I utilize an integrative and holistic healing approach rooted in compassion that allows the physical, mental, cultural, emotional, and spiritual parts of self to be explored and reconnected.
I am a firm believer that we all possess the strength and ability to navigate through the journey of life, but some journeys are better taken with the guidance of someone else. I am merely a guide, leading you to powers you already have.
Who I Am
I’m a therapist who originates from Los Angeles, California and I spent 10 years of my life studying and working in the Netherlands. I completed a MA in Counseling Psychology and began my own practice in 2016, working mainly with the expat and international communities in the Netherlands. I have had clients from over 40 (and still counting!) different countries and I’m eternally grateful to receive insight into so many different cultures. I also worked as a research assistant for a project that focused on the psychological and social needs of victims of human trafficking. In 2020, I decided to moved back to California, although I still practice in the Netherlands and all over the world with online sessions. I was a licensed therapist in the Netherlands and I’m currently a member of the American Counseling Association and adhere to their ethical principles. I’m an avid reader and I regularly attend psychotherapy conferences and trainings to stay up to date with advances in the field.
In my practice, I work individually with adults. I'm a feminist and I have a strong passion for women's rights and empowerment; I work from a feminist-perspective, thus I mostly work with women, but not exclusively. I'm adamant about standing up for social justice issues and helping those who are marginalized, traumatized, and victimized. I believe that women have plenty of power inside themselves already, but many need help to re-discover their strength and voices. Given this, it's important to examine the social, cultural and health issues that impact a woman throughout her lifetime. Some of these include pregnancy, menstruation, abortion, miscarriage, parenting, menopause, sexual assault, domestic violence, body image, discrimination, racism and harassment. I am sex-positive and specialize in sexual functioning, sexual pleasure and alternative practices in sexuality and relationships. I am an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and will always fight for equality and justice for this community.
Recently I have completed trainings on menstrual health and nutrition for mental health. I really enjoy helping those who menstruate learn more about their cycle and live in a way that's more aligned with this process. More often than not, this means exploring nutrition, as it’s undeniable that we eat has a huge impact on our menstrual/physical health, as well as mental health. I truly believe that food is medicine. I'm a big proponent of the Health at Every Size movement (HAES), mindful and intuitive eating, as well as learning about one's cultural and ancestral background to get inspiration for eating more in alignment with this.
I practice from a trauma-informed approach. I take seriously the prevalence of trauma in our societies and I operate from the mindset that most of us are not getting through life without experiencing trauma. Trauma is an inner injury due to difficult or hurtful events that are often overwhelming and tends to leave us disconnected from ourselves. I believe that we can all heal from the traumatic events we have experienced and that healing often happens in the context of supportive, loving relationships. Healing trauma must revolve around choice and empowerment, while establishing safety and trust. Being trauma-informed also means that we won’t just spend time exploring and trying to modify your behaviors and beliefs, rather we will seek to understand why these came about in the first place and what purpose they may serve.
I also find it extremely relevant to put a client's issues into a greater context regarding the current state of our world. Patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism have created societies that are abnormal and unhealthy. These oppressive systems have caused great damage to the Earth and all of the beings on this planet. Many of us blame ourselves for our issues without looking at the conditions that surround us. We cannot deny that things like racism, sexism, the destruction of the Earth, wealth inequality, polarized politics, lack of community and our increasing reliance on technology and social media have a great impact on our mental and physical health. It's no surprise that many of us are regularly feeling depressed, fearful, anxious, traumatized and disconnected. These are very normal reactions to a world that is very abnormal. I will always help my clients challenge the notion that their value is dependent on how well they fit into a world that is harmful and unhealthy in many ways.
Therapy can be a personal opportunity to receive support and experience growth during challenging times in life. Very few of us are given the tools and information that contribute to a satisfying, peaceful life. Therapy can be an opportunity to truly get to know and understand yourself. It can help one deal with many personal topics in life such as, but not limited to:
-Anxiety & stress related issues
-Depression & mood issues
-Sexuality & relationship issues
-Loss of meaning or direction in life
-Trauma, grief, loss & injustice
-Coping with difficult emotions
-Communication & boundary issues
-Women's empowerment & feminist issues
-Menstrual health, PMS, & PMDD
-Reconnecting to & caring for the body
-Nutritional support, intuitive/mindful eating
-Reconnecting with the spiritual self
-Coping with being highly sensitive
-Adjustment & acculturation/expat issues
It is a common misconception that those who seek therapy must be experiencing emotional distress. Therapy can also benefit those who simply wish to learn more about oneself and to grow personally, socially, or spiritually. Increased insight, self-acceptance, gratitude, and self-compassion are all potential therapy goals.
"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."
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
My aim is to help you truly know your mind, heart and body.
Humans are so very complex and we do not exist in a vacuum. We are all greatly influenced by the experiences of our past, the many unjust systems in our societies, our culture, our religion/spirituality, as well as our current relationships. Very few of us are given instruction on what to do with the pain from a difficult childhood, how to have a loving relationship with others and self, how to build community and rediscover our spirituality, and how to slow down and really spend time inquiring about what the self needs and wants.
I believe good therapy should ignite a sense of curiosity in one's self which can lead to more awareness and understanding of who you are - to really know your heart, mind, and body intimately. I find it useful to emphasize self compassion and self acceptance practices, as societies have conditioned many of us to feel badly about ourselves. Being at war with ourselves is one of the most debilitating things a human experiences. I find that when we are able to treat ourselves with compassion, we can move through difficult times with more serenity. Therapy can also provide an opportunity to become more aware and thus more free to consciously choose our way instead of relying on automatic, conditioned patterns or getting caught up in judgments about ourselves.
My goal is to meet you exactly where you are and to collaborate in finding ways that are most helpful for you. I help people make sense of their symptoms from a trauma-informed/societal informed lens, while utilizing a mind-body approach. In doing so, I work in an integrative and holistic way and will use different approaches in my work. I am most inspired by somatic therapies, Buddhism, existential psychology, and attachment theory. Those I draw upon most in my work are Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Irvin Yalom, Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Harriet Lerner, Sue Johnson, Leslie Korn, Gabor Maté, Dan Siegel, Esther Perel, Richard Schwartz, Carl Rogers, bell hooks, Gloria Steinem and many other feminist writers. Recently I have been exploring the therapeutic use of psychedelic/plant medicine assisted therapies as well as shamanism.
Unfortunately, the Western world has often neglected the connection between mind and body. Many of us live from our neck up (meaning: we're in our heads a lot!) and we often do not consider the great amount of insight and wisdom the body has. We tend to give the mind and our thoughts a lot of power and we're usually unaware of how these thoughts register in our bodies. I will help you to reconnect with your instincts and give space to explore not only your mind, but what your heart and gut are trying to communicate, as well.
I often incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices in sessions, as these have been proven to help individuals gain more awareness and connection with the body and mind. I also greatly enjoy helping individuals reconnect to their spiritual self through being in nature and caring for the earth, developing community, and getting in touch with one's ancestral roots and heritage. I believe that when one goes on the journey of discovery, that we must also find and allow lightness, creativity and laughter to enter the realm of healing. I enjoy including all of this and whatever else my clients find most useful in our work together.
Above all, the quality of the client-therapist relationship is most important for achieving goals in therapy. A willingness to collaborate and be authentic with each other will maximize the outcomes of therapy. Therapy works best when you feel at ease, able to trust and fully disclose to your therapist. My job is to provide a compassionate, loving, safe and non-judgmental space for you to discuss whatever thoughts or concerns you may have. I do not ever take lightly the courage it takes for another to sit in front of someone they don’t know and bare their soul. I have immense respect and gratitude for my clients that they allow me inside their inner worlds and trust me to hold their stories. I encourage those seeking a therapist to “shop” around for a person that they feel most comfortable and secure with. With that in mind, I am more than willing to answer any questions or concerns via email or telephone before we decide to schedule a session.
I tend to make use of the full hour and sometimes longer per session. The first few sessions will focus on the concerns that have brought you to therapy as well as your past. This is to get an understanding of how past events could be influencing your present circumstance. The intake procedure will help me to get to know you better and provide you an opportunity to feel what it is like to work with me. After the intake, we can discuss your areas of strength, improvement and goals for therapy.
Clients are always responsible for payment directly to me, however, you may be eligible for reimbursement through your health insurance. International health insurances will sometimes cover the costs of therapy. I highly recommend that you contact your health insurance provider directly for more information and to determine your coverage. I am more than willing to help provide you with any information I know regarding this matter.
I'm willing to be flexible with my fee in relation to your financial situation. I offer reduced rates for people of color. I utilize a sliding scale, as I feel that everyone should be able to access mental health services. I ask that those who can afford the full fee pay in accordance so that I can continue offering reduced fees to those in need. If you have any questions about my fees or anything else, please contact me.
My cancellation policy is that sessions will be charged in full if I am not given 24 hours notice of cancellation.
+1 (818) 620-2034
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde
Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.”
©2020 by Nicole Rand Mind Body Spirit Therapy