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Ava Louise Stanton
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Authorized Teacher in the Soto Zen tradition of San Francisco Zen Center

Ava Stanton sitting in her office


I am a licensed clinical social worker with a psychotherapy practice in Culver City, CA and online. 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.




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. 


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 not accepting insurance at this time.

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.


I am certified as a Mindful Self Compassion teacher by the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness Trainings.