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Ava Louise Stanton
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Lay Entrusted Teacher in the Soto Zen tradition

Ava Stanton sitting in her office

Welcome.

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.

 

Internal Family Systems Therapy/the Self Leadership Approach to Therapy

 

I find the respectful, simple, body-based immediacy of the internal family systems model fits very well with the mindfulness-based work I do as a psychotherapist.   The focus of the work is to support your connection to your intuition and what you know to be right.  This informs a powerful shift in the therapeutic relationship that feels right to me as a helper. 

 

If you come to work with me and are interested in this approach, let me know.  I can also introduce you to it, and we can see if it's a fit.  It isn't the only true way.  We will find what is the best way for us to build a relationship that helps you.

 

Women with Cancer    / THE BREAST CANCER NOTEBOOK

 

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.

 

Appointments, Fees, Insurance

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 avalouisestanton.com
My fee for an individual is $200.00 a session, and for couples, $225.00 a session.


Using Insurance for Psychotherapy
I am happy to accept Anthem Blue Cross insurance for psychotherapy when I have space in my practice.  Otherwise, I can supply a superbill for you to submit to your insurance.

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.