Dheva Liebman, MA, LPC Intern
Supervised by M. Michelle Hawn, MA, LPC-S
Welcome and thank you for taking the time to learn a little about me and my approach to therapy.
When we are seen, heard, and understood within the safety of a therapeutic relationship, the unbearable becomes more bearable.
Often times when our core needs aren’t met early in life, we develop adaptive mechanisms to help keep us safe. As we grow older these mechanisms that were once protective may begin to negatively impact our moods, our capacity to maintain long-lasting and meaningful relationships, our decision-making and even our overall sense of purpose in life.
In our work together my intent is to assist you in becoming metaphorically bigger than your challenges so that you can gain insights and new perspectives about them, and also develop more self-compassion. When our capacity for self-awareness is strengthened, our self-confidence often increases and we are able to make more clear and informed decisions, tolerate and flow with life’s ups and downs better, as well as improve our interpersonal communication and the health of our relationships.
Becoming a counselor was both a personal and professional calling.
I have been fascinated by human behavior since a young age. I grew up with a family member who suffered from frequent mood swings and intense emotional outbursts. So, as a child, I experienced a great deal of anxiety and was highly sensitive. I was lucky enough to have parents that recognized my empathic and sensitive nature and who brought me to therapy.
As I grew into adolescence and early adulthood I often served as a safe-sounding board for my friends and family members. After receiving my B.A. in Psychology I worked in several social service capacities, including case management for dual-diagnosed adults, casework and intake coordination for a non-profit serving HIV+ adults with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses in San Francisco, as well as special education for middle-school age students, childcare, and eldercare.
It would take me nearly 15 years after graduating college before making the choice and taking the leap to pursue my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health from Antioch University. While I knew for certain I wanted to work directly with people, I often felt lost and somewhat dissatisfied by the roles I was serving in. It was through my own therapy that I began to build more confidence about my innate gifts and gained the clarity to pursue a career in psychotherapy.
I offer a receptive, gentle, grounded and authentic presence.
I enjoy counseling adults from all different stages of life, including emerging adults, middle-aged and older adults. I have a particular passion for working with the LGBTQIA+ community, especially individuals who are exploring their gender identity and those who are intersex.
My approach is holistic — I will incorporate different therapeutic styles based on your individual needs. My commitment as your therapist is to be fully present with you, just as you are, in all of your tender humanness and complexity.
Areas of Focus: Adult Individuals – Trauma (including Family of Origin and Relational Trauma), Depression, Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth, Body Image Issues, Relationships, Grief and Loss, Existential Crisis, Gender Identity, and LGBTQIA+
Special Skills: Relational, Attachment, Existential, Mindfulness, Somatic Therapy,Trauma-Informed, LGBTQIA+ Affirming, and Social Justice
Fee: $95 for 50-minute session. I offer a free, in-person, 20-minute consultation to give you the opportunity to see if I might be a good fit for you.
“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
– Leonard Cohen