Claire de Andrade, PsyD
Our own self-realization is the greatest service we can render the world.
– Ramana Maharshi
We have the potential to live life in a way that embodies our authentic self with the capacity to change, heal and grow. Yet the impact of life circumstances often creates negative beliefs and conflicts that stunt this potential, contributing to feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. In these challenging times it can be difficult to find the way to our naturally compassionate, wise and vibrant selves.
When we lose sight of ourselves, support and inner guidance are needed. I offer compassionate, thoughtful, result-oriented psychotherapy. I completed my in-depth doctoral studies in psychology in 2001 and have had a meditation practice for over 3 decades. This foundation supports my psychotherapy practice helping people develop self-compassion and resiliency. I use tools and methods that are not only based in talk therapy but include looking through a psycho-educational and embodiment lens to develop a more fulfilling life.
Working together we create the pathways to becoming more objective and less negative ultimately cultivate the sense of freedom we desire. This personal map is developed through interactive techniques that give voice to what is unspoken and support learning to listen deeply to the truth within.
I value meeting each person wherever they are in their process. I work with people from all walks of life who struggle with the many layers of human complexities. I am particularly passionate about helping those in transitions at important life junctures.
How do I move through my life when I feel stuck? Negative, tense and inflexible? How do I heal, grow and change?
The experience of the Middle Passage is not unlike awakening to find that one is alone on a pitching ship, with no port in sight. One can only go back to sleep, jump ship or grab the wheel and sail on.
– James Hollis
Thriving at Midlife
In a time of life-transition, how can I continue my personal journey knowing the map I’ve been using doesn’t express who I am anymore?
Midlife is a transitional time of re-evaluation, but with it comes a sense that the foundation of who we take our selves to be is shaken to its core. Its symptoms are many: our familiar ways of functioning in relationships, careers and parenting feels limiting or not in alignment with who we have become. We may realize that striving for externally oriented solutions and security has not led to the sense of fulfillment and happiness we had hoped. This transition is a time of re-examining life goals, re-evaluating unfulfilled dreams and restructuring our identities. The midlife passage is a doorway that leads to knowing our deepest selves. It is an opportunity to expand our consciousness and live life from the wisdom of who we truly are. It can be a time of letting go and rebirth.
In navigating the midlife journey, I work collaboratively in an open, supportive working relationship. I offer my reflections, guidance and knowledge as we challenge negative behaviors and thinking patterns in this deep dive. Through this process, more concise objectivity is developed which supports a clear observation of our inner states.
The best way to become an observer is to have a language to reflect on parts of ourselves in safe and supportive environment. This is achieved through inquiring into experiences which deepen self-understanding, and mindfulness practices that help build awareness. These support creating new patterns from which to live. In our work together we explore dreams to help uncover unconscious beliefs and associations. We can develop focused breathing techniques to develop inner stability at this time of uncertainty and change. We create inner and outer support. With attuned guidance, midlife can become an exciting opportunity to thrive in a fulfilled and enriched way.
You are in a cocoon of your own bad habits,and you must be freed to spread your wings of beautiful divine qualities.
– Paramahansa Yogananda
Therapy for Women
Whether we are mothers, sisters, wives or partners, daughters or friends, we hold the fabric of life in our hearts and hands. Yet we are often challenged to be able to act from strength and power. Turning our awareness towards our powerful and sacred feminine capacities is a pivotal step toward living a relaxed, fulfilling and enriched life.
Women have often been raised to deny self-power. There can be unconscious attachments to the roles we play and our identifications with who we think we need to be for others. This results in behaviors that cause us to feel stressed, inadequate or angry. We lose sight of our own power and strength. We find ourselves in situations that unintentionally make others more important than ourselves, even hesitating to say what’s true for us. Sometimes this is so entrenched in our beliefs that we may not even be aware of what is true for us to begin with. Experiences in relationships can leave us with a longing we don’t comprehend. We can become focused on ‘doing’ to avoid the pain of feeling that our deepest selves are at risk, at fault, or lost. This downward spiral results in falling deeper into the negative patterns such as isolating ourselves or over-reaching in our achievements and endeavors.
I am dedicated to helping women reclaim their whole sense of self. We can learn to build capacity to accept our foibles and limitations and create new direction with our strength and power. We can learn, through interactive supportive tools and practices, to reclaim the power we have inadvertently given away. By claiming our truest selves, we can reorient to a life more grounded in freedom and truth.
What is my journey into the sacred feminine? Am I tapping into my authentic power and strength or do I disconnect from what this means? How do I find out who I really am as a woman? How do I relax into it and accept it?
I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch where through gleams that untraveled world, whose margin fades Forever and forever when I move.
– Alfred Lord Tennyson
I believe that who we take ourselves to be goes beyond our sense of personality. We may not be acquainted with the consciousness and awareness that is the essence of our being. From this perspective I find spirituality and psychology are deeply intertwined, and have spent the last three decades exploring these elements.
My journey of self-discovery began as I ended a corporate career. A confluence of events led me on a pilgrimage through Asia. This journey restored my curiosity in the sacred feminine and also led to exploring different spiritual traditions and eastern non-dual and inquiry traditions.
I have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley and have provided psychotherapy and consultation in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. I am interested in neurobiology, mindfulness and how our experience is influenced by body memory. I enjoy helping my clients access their natural resilience and compassion as tools for engaging a more whole sense of being and am particularly interested in working with women, mothers and midlife adults. I am married and the mother of twins.