Aly Dearborn

(MA, LMFT)

About Me

Counselor Profile - Better Help Platform
Aly Dearborn, MA, LMFT #45462 (California)

I am a psychotherapist that has been in private practice since 2008, when I received my license as a marriage and family therapist in California. My psychotherapy practice is now entirely online and I am available to work with people who live in California. The “self as instrument” perspective is at the crux of my work. This places responsibility on the therapist to do their own therapeutic work so they can best serve others and suggests that a therapist can only take their clients as far as they have gone in their own personal healing process.

Being a human can be difficult and literally everyone needs help sometimes. I have benefited greatly from the wisdom and support of many therapists, teachers and mentors over the years and have found tremendous value in working with therapists who are open about their own therapy experiences. I readily share the gifts they have offered me with others and am a therapist today because I believe in the healing power of this work.

My graduate training at Lesley University (MA, Counseling Psychology, 2004) was founded in the “person centered” or “Rogerian” model of psychotherapy. This approach believes people have the inherent capacity to develop self-understanding and make positive, growth directed changes when they are in the right therapeutic environment. Rogerian therapists are clinically trained to establish the essential groundwork for successful therapy: empathy, unconditional positive regard and trust in the healing power possible within the therapeutic relationship itself. Though I have gone on to study and practice a wide variety of other approaches in the twenty years I have been on this path, the person-centered philosophy remains the foundation of my work.

In my current practice, I primarily work with adults in their 20s and 30s dealing with issues related to depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, PTSD, codependency, relationship problems, addictions and major life transitions. I particularly enjoy working with 1) new therapists and social workers and 2) people in active recovery for intimacy or attachment-based disorders such as sex/love addiction and codependency. While 12-step groups can be helpful in establishing and maintaining recovery, there are many who would benefit from the help of a professional therapist. Unresolved trauma is often the driving force behind addictive behaviors and solid, trauma-informed support may be necessary to successfully navigate the recovery process.

I have specialized training and experience working with survivors of child sexual abuse, peer sexual assault, drug-facilitated sexual assault, intimate partner violence and other forms of relational betrayal trauma. I am also formally trained in iRest Yoga Nidra, trauma-informed expressive arts therapies, trauma-informed yoga, mindful self-compassion practices and certain shamanic traditions, all of which offer tools that have been useful in my personal and professional work.

My trauma approach is primarily based on my professional study and training in the following models:
-- The Polyvagal Theory (Dr. Stephen Porges & Deb Dana, LCSW)
-- Pia Mellody's Developmental Model of Immaturity (for Codependence)
-- Dr. Patrick Carnes Sexual Addiction model
-- Kelly McDaniel's Mother Hunger work for female sex and love addicts
--Dr. Alexandra Katehakis's work for female sex and love addicts
--Dr. Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing
--Dr. Pat Ogden's Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
--Dr. Cathy Malchiodi's Trauma-Informed Creative Expressive Arts Therapies
--Dr. Cornelia Elbrecht's Healing Trauma Through Guided Drawing (Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy)
--Dr. Richard Miller's iRest Yoga Nidra for Healing PTSD
--Hala Khouri and Kyra Heglund's Trauma-Informed Yoga Training
--Dr. Kristen Neff's Mindful Self-Compassion work

To learn more about me or how I may help support you through the circumstances that have brought you here, please reach out! I am happy to answer any questions you may have and look forward to connecting with you!


Specialties

  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Intimacy-related issues
  • Depression
Also experienced in:
Addictions , Family conflicts , Grief , Eating disorders , Self esteem , Career difficulties , Coping with life changes , Compassion fatigue , Abandonment , Attachment Issues , Body Image , Codependency , Commitment Issues , Read more...

Clinical approaches:
Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Existential Therapy, Jungian Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Somatic Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy

Years of Experience: 15

Services Offered


  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video

Licensing

LMFT #45462 (Expires: 2021-04-30)


Reviews

Written by M.A. on Jul 27, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related issues, and self esteem

Two weeks into my therapy journey and I’m feeling really good. Aly has great energy, is very warm, and is great at listening and sharing resources

Written by T.A. on Jul 25, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, and self esteem

She’s supportive, helpful and kind.

Written by A.N. on Jul 20, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 months

Aly really goes the extra mile!

Written by C.H. on Jul 18, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, intimacy-related issues, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, self esteem, career difficulties, and coping with life changes

Working with Aly has been an eye-opening, heart warming experience thus far and I look forward to continuing my growth with her help as my counselor. She understands the perspective I’m coming from with a lot of conversation points and often has good insight into ways of resolution that I may not have thought of on my own. She is a positive person, very easy to talk to and I quickly became comfortable with her from my very first session. As a first-timer to therapy, she is helping me stay comfortable in this process while also helping me grow simultaneously.

Written by R.E. on Jul 14, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, self esteem, career difficulties, and coping with life changes

Aly is the most personable-yet-professional, open counselor I have ever had. She expresses her empathy and compassion every time we talk. She is on your team 100% of the time and gives everything to her clients. Aly always has resources on-hand and will take time to review them with you if needed. Grateful our paths crossed here on BetterHelp!

Written by S.A. on Jul 06, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, grief, sleeping disorders, and coping with life changes

Aly had such a quick and deep understanding of my situation regarding an extremely toxic relationship that it honestly took my by surprise. In a very short time she was able to very accurately assess the trauma I was going through and offer great insight and resources to help me make my way through a devastating breakup. She has continued to assist my healing as I progress through this turmoil and I feel extremely safe having her by my side and so appreciate and value all her advice and understanding.

Written by J.U. on Jun 25, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 3 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, self esteem, coping with life changes, and coaching

Aly is an incredibly thoughtful listener, and helps me look at situations with a broadened view. In addition to our wonderful weekly sessions, I also appreciate the activities and exercises she provides me for continued self improvement. I have learned a lot from her, and am very grateful for our time together!

Written by K.Y. on Jun 18, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, self esteem, anger management, and coping with life changes

I highly recommend Aly Dearborn! She is extremely helpful, gives great advice and shows empathy and understanding to people who are in need. She provides all the resources you would need based on the problems you're facing. So far she has helped me with the trauma I've been facing from my last relationship.
I would give her an 11 out of a 10 star rating!

Written by B.R. on May 31, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, and self esteem

Aly is incredibly sensitive, thoughtful, and kind. I never feel judged or criticized by her, but she is able to make suggestions in a respectful way. Even after only a couple of sessions, I feel incredibly comfortable talking with her about very personal issues because our sessions are truly a safe space.

Written by E.R. on May 19, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, and compassion fatigue

Thanks Aly for your thoughtful expertise when I threw so much at you at once!

Written by E.R. on May 16, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning relationship issues, family conflicts, grief, self esteem, and coping with life changes

Aly is extremely intuitive to your healing journey. She is kind, grounded, and empathetic. She consistently provides you resources that are applicable to you.

Written by K.Y. on May 16, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and career difficulties

Aly has been tremendously helpful in providing me with useful tools and techniques to handle my day to day stress. I can't thank her enough for her time, patience and kind hearted approach.

Written by R.A. on May 16, 2020 after counseling with Aly for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, eating disorders, self esteem, career difficulties, and coping with life changes

Aly is professional but caring and intuitive. She is consistently affirming while I speak about my most intimate insecurities. I am very grateful to have been paired with her for individual therapy.