Elizabeth Dear, MFT, bio

When You Need Help

Everyone has times when the usual resources don’t work as well as they should, when people who are usually there in support are consumed by something else or when trying to “tough it out” has tapped all available energy. If you’ve reached such a time or are contemplating changing something about your life, consulting with a psychotherapist can make the difference between a lonely solo effort and having the support you need. Whether you are grieving a loss[link to text on loss]–including a family member, a relationship, or your sense of safety or innocence, trying to help your child through difficult times, change a habit or addiction and understand its contributing factors, or evaluate your important relationships, I would be happy to talk with you about setting up a session.

In American culture, many of us live by a myth of independence, pursuing the rugged individualism praised in our history. We humans are, however, designed for interdependence, and recent research shows that having meaningful connection to other people has physiological as well as psychological benefits. When you need someone not in the mix of your family and friends, someone who can provide a different and professional perspective but not interfere with your right to make decisions about your own life, I can help.


As someone who has always been interested in how we humans relate to each other and get through difficult times, I was happy to learn I could pursue a career in helping people work through change and feelings. I specialize in grief, loss, trauma, play therapy for children, and eating disorders. I have worked in a residential treatment for survivors of trauma (The Life Healing Center of Santa Fe) in inpatient (Rosewood Ranch) and residential (Center for Hope of the Sierras) treatment centers for people with eating disorders, and various outpatient settings.

I work from the belief that people are capable of solving problems in their lives but sometimes something interferes with this natural capacity, such as a traumatic event that causes someone to be stuck in survival responses when these are no longer necessary or early learning influences someone to doubt his or her own worthiness.

My training includes a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute (http://www.pacifica.edu). I have continued to learn through many workshops and conferences in the areas of trauma, play therapy, eating disorders, marriage and family therapy, and substance abuse. I have been supervising interns pursuing their MFT licenses since 2007.