Holly A. Evans, MFT-South pasadena therapist

Holly A. Evans, MFT-South pasadena therapist

It's Possible to Heal From Your Past.

You're trying so hard to keep upsetting thoughts and feelings from getting in the way of what you want in your life and your relationships. But no matter what you tell yourself, the past keeps intruding.

Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed right now with all that's going on. You may be feeling:

  • confused about disturbing memories from the past

  • trapped by unwanted thoughts and feelings

  • broken, damaged by how you've been hurt

  • scared that things will always feel this bad

  • misunderstood by others, isolated and alone

If something in your past is affecting your ability to live your life, then it may be time to consider psychotherapy and EMDR.

As a therapist, mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend, I know that we use our past experiences to help us decide how we want to be in our most important relationships. Sometimes, though, these experiences feel like obstacles that are getting in your way or holding you back. The ways that the past shows up can be confusing and unsettling, and stir up memories that you’d rather avoid. Therapy can be a safe place to explore how past traumas and negative life experiences are continuing to cause pain and stress.

I specialize in providing therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for women with a history of trauma, and work extensively with women and new moms whose childhoods were complicated by abuse, neglect or life changing negative experiences. I also work with new and expectant moms who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress.

To help answer some of your questions about what to expect in therapy, here is a little bit about me and my approach:

Creating a safe place for you to explore your thoughts and feelings

 My office in south pasadena

My office in south pasadena

Therapy and the process of change can feel emotionally risky. You’re facing thoughts and feelings that you hesitate to talk about openly, or are struggling with symptoms and behaviors that are difficult to understand. I take an active role in our conversations, and also listen with an open mind to the problems you’re facing, without blame or judgment. 

Encouraging you to be curious about yourself and the concerns that bring you therapy

When something is confusing and doesn’t make sense, getting really curious about is a great place to begin. Creating a better understanding of yourself is an important part of what will guide the steps you need to take to improve your relationship with yourself and the people most important to you. I'll collaborate with you to explore and understand what's lead to the struggles you're facing, and how to help you move toward psychological growth, and emotional and behavioral change.

Making Meaningful Changes

What kind of change are you looking for?  In therapy, change means many things.  Common goals include developing a better understanding and acceptance of yourself; coming to terms with your past and engaging in your present; improving your relationships with family, friends and co-workers; learning to speak up for yourself; building on your coping skills to help manage your emotions and moods, and relief of unwanted symptoms.  I'm here to help you figure out the kinds of changes that are meaningful to you, and to help you integrate those changes into your day to day living.

Issues I can help with include:

  • Disturbing Childhood Memories

  • Anxiety, Panic, Persistent Worry

  • Feeling Stuck or Trapped

  • Childhood Abuse (Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse)

  • Assault (Physical/Sexual)

  • Family Estrangements

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Nightmares/Flashbacks

  • Depression

  • Low Self Esteem

  • Traumatic Events (large and small) and Negative Life Experiences

  • Sudden Loss

  • Adult Children of Alcoholics

  • Pregnancy and Postpartum Adjustment

My Experience

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and am trained in Attachment-Focused EMDR. I received my Master's degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University(2001), and also hold a Master's degree in Gerontology(the study of aging) from Baylor University(1995). My clinical work focuses on working with women who want to overcome the effects of trauma and abuse, and with new moms struggling with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum traumatic stress.

As a therapist, I've worked in community mental health clinics, geropsychology (working with adults 65+) and outpatient programs providing psychotherapy for issues ranging from chronic, severe mental illness to common problems of life/adjusting to major life transitions.  Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked in the field of aging providing community education, support groups, advocacy, and coordination of services to older adults and their caregivers (Alzhiemer's Association, Kansas City Chapter and the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging).

Education

Master of Arts, Psychology, Pepperdine University, 2001

Master of Science, Gerontology (the study of aging), Baylor University 1995

Additional Training/Certifications

Attachment Focused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AF-EMDR)  Trained by Dr. Laurel Parnell, who developed the model for treating complex childhood trauma.

Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, Bringing Light To Motherhood, Advanced Clinical Training

Postpartum Support International (PSI), Certificate Training, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Emotionally Focused Therapy(EFT), Four Day Externship, Advanced Clinical Certificate Training for Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

The Couples Institute, The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy: Integrating Attachment, Differentiation, and Neuroscience in Couple's Therapy, (Level 1) twelve month clinical training program.

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Professional Affiliations

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Glendale Area Mental Health Professionals Association(GAMHPA)

Trauma Therapy and EMDR Therapy for anxiety, PTSD, childhood abuse.