Hello & welcome!
My Name in Donna Blethen, I am a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with 40+ years of experience working with couples & families.
As a Therapist I am committed to my work of helping people compassionately understand themselves and those in their lives. Being able to develop an understanding and acceptance of self, of others and of situations we find ourselves in is crucial to developing peace within oneself.
My forty-four years in the field of psychotherapy, as well as my personal experience, help me to have the depth to see other people’s issues clearly. I can be counted on to interact with truthful and thoughtful consideration.
A little bit about me...
I have been trained in many different disciplines: family therapy, dream therapy, hypnosis, Jungian psychology, relationship life therapy, transpersonal psychology, intuition, and attachment therapy. I use all of my training as well as my own experience as a woman, wife, mother, teacher, athlete, family member and human being, in my work. I have the capacity to clearly see the issues people are presenting. I speak truthfully with heart-offering wisdom that I have learned over my years on this planet.
I moved my practice from San Francisco after the 1989 earthquake and the birth of my second child. To become known in the Pacifica Community I wrote articles for the Pacifica Tribune. As my children reached school age, I became an active volunteer in their school programs, initiating, along with others, the Restructured Program at Cabrillo Grammar School. There I wore many hats, including Conflict Resolution Program Director. I know first hand the juggling act between work and home, private life and community life.
My sons are now grown with families of their own. They have taught my husband and me a great many lessons in the kind of adult relationship they want with us. This has resulted in a new phase of my work: teaching parents of their “adult children” how to form new relationships. This often takes different constellations of family members, meeting individually or collectively, to repair old mistakes and forge a new relational map. In addition, we seniors, often need guidance about what is none of our business.
Individual counseling is a time to reflect on and observe with guidance what is getting in the way of living life the best you possibly can. Sometimes it is about grieving losses, sometimes it is about finding faith, healing old wounds, letting go and moving on. It is a deep, shared process with a profound learning that occurs on both your part and mine. Being heard and seen with compassion and understanding we can unlock old hurts, untangle irrational thinking, heal old wounds and move on.
The earth is our classroom. We have lessons to grow. We have chosen this class. Love is the divine power. We all want love. We all search for love. The trouble is we can’t find love outside before we have found love inside. This starts with how we talk to ourselves about ourselves. What kind of words do we use to describe ourselves? Do we praise, encourage, forgive ourselves, or do we call ourselves clumsy, fat, stupid? The self-talk we use makes our minds fertile to receive poison if we are self-critical, or blessings if we are self-loving. How are you nourishing and tilling your soul ground? with love or with poison?
Without finding inner love, we struggle to find happiness. Individual therapy with me helps you get to the you that you can love and cherish.
Good relationships are based on friendship. They are based on liking each other, liking to spend time together talking, doing things together. Friendship includes thinking of each other, remembering what each other likes and dislikes, surprising one another with attention to details that mean a lot.
All of us can use some relationship coaching. We have our parents as the adult model of relating internalized whether we like it or not. There are not many classes on relationships. There is however a ton of research that has been done on healing relationship patterns. For 44 years I have studied many of these as well as been coached and counseled myself.
Come get some help.
- It is possible for men to understand women.
- It is possible for women to understand men.
- It is possible for each of us to understand how we “tick”.
- It is possible to heal old wounded relationships so that we can love again.
- It does take introspection and self observation.
- It does take forgiveness and self-acceptance.
- It does take courage.
Are you up for it?
Family Counseling is a time:
- to understand that each family member is an individual with their own needs and wants,
- to understand we are all learning from each other, whether parent, child or sibling.
- to focus on family values,
- to understand the developmental stage the family is in
- to learn to speak to each other in ways that can be heard
- to learn to listen to each other with our hearts (not our wounded egos that want to be right)
- to learn parenting techniques that are more effective
- To learn:
- To maintain a routine
- To be firm without dominating
- To win cooperation
- To learn to withdraw from a conflict that is stalemated or is escalating
- To use actions not nagging words
- To refrain from overprotection
- To stimulate independence
- To follow through and be consistent
- To watch our tone of voice
- To have fun together
- To talk with each other not AT each other
- To negotiate requests
- To learn to come to clear reasonable boundaries that each member can live with
- To develop empathy : the ability to walk in each others’ shoes
As parents we need to be knowledgeable leaders whose positive and stimulating influence offers encouragement, guidance, mutual respect, logical consequences, and fosters self determination. We teach good listening skills, and create an awareness of situations and what is needed and more.
Workshop & Classes
Available by Arrangement
- Workplace Skill Building: Cooperation with others and self management
- Communication classes: first empathy then education
- Parenting classes: firmly with love
- Dream classes: decode that hidden language
- Couples Classes: keys to successful relationships
I charge for sessions at an hourly rate of $200/hour.
Sessions can be scheduled for 1 hour, 1.5 hours or 2 hours depending on your need.