Anna Jean Berman, MA
Office location: San Diego
I believe that therapy empowers clients to take action to become the best version of themselves. Everyone has the ability within them to reach their goals, and my job as a therapist is to help unearth their innate tools. Clients develop stories, or fixed beliefs, about themselves from an early age – through societal norms, familial beliefs, or other influences – which then shape them as they develop and grow into mature adults. Clients then develop underlying assumptions about themselves, and it is these underlying assumptions that inevitably cause distress to the client. Therapy helps the client challenge these beliefs through behavioral changes, and ultimately through changes in the way they think.
"I believe each client that steps into my office wants to live a more satisfied life but does not know how to access the tools they have within them. Because therapy is collaborative, clients dictate the pace and goals we set as we uncover more and more innate tools. The sense of achievement they gain empowers them to keep using the tools they build to face problems long after therapy ends".
For children and adolescents, I use a directive play therapy approach. We will use games, art, and other therapeutically designed interventions to bring to light the child/adolescent’s inner struggles. I believe that the child or adolescent has the tools to fix themselves; however, the child uses a different language than adults. As Gary Landreth says, play is a child’s language and toys are their words. I help the child make sense of his world through playing with the child.
I use mostly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with clients who come in as individuals unless I feel that their goals would be better facilitated by another theory of therapy. Together, my client and I will explore their behaviors and thoughts, figure out what they would like to see in themselves, and collaboratively make a plan to carry out the individual’s goals.
When a couple comes into my therapy room, I use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). It is attachment-based and well-researched short-term model of couple’s therapy. I help couples feel safe, secure, and heard by their partner in order to nurture connection and attain their goals for therapy.
California Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Associate #102831
Employed by Caldwell-Clark
Supervised by Aimee Clark, Licensed MFT #43736