Integrating Mind and Body
to Experience More Joy and Aliveness
“Psychotherapy has to do with two people playing together” (D. W. Winnicott)
I am Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Analytic Somatic Therapy™, a cutting-edge body-centered approach created by Dr. John Conger as a further development of Bioenergetic Analysis enriched by more recent trauma-focused and Neuroscience approaches), Systemic Family and Couples Therapy and Problem Solving (as developed at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (as developed by Steve de Shazer/Insoo Kim Berg). I also provide conflict management for work dyads/teams.
I also draw upon Reichian Therapy/Orgonomy, Analytical Psychology and Gestalt Therapy and incorporate Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy approaches.
I practice in Berkeley and Palo Alto/Mountain View (near the Google headquarter). I am also available via Google Hangout and Skype.
I work with all kinds of issues, the most common being anxiety and panic disorders, depression, anger, developmental trauma, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), parenting, stress at work, self esteem and body image, chronic tension and other body issues, self-harming behaviors such as cutting, eating disorders, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, loss and grief, issues concerning spirituality, relationships, fertility, immigration, career, etc.
I see individuals, couples, families and children.
I work a lot with individuals and groups of Silicon Valley High Tech companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Yahoo, etc. and tech start-ups, addressing career-related issues, performance issues, anxiety and stress at work, issues with co-workers, etc. I incorporate Mindfulness, Meditation. I have taught stress management since 2007 with the goal to help people create a sustainable work and lifestyle as opposed to "work-life balance".
Emotions connected with traumatic experiences are held in the body and only by including the body in the treatment, fundamental change can occur. The 6 foundations of Analytic Somatic Therapy™ are Grounding, Breath, Boundaries, Range of Emotion, Intention to be here and Energy.
Prior to starting my private practice, I worked at the Liberation Institute, a Community Mental Health Clinic in San Francisco and, prior to that, at the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy in San Francisco. I also worked in the Contra Costa County's early headstart program with children 2-5, mostly using non-directive play therapy.
I completed a 4-year training in Analytic Somatic Therapy™ (AST) and Bioenergetic Analysis and received my certification in AST. I was in Analytic Somatic Therapy/Bioenergetic Analysis myself for 5 years and in Analytic Somatic/Bioenergetic Supervision for 4 years, including 1 year with prominent Bioenergetic Analyst Eleanor Greenlee. I attended the International Bioenergetics Conference in Sicily, Italy last year.
I also completed a year-long training in Rosen Method Bodywork at the Rosen Center in Berkeley (Level 1). Rosen Method is a form of bodywork that works with emotions and the body. Additionally, I have been taking workshops in Somatic Practice with Kathy Kain, an approach which focuses on releasing trauma in the body. Somatic Practice, as I understand it, works with all body layers, muscles, bones, nerves, fascia, etc. and is focused on resonance between client and practitioner.
I've had a long-term passion for body-oriented approaches to psychotherapy and have, for my own personal growth and professional development, studied many modalities including Reichian Psychotherapy (Orgone Therapy), Rubenfeld Synergy Method, Gestalt therapy, Holotropic Breathwork, Jungian Dreamwork, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, Tai Chi (with Chungliang Al Huang), and Acupressure to only name a few.
I hold two Masters degrees, one in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies and the other in Science of Communication from the University of Arts in Berlin, Germany. I've had a 20-year long career in learning and leadership development, career development and career coaching. I built and led People Manager Development and the School of Personal Growth at Google which hosted the now legendary Search Inside Yourself program.
I am certified in Systemic Therapy and Consulting (by Systemic Association, Berlin, Germany). I have extensively trained in Brief Therapy at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto with Paul Watzlawick, Richard Fisch (1998-2002) and others and in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy at the Brief Family Therapy Center with Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg (2003-2005). I am an honory member of the European Network of Brief Systemic and Strategic Therapy started by Giorgio Nardone. I gave a key note address on Heinz von Foerster's influence onto family therapy and management at the first conference of the European Network in 2004.
Having started with formal therapy training in 1998, I have 14 years of experience in the fields of psychotherapy and counseling. Informally, my training in psychotherapy dates back to 1990.
I am fluent in German, my native language, and conversant in Spanish and French.
I provide invoices which you can submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement. I am an out-of-network provider, and my clients tell me that their PPO insurance plans often cover most, if not all, of my fee.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (650) 898-7734 to schedule a session. Please note that I have a 48-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel less than 48 hours you are responsible for full price of the session. Occasionally, it may be possible that we can reschedule within 6 days face-to-face, via skype or hangout but I can't guaranteee it. The make-up session within 6 days is not to replace the next regular session.
Check out my Psychology Today Profile
Words of gratitute:
I am particularly grateful to Dr. John P. Conger, my mentor since 2009 for all his support in my own personal growth and my professional development as a therapist. He has always modeled for me what is now most important for me in being a therapist: to be real, to really listen and to be present. And it is my goal to help my clients feel real and come into their own true self. Additionally, it was an honor to study with prominent Bioenergetic Analyst Eleanor Greenlee.
I am also very grateful to my mentors in brief therapy, Paul Watzlawick, Richard Fisch and Barbara Anger-Diaz from the Mental Research Institute as well as to Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. All of them have not just been teachers to me but also friends. And while he was not a therapist, Heinz von Foerster has influenced my work as a therapist in the most fundamental way. I am honored that I was able to co-author a book with him, and I am eternally grateful for all he has taught me.
And many thanks to the people I learned from at California Institute of Integral Studies, particularly Ian Grand and Don H. Johnson, the founder of the Somatics program. I am also grateful to many workshop leaders and friends, especially those at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur including C~Jay Bradbury, Chungliang Al Huang, Seymour Carter and Steve Harper and Patrick Douce. And to my parents who made it possible for me to become who I have become.
Monika S. Broecker
"After experiencing a series of traumatizing events, I was hopelessly depressed, anxious and an utter and complete psychological wreck. I had completely lost touch with reality and was ultimately forced to withdraw from college in order to return home and find a way to regain my health. In my last meeting with my on-campus therapist, my mother and I were instructed to look specifically for 'dialectical behavior therapy,' as "Borderline Personality Disorder" was looking more and more to be what I was struggling with.
I could not be more thankful that I found Monika. I discovered her through Psychology Today, and we started meeting 4x per week only a few days after I returned home. She never assumed anything about me based on my previous diagnosis, clearly taking the investigation into her own hands, and being sensitive but nonetheless thorough in breaking down the precise issues and the complex past that I had been so debilitated by.
After four months of intensive therapy, I feel like an entirely new person. The Borderline Personality tendencies I had struggled with--immense difficulty with boundaries and limits, self-mutilation, substance abuse, chronic feelings of emptiness and a lack of a sense of self--have entirely diminished. I have never been so confident in my self-awareness.
Monika has equipped me with invaluable tools to keep attuned to my body, my needs, and my true self. She has taught me how to be conscious of my personal boundaries, set limits for myself, and even incorporate meditation and grounding techniques into my daily life.
Because of Monika and her boundless patience and knowledge, I can now move forward in my life with the confidence that I am making smart and safe decisions for myself and for those that I love. I started at a new college and am thriving both in my academic work as well as in my athletic ambitions without draining myself."
College Student, 20
"Monika combines listening with active counseling, and traditional psychotherapy with breath and meditation techniques, in a blend that allowed me to explore some of my old/root issues while simultaneously gaining practical techniques for dealing with challenging emotions in the present. Through my meetings with Monika, some patterns and habits that I hadn’t previously recognized became clearer, and though I feel ages away from the deep depression I experienced as an adolescent/young adult, the variety of grounding/centering techniques I learned from Monika have continued to be helpful, especially in the moments when I begin to feel myself on the slippery slope of depression."
Executive Assistant and Mother, 38
"Monika was a very supportive therapist for 2 years. I saw her to treat disordered eating, anxiety and depression issues, and to work through family difficulties. Our therapy ended when I decided to move out of state to continue my education. Throughout our time together, she would tailor our sessions depending on what she saw that I needed. This was especially helpful as she is knowledgeable in many different area of therapy, from solution-focused therapy to Gestalt work. And of course she is very familiar with somatic techniques. Throughout my work with her, I researched many different models of the mind (and took psychology courses in school myself) and I would often be surprised to learn that Monika had not only trained under that model, but had also trained under a pioneer of the field. As a person, she is also a great resource. Her career has gone through many different stages and as a career coach she helped me to not only make sense of where I was but also where I wanted to go."
College student, 23
"Monika has a great sense of integrity in her work. No stone is left unturned by Monika in our work together, ensuring a great sense of closure and completion in the process. I am awed by Monika's expertise and wealth of knowledge in her field. I feel I have stumbled upon a treasure box of great insights that Monika affords me as I proceed in my search for personal growth. Monika is generous with her time and energy, and she is always willing to go the extra mile to create greater understanding and healing for her clients."
Psychotherapist (MFTI), 45
"Thanks for the therapy sessions. I have gained a huge amount of perspective on my fears and anxieties thanks to our conversations and somatic work. Now I need to build on ways to work with them."
"I spent a year in therapy. I was nice to have a person without a bias to talk to. As a college student and mother I was going through a divorce and was having a hard time getting on the right path. The therapy offered me the opportunity to really define my academic goals and encouraged me to follow my personal dreams. Since then I have moved to a better place, and I am raising my two children. Graduation is next year, and I plan on going to grad school fall of 2015. Thanks to Monika who allowed me to express my goals, emotions and dreams and has assisted me in planning for my future."
College student and parent, 31
"I've learned a lot about myself in the process, especially thanks to you and all of your expert guidance. You have taught me tools that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. I can't thank you enough for all of your kind words, encouragement, and great advice."
Senior Engineer, 37