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Claire Greenwood


I hold a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. I've spent 10 years providing spiritual care and working in community mental health settings.

I believe human beings need healthy attachments, and many of our feelings of depression, hopelessness, anxiety, etc. come from some kind of disrupted attachment. We also live in culture that is hyper-individualistic, and encourages a kind of avoidant attachment style. I spent my twenties as a Buddhist nun in a monastery, trying to be "independent" and "not be attached" to people. Although I did experience some calm in meditation and through communal living, eventually I came to see that true satisfaction lies not in rejecting human connection, but by engaging with it. Through my own therapy and my relationships with loved ones as an adult, I've come to appreciate the messiness, complexity, and joy of really being in the world with others. 

In addition to being a therapist, I am a Zen priest, and work at Institute of Buddhist Studies, a seminary and graduate school in Berkeley, CA. I've found that therapy and spiritual practice are useful complements for each other. I often bring mindfulness exercises and present-moment awareness to my sessions. I've found that mindful awareness enables therapeutic work to deepen in unexpected and exciting ways. I've published widely on Buddhism, mindfulness meditation, and spirituality, including two books and articles in Spirituality & Health, Parabola, Lion's Roar, Tricycle, and Buddhadharma magazines. I enjoy working with all types of creative people, and view therapy as a kind of poem we are writing together.

I'm white, queer, and am a former Buddhist nun, but identify as a religious skeptic. I strive to acknowledge class and race privilege in my personal and professional life, and view political activism as a crucial adjunct to therapy. My therapy is authentic and social justice informed. I'm polyamory and kink affirming. 

I am currently an associate in private practice, supervised by Debra Warshaw Taube, LMFT #29304. 

Recent trainings: 

  • EMDR Basic Training (2023), The EMDR Institute 

  • Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis)- Beginning September 2023

  • Trans Embodiment and Neuropsychoanalytic Approaches to Treatment- series of workshops on gender dysphoria and trans affirming care with S.J Langer, LCSW

  • Assessment and Treatment of ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Adults with W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D.

  • Early Career Case Conference- Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (San Francisco, CA) 

  • Helping Couples & Families Heal Trauma Using Internal Family Systems with Dick Schwartz, Ph.D., February 26-27, 2022

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (2019-2020)

  • Somatic Experiencing: A Workshop with Peter Levine (San Francisco, CA) April 27-28, 2019

  • Intro to Gestalt Awareness Practice (Santa Cruz, CA), led by Christine Price, December 13-15 2019

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