My work is oriented around resetting the healing capacity we all carry within ourselves.
I specialize in a number of therapy techniques to address life’s challenging issues.
A complete list of links and helpful resources to further help guide individuals and families.
Dr. Kate Brennan
Hi I’m Dr. Kate Brennan, I practice psychotherapy in Marin County. You are not alone if you are feeling overwhelmed, run down, irritable, sad or depressed. At times we may find ourselves worn down by the weight of everything. Chronic stress can take its toll on the body and mind. The good news is that our nervous systems are wired to respond to stress. However under certain circumstances we may become so overwhelmed that it’s difficult to regain a sense of wellbeing. You may feel tired, worn out, sad, irritable, forgetful, anxious or depressed. Yet hardwired within us is the capacity to move back out of this state and into resiliency once again. I have been practicing psychotherapy in Marin County for over 25 years supporting clients to move out of overwhelm and back into their natural state of resiliency.
We specialize in a number of therapy techniques to address life’s challenging issues.
"The body has been designed to renew itself through continuous self-correction. These same principles also apply to the healing of psyche, spirit, and soul.”
Peter A. Levine
"As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.”
“Discovering more joy does not save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreaks without being broken.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Here’s some answers to the frequently asked questions
What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic Experiencing (SE™) is a body-oriented therapeutic model applied in multiple professions and professional settings—psychotherapy, medicine, coaching, teaching, and physical therapy—for healing trauma and other stress disorders. It is based on a multidisciplinary intersection of physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics and has been clinically applied for more than four decades. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine.
The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. It offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. SE provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.
What can cause trauma?
Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict.
How does Somatic Experiencing work?
The Somatic Experiencing approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
Dr. Levine was inspired to study stress on the animal nervous system when he realized that animals are constantly under threat of death, yet show no symptoms of trauma. What he discovered was that trauma has to do with the third survival response to perceived life threat, which is freeze. When fight and flight are not options, we freeze and immobilize, like “playing dead.” This makes us less of a target. However, this reaction is time-sensitive, in other words, it needs to run its course, and the massive energy that was prepared for fight or flight gets discharged, through shakes and trembling. If the immobility phase doesn’t complete, then that charge stays trapped, and, from the body’s perspective, it is still under threat. The Somatic Experiencing method works to release this stored energy and turn off this threat alarm that causes severe dysregulation and dissociation. SE helps people understand this body response to trauma and work through a “body first” approach to healing.
Do you provide Superbills for insurance?
Yes – Superbills are sent monthly to clients. Clients can then submit to their insurance for out of network mental health care reimbursement.
What online software to you use?
Simple Practice. Simple Practice is HIPAA compliant software for psychotherapists that allows clients to schedule, upload and fill out out documents.