My name is Janet Cody, and I am a trained Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 126533) and Art Therapist (ATR-P 20-109) based in Oakland, California. I specialize in working with individuals that are navigating life transitions, grief, anxiety, and self-esteem challenges. In addition, to talk therapy, I often incorporate artmaking into the therapy space; images can connect to different parts of the brain, allowing for greater access to memories, trauma processing, emotional expression, and understanding feelings.
My practice is grounded in art therapy, narrative therapy, and attachment theory. Art therapy will look and feel different based on a client's needs: I might guide a client to create a sculpture using found objects that represent one's strengths, or I might support a client in creating a "story" of their life through bookmaking. Or we might collect items from nature that support self-connecting and reducing anxiety. The creative process can help individuals gain insight, increase self-awareness, and develop coping skills.
I do my best work when working with individuals who are interested in learning more about themselves while they work toward feeling better. I specialize in issues around self-esteem, anxiety, depression, grief, and life transitions.
My communication style
My communication style is warm, calm, and direct. I find that my style works well for people who might need extra space or time to feel comfortable. In building rapport, I like to create space for a client to ease into vulnerability, and as trust builds in our relationship, I am not afraid to invite a client to dig deeper or consider a new perspective. In my work, I encourage the use of art as another form of communication, because I'm aware that words are sometimes insufficient in capturing feelings or memories that arise in therapy.
My journey to mental healthcare
I was drawn to becoming an art therapist because, in my personal life, I have found that artmaking opens me up to a more reflective state and has allowed me to learn more about myself. Art therapy gave me a way to approach psychotherapy from a different angle, and I pursued this path in hopes that I can support people that might benefit from an approach that is not limited by spoken language. I continue to be inspired in the field because I get the chance to continue to learn and grow through my work with clients and colleagues.
My goals for you
In my work with clients, it's important to me that the goals for therapy are guided by the clients. We will talk explicitly about your hopes for therapy and throughout the therapeutic relationship, I continue to check in with clients about progress toward goals. Your time is valuable and by establishing a good idea of what you want to get out of therapy, it helps us to stay on track!
My first session with you
In our first session, we will spend time getting to know one another and building trust. We will explore how you've been feeling lately and what your hopes are for therapy. This will help us to narrow down therapeutic goals and, down the road, in knowing whether therapy is working.