About Debra Bronstein
From a young age I have been captivated by the potential of human experience. I have wondered long and hard about what we are truly capable of, and whether there are truths beyond our ordinary perceptions. I thought deeply about how we relate to ourselves, our friends and our world and what allows for maturity, compassion and wisdom to develop. I witnessed threads of universality in all of us, while at the same time recognizing that we were all absolutely unique. I came to believe that in spite of all of the struggles I saw around me, something extraordinary was at play in our lives. The question for me became how to embrace the known aspects of our lives while also staying open to the mystery of what we don’t yet know.
My role as a therapist is to be curious about your unique experience without having an agenda for your development. As a trusted guide, I get to hold a safe space for you to express yourself and explore the threads of your personal journey. I believe that you inherently hold the capacity for your own growth, healing and development.
The primary focuses of my practice are spiritual therapy, holistic therapy and family counseling. I love helping clients, both as individuals and within a family system, to broaden their perspectives and recognize what is true for them. Together, we explore history, personality traits and patterns of behavior, as well as identify the deeper resources that you can draw from— inner qualities that are innate and accessible. Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, interpersonal relationships or simply feel lost on your life path, taking a holistic and/or spiritual perspective toward healing can help you engage in radical self-exploration and create the space for you to truly be in your own life.
When working with families, I see each member as a valuable part of the system. Families, as well as the cultures we grow up in, influence and shape us. We construct our identities within these influences, and our self-images, behavioral patterns and beliefs often become inflexible. When left unexamined, these dynamics can become painfully entrenched. Yet, if we are willing to question some of our old beliefs and see each other in new ways, a path opens to greater harmony and self-actualization.
My Background And Approach
I believe in the power of therapy and spiritual contemplation, and have done much of my own work around family and cultural issues. My approach is dynamic, relational and informed by a lifetime of psychological and spiritual inquiry.
I was raised in the Jewish tradition, and at a fairly young age gravitated toward Eastern religions, meditation and consciousness work in many forms. I studied and practiced the work of G.I. Gurdjieff, participated in women’s circles, engaged in psychedelic journeys, and became a lifetime student of the Enneagram. My current practice is that of the Diamond Approach, of which I am both a long-term student and a teacher in training.
I believe in the importance of personal connection in therapy, and my work with clients is both personal and engaged. I have a big heart and a lot of love, but I am also very direct and honest about what I see. I’m told that I’m easy to open up to, connect with people readily and have the capacity to keep it real.
Outside of the office, I spend a lot of time in doing my own inner work. I also have a wonderful community of friends, and my favorite hobby seems to be having good talks over good meals with people I love. Being of service is also highly important to me. I am involved in diversity trainings and anti-racism work, and I am touched by any movement toward social justice. I love being part of a community and bringing people together.
Create Space To Truly Be In Your Own Life
If you’re in Oakland, CA seeking a safe space to heal, self-explore, improve family dynamics or engage in a process of personal growth/transformation, I invite you to call me at 510-423-3577 to schedule a free, full, in-person session. A face-to-face session will help us get a feel for one another, and we can discuss what you are looking for and how we might best work together. I’m also happy to answer any questions you have about holistic therapy, spiritual therapy, family counseling and my practice.
Debra Bronstein, MFT is a licensed psychotherapist in Oakland, CA with more than three decades of experience providing individual therapy and family counseling. Debra received her B.S. in Sociology from the University of Oregon and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Debra has engaged in multiple advanced trainings, including the Diamond Approach, EMDR, EEG Neurofeedback, Process Oriented Psychology, and Circle Work. She has also studied Eastern religions and meditation; participated in and led Women’s Circles; designed rituals for weddings and other life transitions; and worked many years with the AIDS and cancer communities, conducting groups and individual sessions on living, dying and grieving. She is a long-time student of the Diamond Approach and is currently in their teacher training program.