; learn how others have successfully coped, recognizing they are not alone in their experience or "normal" responses.
GROUP FOR FORMER MEMBERS OF "HIGH-DEMAND GROUPS" OR CULTS (in its 10th year)including those born and/or raised in such groups. This on-going, safe, non-authoritarian, successful group is offered in Forest Knolls, CA, Marin County. Participants explore relevant issues in their lives, current and past, with opportunities to heal from and integrate trauma and loss, disconfirm inaccurate, self-limiting beliefs internalized from ideologies, pursue individual goals, learn how others have survived and thrived, and deepen self-empowerment. Also included in group is education about the many factors related to cults and "high-demand" groups and relationships, including recruitment, indoctrination, structure, dynamics, corrupt leaders with a focus on issues such as successful survival strategies, self-identity, critical thinking, trust, and connecting to society at large.
If you are interested in scheduling an individual office or phone consultation, or participating in one of the groups listed above, please contact Colleen. Phone: 415-785-3513; E-Mail: email@example.com; Address: P.O. Box 445, Forest Knolls, CA 94933
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage," -- Anais Nin.
-- CLIENT COMMENTS --
"All in all I would say that our work together continues to have been a grand success...Having worked through much of the underlying pain and conflict, I simply no longer feel the need to be intoxicated -- there is no pain left to kill. That is a freedom so fantastic that it remains hard for me to express in words."
"I really appreciate the work you do--- and will always be thankful for the difference you made supporting me with your wise cult perspectives, understanding, and personal encouragement with my sister. It was a relief to know I wasn't alone in that desperate time, and I don't know what I would have done without your help."
"As a motherless daughter I now realize that for years following my mother's death I didn't allow myself to feel my pain or to confront how her death and illness affected my life. Now I'm able to be myself and not let my perception of others' feelings dictate what I do or say...The pain has subsided and even the shame I somehow felt. I can now comfortably say 'I'm a motherless daughter' because it's part of who I am."
"I feel I have healed from the impact of the cult and it is no longer on my radar. I have been testing out different churches ... In this process I feel empowered and not obligated to serve under a certain pastor and if I don’t like the place, I leave (then and there, not when the service is over) and don’t come back. I feel no guilt or fear of cosmic punishment if I do so. I will not compromise my hard-earned victory by placing myself under the strong hand of a tyrant. I guess I have been immunized in that regard. Thank you for helping me to be empowered to take control of my life."
"I thoroughly appreciate your consistent professionalism, gentle support, and understanding. I'm leaving our group as a 'new person' in some ways...I'm sad that I won't be seeing everyone regularly, but I'm excited about my life."
"I spent roughly two years meeting with Colleen, and at times with the group she maintains. I was at a complete loss for a definition of what I wanted or needed to do to regain control over my life, mind and body. I was riddled with doubt about her ability, and it was a significant challenge to learn to trust her, and myself, in the process of finding a pathway to healing.
"There was no moment of epiphany, no instantaneous clarity, no magic. Indeed, the expectation of such things is itself a side effect of the cult in which I was involved. There was no secret knowledge, no higher level to obtain... What we did 'together' was form a partnership, a team. Our objective was deeper understanding, but not special knowledge or the revelation of secrets.
"All individuals will face their own challenges, but for me, it seemed that the process was akin to shedding a second skin of personality and behaviors that had been imposed on my psyche. It took time, and effort, and was fraught with setbacks and doubts.
"It was ultimately worth it. Life today is not perfect, but then, it is not perfect for anyone and I have learned not to expect to be so. Over time, the nightmares came less often, the paranoia melted away, and my need to self medicate dissolved. I found out that it was possible to simply be, without having to be something or someone or somewhere. I could simply exist, with all my faults and gifts, with all my highs and lows, and within a world of many shades of gray, instead of a world filled with only black and white."