• Holistic Psychotherapy in Oakland, CA.

    Contact to schedule a free 30 minute consultation at: 925-326-7974 or jennifer.twar.mft@gmail.com

  • About

  • My journey towards becoming a therapist involved a lot of my own personal soul-searching in the midst of pain, suffering and self-doubt.

    The summer after I graduated high school, I enrolled in my first college class: General Psychology 101.  It was probably the only college class I took where I read the entire textbook before the class had even started.  I was fascinated and amazed.  And even after one topic was finished, I still kept wanting more on the topic.  I wanted to understand why I was the way that I was and why others were the way that they are.  I was endlessly curious to know what made people tick.

    Around the age of 19, while dealing with overwhelming anxiety and a seemingly constant cycle of relationship issues, I sought out my first therapist.  I distinctly remember going into my first session with a newly licensed psychologist asking, “What’s wrong with me?”  Ironically, the work that proceeded didn’t involve directly answering what was “wrong with me”, but rather uncovering how I had developed this idea that there was something inherently wrong with me.

    Gradually, that therapy ended.  My anxiety had reduced significantly and I was able to feel a bit more relaxed in relationship.  I went to away to college.  There was dating, new friendships, breakups, heartbreaks, and conflicts.  There was the classic 20-something uncertainty of not knowing what to do for a career.  During that time I went to therapy again on and off for free on campus, which was, unfortunately, underwhelming to say the least.

    Around that time, I discovered yoga.  Initially through gym classes and gradually by going to local yoga studios.  I quickly found yoga to be greatly effective in managing stress and reaching a sense of inner peace.

    By my mid-20s, however, I started to experience insomnia, chronic nightmares and unexplained digestive issues.  To manage, I increased my yoga practice, started meditating and started therapy with a Jungian analyst (**What does a Jungian analyst do, you ask?  You basically work on dreams through the lens of the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung).

    Gradually, my nightmares subsided and my sleep improved.  In addition, my work through acupuncture and meditating healed the digestion issues.

    All of these experiences (and more) eventually led me to earning my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Transpersonal Psychology from John F Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA.

    As a Holistic Psychotherapist, I consider the mind, body and spirit in my work.

    In taking an holistic approach, I view physical, mental and emotional factors as interrelated.  I also view all of my clients as inherently whole, rather than lacking something.  My belief is that all of us have within ourselves an internal wisdom that knows how to heal, we may just need support in finding the right tools to do that.

    In my work, I like taking an experiential approach.  In other words, I like to be creative and experimental in my interventions because what may work for one person may not work for another.  I like to balance this out with psycho-education, as needed, which helps to bring both the art and the science of psychotherapy into my work.

    While I enjoy using various forms of talk therapy, I also enjoy integrating guided imagery, somatic techniques, mindfulness and art into my work as well.

    I have had trainings and advanced coursework in:

    • Transpersonal, Somatic and Depth Psychologies
    • Somatic (aka body-oriented) approaches to trauma
    • Dreamwork
    • Non-violent Communication
    • Enneagram
    • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or also known as “tapping”.
    • Cross-Cultural issues and Social Justice

    Also, my Master’s thesis was on the topic of inter-generational trauma that women have experienced due to sexism and how that can potentially play out in therapy with modern women.  In the paper, I took primarily a depth psychology approach.  However, I also focused on relationship issues that women often deal with and potential ways to work with couples.

    In my private practice, I am specializing in women’s issues, anxiety, relationship issues and spirituality.  However, I have experience working with a wide variety of issues, including:

    • Depression
    • Grief
    • Trauma/PTSD
    • Life Transitions
    • Stress Management
    • Self-Esteem issues
    • Infidelity
    • Pregnancy issues
    • Codependence/Boundary setting
    • Addictions/Substance Abuse
    • Pain management
    • Pre-marital therapy
    • Domestic Violence/abuse
    • Parenting issues

    Of course, not every therapist is the right fit for every client.  So it is important to feel it out and see if a therapist is the right for you right now or not.  Therefore, I offer a free 30-minute consultation to give you that opportunity.

    If for whatever reason you find that I am not the right fit for you, I will do my best to support you in finding someone who is.

    I hope you reach out and I look forward to getting to know you.