As a founding member of the Providence Zen Center in Rhode Island, she studied with Zen Master Seung Sahn for 10 years. Continuing her meditation practice, she is now a student of Tony Patchell after the death of Darlene Cohen in January 2011. Both Darlene and Tony are teachers in the Suzuki Roshi lineage (San Francisco Zen Center). Tony recognized Ava as a Lay Entrusted Teacher in 2015. She teaches and conducts practice discussions at InsightLA. See the website for more information.
Ms. Stanton's years as a meditator are part of what shapes her perspective as a psychotherapist. The Zen tradition is the practice of simple presence to the ups and downs of life without adding extra suffering on top.
In her private practice, Ms. Stanton uses several therapeutic approaches with adults sorting through relationship concerns, emotional uncertainty and difficulty, long-standing struggles and demanding circumstances. These include:
* building trust and a working relationship
* cognitive and behavioral observations
* an appreciation of a person's family history in light of the stresses of the moment
* supporting client's own insight and mindful self-awareness
She is a member of several consultation groups to freshen her perspective and approach, and a member of the California Society for Clinical Social Work and the National Association of Social Workers.
As a meditation teacher at InsightLA, Ms. Stanton leads a weekly meditation group, teaches Mindful Self Compassion and leads retreats.
Another thread of her work has involved people facing chronic or catastrophic illness. As an intern and then a social worker at the American Cancer Society, Ms. Stanton met with patients and family members navigating through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
For 14 years, she lead a support group for women with cancer atHelen's Room, in El Segundo, California. Call Helen's Room at 310-524-9429 for information about this on-going group
At UCLA, Ms. Stanton worked with psychoneuroimmunologist Dr. Margaret Kemeny and health psychologist Dr. Geoffrey Reed on research regarding immune functioning and social support for men with HIV. Together with Dr. Reed, she facilitated support groups for the research project.
Ms. Stanton consulted on a research project for women with breast cancer for the American Psychological Association. This lead to the publication of THE BREAST CANCER NOTEBOOK.
Taking a different path, Ms. Stanton worked for six years to help homeless people with multiple physical and emotional diagnoses on the affluent west side of Los Angeles and on Skid Row -- community-based social justice work that is integral to the social work tradition.
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More information about Ms. Stanton's private psychotherapy practice is available through the links to the left of this box and on her home page.