John Bieda

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Gender: Male

Languages: English

Training: MA Psychology John F. Kennedy University

Specialty: Chronic Mental Illness and Trauma

Pronouns: He, Him, His

I have been involved in therapy it seems all my life. I have seen what I feel are awfully bad therapists and some very good ones. Ultimately it led me to my own style that focuses on being present with my clients and being genuine. Therapy often seems so passive, and I am excited to be able to work with individuals in a way that brings about systemic changes in their life through changing the way they perceive their memories and traumas in life. Utilizing a combination of CBT, DBT and EMDR therapies, clients can change their own internal systems, so they have different self-talk. Clients can then also look at past experiences and traumas without as much pain. 

The experiences I have had in my life have allowed me understand others effectively. Being open to being taught is of prime importance to me as I can never truly understand another’s experiences. Joining with clients to create treatment plan to learn skills and make progress is the method I have been taught to use to meet the goals my clients create for themselves. 

While working as a therapist I have seen how few clinicians take insurance. I have seen how therapists hate billing and have created a company that I believe will help therapists be able to provide the work they love to do while also allow also allowing them to earn the income they deserve and have benefits to take care of themselves, and any dependents they add. 

If anyone has questions, I am always available to answer calls or texts, except when I am with clients, or on Thursday nights, which is personal time with family and sacred.

 

Welcome.

Email: jbiedajr@bayareatherapygroup.com
Phone: 866-227-7715 ext. 702

Vera Lanaro

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Gender: Female

Languages: English

Training: MSW University of Southern Main

Specialty: Geriatrics

Pronouns: She, Her

I received my masters’ degree in social work in 2005 from the University of Maine and my LCSW in 2007. Originally from New York, I lived in Maine for many years before moving to the Bay Area in 2018. I received my undergraduate degree in philosophy and decided to go into social work so I could put the questions and ideas I was studying to practical use helping other people. I wanted to know what it means to live a good life, and I wanted to help other people explore these types of questions in their own lives. While studying philosophy, I became interested in Eastern thought and began a meditation practice that has remained a central part of my life since then. (I’ve studied Zen meditation for over 20 years.)

 

I’ve worked in community mental health providing services for adults including case management, individual therapy, and group counseling. I also worked for several years at an inpatient psychiatric hospital where I learned the importance of reducing stigma and mobilizing community support for people struggling with acute mental illness. Most recently I worked with a large health care provider organization helping members access appropriate mental health services in their communities.

 

I believe everyone has the ability to learn and grow from their life experiences and improve the quality of their lives. I work with clients using cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques to help them learn how to recognize and change unhealthy or painful patterns in their lives. The work is not always easy or comfortable but it is rewarding, and it has the power to bring lasting, positive change to our lives.

 

Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve enjoyed taking day trips and discovering local landmarks and the many hiking trails in the area. I like to cook and try out new recipes. I enjoy knitting and recently started learning how to do origami.

 

I hope to be able to bring what I’ve learned in my life to my work with clients. Not as an expert or someone with the answers, but as a coach or guide who is also on the journey to living a more authentic and happier life.

Email:
vera.lanaro@bayareatherapygroup.com
Phone: 866-227-7715

Ashura Hughley

Gender: Male

Languages: English

Training: MSW Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY

Specialty: Children, Adolescents, Transitional Age Youth.

Pronouns: He, Him, His

Hi, my name is Ashura. I have over 14 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families. I am the son of a minister, and have a natural curiosity to explore world religions and deepen an understanding of daily spiritual practice. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I use a trauma-focused and holistic approach to mental health. I believe that we all have the power to heal ourselves; and spiritual principles and holistic practices are of important use to experience the life we desire. I look forward to working with you.

Email:
ashura.hughley@bayareatherapygroup.com
Phone: 866-227-7715

Samatra Downing

Gender: Female

Languages: English

Training: San Jose State University

Specialty: Adolescents, Individuals and Families.

Pronouns: She, Her

Hello! My name is Samatra Downing,  and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, as well as a State of California Credentialed School Administrator, specializing in individual, family and group therapy. I was born and raised in San Francisco and love to travel, spend time with my family and play fantasy football during the professional football season.  This fall I will begin my tenure as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco. 

I graduated from San Jose State University in 2002, with a BA in Social Work, and in 2004 with an MSW, and Pupil Personnel Service Credentials. For over 11 years , I have specialized in therapeutic work with adolescents, individuals and families. Among my areas of expertise are Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Wellness Coaching.

I am an interactive therapist. My therapeutic approach is a positive strength-based approach. I work with individuals, adolescents, and families. I work with those experiencing depression, anxiety, grief and loss, divorce, parenting difficulties, life transitions and changes, questions about identity, as well as people struggling with everyday life. I bring a new perspective to old patterns of coping. Thank You for taking the time to learn a little about me, I look forward to working with you! 

Email:
samatra.downing@bayareatherapygroup.com
Phone: 866-227-7715