Why I Became A Therapist
I’m in love with people. My #1 passion? People. In my bones and blood, I want to make our planet a better place. One person at a time, one relationship at a time–lighten our burdens, grow to our fullest, and set ourselves free. I love everything about our beautiful species. When I say this, I sometimes get a skeptical look, as if “What about the dark, dank, unsavory parts of us? How could could you love the ugly?” The dark is something for me to shine light and love. The friction something for me to oil. The conflict something to smooth. When we come closer to our fear, and without running away, we’re able to sit with it, we see more clearly how we’re judging ourselves. We are our biggest critic. In therapy I help you befriend yourself. In turn, this touches every aspect of who you are in the world–with your partner and family to colleagues, strangers–and everyone and everything in between. Everything relating to us . . . who we are, how we connect and don’t, our wishes and shivers, our tears and fears, our longing and aches . . . everything about people excites me. Doing therapy is not a ‘job’ for me. It’s who I am. It’s a way of Being, and a thrilling way of living! I’m with you, my client, in the way I most treasure, creating a safe, sacred space for you to reveal who you are. As you bare vulnerable emotional skin, I relate to you authentically, honestly, gently. As we work toward your goals, I feel honored you allow me into your life, and share who you are. It’s my privilege to understand you. You’re reading these words: this means some part of you wants to change. You’re inspired, called to action. Maybe you feel desperate and scared to reach out, but determined. Perhaps apprehensive or anxious to show yourself to a therapist. All of this is normal; it takes guts to go down this path. I’m blown away by your bravery. I hope to earn your trust that I will support and guide you to richer relationships and a happier life. People are my #1 love. For over 30 years, I’ve literally loved my clients, and along the way, racked up a wealth of training and experience in multiple mental health contexts.
I hold a Bachelors (BA) in Philosophy and Psychology, a Masters (MA) in Counseling Psychology, and a Doctorate (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology. Via the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBSE), I am licensed in CA as a Marriage Family Therapist (MFT), though I do as much individual therapy. I’m a clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), a member of the Association For Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), and a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance. As well, I’m a member of: Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness for Chronic Pain and Illness subgroups at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. I am also Certified as a Professional Life Coach, and a member of iCOACH International (ICI).
I have 35 years experience in the mental health field (including internships), having worked in a wide variety of settings, with different populations. Among them: community residential treatment centers for geriatric patients, day programs in psychotic milieu therapy, and outpatient clinics for addictions/brief therapy. I’ve designed and implemented psychotherapy protocols for residential adolescent programs. I’ve had extensive experience doing cognitive-behavior interventions at a San Francisco depression and anxiety treatment center for adults (in individual, couples, and family modalities). I’ve conducted a host of educational and therapeutic groups, as well as working in a hospital setting for clinical research, including supervising interns. Recently, as cutting edge intervention for anxiety/panic symptoms, for applications to medicine–illness/pain, and for achieving optimal sports performance, I’ve trained in mindfulness practices, including but not limited to, meditation. I provide life coaching for individuals.
Currently, I work exclusively in private practice with individuals and couples, and have been doing so for 30 years. I serve as guest on television and radio about psychotherapy, teach mindfulness and meditation, and write articles for newsletters/websites about mental health topics. I also provide court-mandated therapy. I am bilingual, and provide psychotherapy in the Indian dialect, Gujarati. For a detailed description and itemized list of issues I’ve had experience with, please see “Introduction” and “What is Psychotherapy?”
Communities of Interest/Purpose/Practice
Inasmuch as social responsibility cannot exist merely as ideology, nor as value in vacuum, and must be buttressed with action, I’m passionate about current interdisciplinary research inquiry into the well-being of society as a whole, e.g. scientific systems devoted to understanding the interplay of compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior. As such, I’m committed to serving the ‘greater good:’
- I organize free local monthly support groups for those living with chronic pain/illness.
- I serve as resource for a nonprofit organization, dedicated to reducing stigma and increasing awareness about emotional health in the South Asian community.
To Verify License
Should you wish to verify my license with the State of California – California Board of Behavioral Sciences Examiners (BBSE), please visit www.dca.ca.gov Follow these steps:
- Click on “Verify a License ,” and under ‘Behavioral Sciences,’ click ‘Licensees and Registrants.’
- Click the button ‘Verify a License.’
- On the next page, choose to search by License Number.
- From the next pull down menu, choose: Board-California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
- Choose ‘Licensed Marriage Family Therapist.’ Enter ‘License Number:’ 28642.
- Click on ‘Ranjan Patel.’
Some additional information about my credentials: