Photo by Nye' Lyn Tho

Photo by Nye' Lyn Tho

Carrie Gray, LMFT

I have long been interested in meaning, purpose and self understanding. I was a kid who always asked "why?", who spent a great deal of time listening and observing, and I often felt a mismatch between myself and the world around me. I wanted to understand how things got to be the way that they are, and what motivated the people around me. As  I struggled to understand the world around me, I eventually realized that I had to learn how to actually live the life that I intuitively felt was possible for myself. I had to learn how to bridge my internal hopes and experiences with external reality. This was a long process for me, and it involved a lot of searching, struggle, growth, disappointment and courage. It involved finding my own way, creating my own map as well as recognizing "my people" and communities that truly supported me. It involved acceptance (both of myself and of the conditions in my external environment), as well as finding a practice that gave me some way of taking meaningful action. In my case, this meant finding a self-understanding path rooted in a practice of being present.  

It was through my own journey that I finally became ready to work with others. This work is deeply connected to what I am trying to understand as well as to express. I love hearing about what really matters to people. I appreciate struggles, I relate to the reality of trauma, and to the process of learning to be present (which involves distinguishing between reactions based on past experiences versus what is actually happening in the moment). It all fascinates me. I love seeing the fruits of this profoundly human work. 

I have studied and practiced in a variety of contexts, and have been working with clients for over two decades. I have a BA in History from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, an MA from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco (in the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness program) and an MA in Counseling Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California, LMFT 93629.

For almost two decades I have been a practitioner and instructor of a somatic mindfulness practice called Breema. Breema is a practice of being connected to myself experientially while in relationship with another. It is a practice of teaching the mind to be receptive through an embodied connection. I also study Hakomi somatic psychotherapy which blends Buddhist principles with mindfulness and holistic psychology. I completed an Advanced Training program at the Women's Therapy Center in Berkeley which provided a strong foundation in relational psychotherapy experienced through a social justice lens. I have also worked at Crisis Support Services of Alameda County offering grief counseling as well as crisis intervention services. I spent one year working at New Bridge Foundation in Berkeley, a residential substance abuse recovery program. My background also includes working with trauma and grief, family of origin patterns and phase of life turning points. I love engaging with the fundamental questions of life, as well as finding simple ways to support self-acceptance and meaningful change in daily life.