Carrie Gray, MFT
I have long been interested in meaning, purpose and self understanding. I was a kid who always asked "why?" 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 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 and creating my own map. It involved both acceptance as well as finding a practice of being present.
It was through my own journey that I 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 almost 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 over 15 years I have been a practitioner and instructor of a somatic mindfulness practice called Breema. Breema is a practice of being connected to oneself 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. One other word about my background. My mother's people are from the American south and I have been influenced by the southern Gothic tradition. Her people are not afraid to talk about death, and thus aren't afraid to talk about the edges of what is most meaningful about life.