Photo: Delphine Coursault
Photo: Delphine Coursault
Many different life circumstances may bring you to a therapist's door, and ultimately, to explore your own inner doorways. Maybe you've been dealing with depression, and you're tired of feeling tired and weighed down. Or maybe you're dealing with anxiety and the way it seems to infiltrate daily life.
You may have experienced a major loss, shock, or setback, such as a divorce, death of a loved one, or a painfully stalled life dream. You may find yourself standing at a crossroads in life—facing a major decision, trying to change a behavior, or experiencing a creative block. You might be struggling to find work/life balance or to manage stress or difficult emotions more effectively. Or you might be seeking to recover from childhood wounding, low self-esteem, or the effects of oppressive systems. Perhaps you are in a stalemate in a relationship and you're seeking to gain communication skills.
Maybe you are looking for a therapy experience where you feel like the therapist is really walking right alongside you. Where the therapist is a guide, collaborator, and witness striving to really understand who you are, how you feel, and where you're coming from—in a way that is approachable, warm, humble, human, real, and present. Where laughter is not only permissible but a potent force for healing. And where you can bring your full self to the table and have all parts of yourself honored and respected.
Sometimes, it's not even the desire for pain relief that can bring someone to therapy. It can also be the yearning for replenishment, a more meaningful life, and deeper, more rewarding relationships with self and others. You might be "coasting" in life but feel an inner gnawing that indicates something is amiss. Perhaps you're oversaturated with online activities and you're feeling a calling to turn inward. Maybe you're seeking to get to know yourself more deeply. To feel more creative, connected, vibrant, open-hearted, present, and resilient, even when times are turbulent.
Maybe you are looking for a place to explore your spirituality in a concrete way. Or, as author Thomas Moore calls it, to invite the "re-enchantment of everyday life"—perhaps reconnecting with nature, the sacred as you define it, intuition, and dreams.
Or maybe you want to explore sexuality, gender, and relationships in an environment that is LGBTQQIP2SAA-friendly and welcoming to all varieties of relationship styles (monogamy, consensual nonmonogamy, etc.) and flavors of sexual expression... Or maybe, just maybe, you are looking for a place where you can just BE.
My name is Jessica Viscomi, MA, LMFT (MFC #104851). I go by my nickname, "Chiara" (pronounced "Key-ARE-uh"). I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Francisco, California, drawing upon a rich background in psychology, the performing arts, and integrative medicine. I have been studying psychology for over 20 years, examining the dimensions of human behavior and pathways to well-being.
My work is constantly evolving and informed by humanistic, transpersonal, and Jungian/depth psychology frameworks. My background as a longtime writer and editor in the integrative medicine field also informs my work with people—most important, the integrative model of reverently working with the whole person, not just the symptoms.
My counseling style is warm and collaborative. I blend talk, expressive arts, mindfulness, and somatic work in a way that allows the spaciousness of creativity and exploration, as well as the concreteness of goal-setting and building your “toolbox” of skills you can use for the rest of your life. For those who are interested, I also weave in sacred arts such as storytelling, creating altars and rituals, and more. In sum, my approach is holistic, incorporating all aspects of the person: mind, body, and spirit.
I have also spent a great deal of time working in the corporate arena, so I am sensitive to the issues that people working in the corporate world may face, such as creating work/life balance, finding life purpose, assertiveness development/positive confrontation, etc.
The lapis is a striking semiprecious stone with deep history. Vivid blue in color and scattered with gold-like flecks, it was revered by the alchemists, who were medieval philosopher-chemists. They believed that lapis might be the philosopher’s stone, or the stone that could turn lead into gold.
Taken as a metaphor, lapis can be seen as the substance within us that can alter the lead of our lives into gold. Through inner work, in the crucible of a respectful and trusting relationship, our hardships, wounds, and “stuck” places can be transformed. Our pain can become a source of strength, understanding, greater vitality, and compassion for self and others. And our inner radiance that was there all along can shine brighter into the world, now unencumbered.