My name is Annalisa Barrett. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic #140819). I have a background in yoga and perinatal health. I weave in mindfulness and somatic techniques along with psychodynamic exploration of recurring patterns and adaptive strategies. My sessions are client lead, meaning I encourage clients to share the problem areas in their life and together we collaborate on therapeutic goals and interventions that resonate with them. I previously worked with pre and postpartum women as a yoga teacher and doula. I have expertise in assisting women and their families through the transition into motherhood and parenthood. This is a delicate time that requires a lot of support and compassion.
After a relationship is established, I commonly invite my clients to develop emotional awareness through attunement, naming, and present-minded modalities. I offer self-exploration of the somatic (body) experience which can provide a lot of information about where emotions are carried and stored. Talk therapy has a place in my practice as well when emotions are overwhelming and we need to ground ourselves in logic. I use narrative therapy to assist clients in identifying their core beliefs and ongoing stories about themselves and the world around them. Together we can tease out societal, cultural, and familial beliefs/value structures that are no longer serving the client and help restructure a value system that is aligned with what they need now. By integrating emotional awareness and meta-cognitive awareness (identifying and changing maladaptive thoughts/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), we can work to change habitual trauma responses and patterning. This process allows clients to live a life that is free of the constraints of constant negative thinking, reactivity, and self-judgment.
I see many clients who struggle with symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other forms of neurodivergence. I have guided many clients through major life transitions such as grief, divorce, motherhood, and career changes.
My communication style
I am highly attuned to my clients. I am able to join with them in their experience. Regardless of the trauma, when emotional pain is present, it feels raw and real and I provide a nurturing, non-judgmental space for my clients to process their feelings. When self-compassion is challenging, I welcome that in and help make sense of the parts of ourselves that live in us and need to be held and understood. While maintaining space for compassion and understanding, I am direct with my observations and interpretations, always inviting the client to disagree if my interpretation doesn't resonate. My practice involves a mutual and explorative exchange.
My journey to therapy
I have always gravitated toward psychology and learning about the human mind. I am an introvert by nature, so deeper conversations have always felt more comfortable to me than small talk. I am curious about people and am always observing. It feels really good to be seen and I derive pleasure in providing that for people.
My goals for you
Goal setting is established in the first session and periodically I will check in to make sure that we are on track and also to see if changes need to be made. As we dive in, we may discover that the original symptoms are connected to underlying internal responses that also need addressing. Healing is not a linear process, it is closer to a spiraling as we peel back more layers.
My first session with you
During the initial session, we will discuss immediate needs and risks. I will gather historical, familial, and current symptomatic information. It might feel like I am asking a lot of questions as we begin to paint the picture of the client's internal world. The pace is set by the client. We can go as slow as is needed or we can jump in if there is client readiness, with the understanding that I will pay close attention to subjective units of distress and pause accordingly.