In 2015 Tara opened Athena Counseling, her private practice in Santa Rosa, CA where she treats a range of mental health and relational problems with specialties in rape trauma and anxiety disorders. Her approach builds on a genuinely caring and authentic therapeutic relationship and combines the best of current evidenced based practices and effective approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Solution Focused Therapy.

Tara received her B.A. in Deaf Studies with a minor in Human Sexuality from California State University, Northridge in 2007 and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara in 2011. She received her clinical training at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, where she provided crisis interventions, support groups, and individual therapy for survivors of sexual abuse and their families. Her volunteer work with rape survivors inspired her to pursue a license in Marriage and Family Therapy and enroll at Antioch University. Post graduation she was invited to assume the position of Program Coordinator for the Masters of Art in Clinical Psychology program after serving as student assistant to the position for two years.

In 2012 she relocated to the Bay Area and began training with Almaden Valley Counseling Service, a community based counseling center in San Jose, CA. The program emphasized school-based counseling and she worked with teens on a high school campus helping them manage anxiety, depression, academic stress, and personal conflicts. She also provided individual and family therapy in a community clinic setting, focusing on cases of childhood trauma and anxiety. She was hired to serve administrative staff as Intake Coordinator where she helped hundreds of people connect to therapists and services suited to their needs.

Beyond being a therapist, Tara is an avid knitter, amateur artist, and life long learner. She’s is always reading 5 books at once in a feeble attempt to absorb new knowledge as fast as it’s published. A list of her favorite books are included on the references page. She has personal experience living with an anxiety disorder and is passionate about helping other people reduce their stress and learn how to calm their worries. She successfully cured herself of a phobia of phone calls through exposure therapy and continues to search and practice new techniques as evidence emerges in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and biology.

One of my watercolor paintings, "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy books and that's kind of the same thing"

One of my watercolor paintings, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books and that’s kind of the same thing”

Water color painting, view from an apartment balcony

Water color painting, view from an apartment balcony

A scarf I knit

A cable scarf I knit in wool

 

 

Certifications

Certified TEAM Therapist: Level 1                                                 Dr. David Burns, Berkeley, CA

California Certified Sexual Assault Counselor                          Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center

 

Continuing Education and Training:

PTSD and Complex Trauma                                                          West Valley College, Santa Clara, CA

Substance Abuse and Trauma                                                      West Valley College, Santa Clara, CA

TEAM Therapy approach to Anxiety Disorders                             Dr. David Burns, Berkeley, CA

Bipolar: An Updated Slant on the Disorder – Including DSM-5    Dr. Jay Carter, Berkeley, CA

 

Professional Memberships

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

Redwood Empire chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (RECAMFT)

American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)

Bay Area Open Minds (BAOM)

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)

Professional CBT Consultation Group with Litsa Tanner, LMFT through Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (SRCBT)

Trauma Therapist Consultation Group