Ava Louise Stanton
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Lay Entrusted Teacher in the Soto Zen tradition
I am a licensed clinical social worker with a psychotherapy practice in Santa Monica. I work with individual adults facing many kinds of emotional and circumstantial difficulties.
Most of us want to love, to be able to work and to feel a sense of purpose. Sometimes we lose our footing because of current or historical problems in our lives.
Psychotherapy can help. Careful, kind inquiry can help you to reconnect with your natural sense of yourself, your humor, your values, your spiritual life and the people you love.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about therapy for yourself.
My Private Practice
I think therapy works with these elements:
establishing emotional safety in the therapy relationship
looking with gentle kindness at your pain
finding emotional relief and understanding
developing coping strategies and trying them out
taking your insight with you.
If you have a spiritual life or practice, we will incorporate that as it feels comfortable to you. As a long-time meditator in the Zen tradition, I have found that therapy has helped my meditation practice, and my meditation has helped my life as a therapist and patient in therapy. I am including that here in case that is interesting to you. There's no expectation or need to be a meditator to come into therapy.
If you would like to make an appointment, if you have a question, or if you would like more information, please call me at 310-449-1331 or email me at ava at
My fee for an individual is $175.00 a session, and for couples, $200.00 a session.
Therapy for Women with Cancer and THE BREAST CANCER NOTEBOK
Since 1990 I have supported women diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones through the journey of treatment and life after treatment.
Along the way I was asked to write THE BREAST CANCER NOTEBOOK. I see women recovering from cancer in my private practice.
Using Insurance for Psychotherapy
I am currently accepting Anthem Blue Cross insurance for psychotherapy.
Mindful Self Compassion
If you are interested in bringing self-compassion into your therapy with me, or you are interested in simply learning about it, I offer individual sessions according to your needs.
I have several on-going groups of people who have taken the 8-week Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) class and want to bring it into the thorny realities of their everyday lives.
While in some ways the groups are like therapy groups because people share about vulnerabilities, they are different because we use mindfulness and kindness to acknowledge difficulties rather than analyzing why they are happening and trying to problem-solve or explain. Practicing with Mindful Self Compassion over time seems to deepen people's ability to be with difficulty rather than acting on feelings to get away from them.
Mindful Self Compassion and Mindfulness Meditation Classes
I teach Mindful Self Compassion, and mindfulness classes and retreats at InsightLA in Santa Monica. Please see my Events page. I am certified as a Mindful Self Compassion teacher by the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness Trainings.
You are also welcome to come to practice Zen on Mondays at 7:00 am and Fridays at 7:15 am. There are also listed under Events.
For these activities, feel free to email me at avalouisestanton at insightla.org.