About Kathleen

Kathleen Adams, Ph.D.

I have walked the walk. I will not ask you to walk through any doorway I haven’t walked through myself. Therapy is not just a profession for me: it’s a commitment to depth, to life, and to hope. believe that all suffering bears embedded gifts, if we look hard enough.  Discernment is at the heart of wisdom: part of therapy is learning about the choices we make and why we make them. Ultimately, we learn to make different choices.

Why does therapy make me feel worse before I feel better? Pain, both physical and emotional, exists for an important reason: to make us pay attention. Many of us, myself included, have spent a lifetime trying not to hurt. As a result, we compromise our integrity, our hearts and our sense of self, Therapy can help create a new template for living. Research shows us that the brain can actually re-wire itself as we make sense of pain and develop new capacities for self-soothing, obtaining perspective, and being intimate.

What am I like as a therapist? I listen, reflect, teach about trauma and the brain, and interact a lot. I am extraordinarily patient, because change comes about very slowly. My style is candid, forthright and authentic. At times, you may catch me being ironic. You won’t find me going ‘one up’ on you for we are all equals on this journey of self-discovery. We will laugh, we will cry…one human being to another.

Kathleen Adams, Ph.D diving with turtles

What is my office like? The ambience of my office is uniquely personal. Plants grow where they will, and an aquarium is the focal point when you walk in. You will feel more as if you are in my living room than in a sterile medical office. My hypoallergenic therapy poodle races to greet you. Most people experience my office as a soothing haven, a refuge from storms within and without.   

What makes me different than other therapists? I probably have had more specialized training than most. I spent 25 years in weekly consultation with child analysts, adult analysts and then dissociative disorders specialists. For over a decade I worked intensively (4xweek) in group and individual modalities with deeply troubled inpatient children and adolescents. More recently I have spent hundreds of hours training with internationally renowned developmental trauma experts. I collaborate in team treatment with art therapists, body-oriented therapists: clinical kinesiologists, and Rolfing, Feldenkrais, Aston patterning, and somatic experience practitioners. I have worked extensively with all kinds of trauma, and currently specialize in preverbal trauma.

Does my therapy have a spiritual component? Questions about the meaning of life and suffering have been with us since the beginning of time. What lies beyond and within us? How do we connect to sacred experience in our everyday life and relationships? How can we be fully alive in the present, savoring each precious moment of life’s gifts? Ritual and transformation are both explicit dimensions of the psychotherapy experience. Sometimes when the dark night of despair looms large, we forget that hope is a gift of grace. Paradoxically, it is in the struggle to preserve hope that we actually develop internal resilience.[1].

[1] Certified pastoral therapist, Christian therapist