Larissa Pasut, LMFT
I'm am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, LMFT #121465. I've been working as a therapist since 2016. I began my work at the YWCA Silicon Valley’s Healing Center, where I focused on working with people who had experienced sexual and/or domestic violence in their lives.
Over the years, I gained a deep clinical understanding of how experiencing trauma or attachment disruptions as a child affects a person's sense of self and their ability to develop a cohesive identity, and of the long-lasting effects on a person's ability to regulate their emotions, engage in relationships, and perhaps most importantly, to know and trust themselves. I came to understand the brilliant but ultimately self-defeating strategies that children use to survive their circumstances, strategies that they carry into adulthood where they no longer serve them.
My approach is rooted in the belief that each person is unique and has an innate wisdom, and that we can all reach our full potential. I do believe that every decision we make and every action we take, regardless of how damaging it may seem in the moment, is an attempt at protecting ourselves and makes perfect sense when you consider who you are and what has happened to you in your life.
I've learned how the nervous system works and I use this understanding as well as my practical distress tolerance and emotional regulation skills (DBT skills) to help you stabilize your day-to-day life so that you can feel a sense of agency and control, and begin doing the deeper healing.
For deeper healing work, I use parts-based approaches using a blend of the Structural Dissociation model, Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment, ego state therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS) which helps make sense of the conflicting impulses and urges you might experience. I can help you live your life according to your values, and help you understand why often you seem to work against yourself. I work to cultivate self-awareness, self-compassion and self-acceptance, to empower you and to help you recognize and redefine your core beliefs. I can also make use of hypnosis and EMDR and when appropriate to both help you stabilize and regulate your emotions as well as for trauma processing.
With couples, I have an ability to see the dynamic at play and can help partners understand what is underneath the conflicts, and help you find more effective ways of getting your needs met. I tend to work with high-conflict couples, using my understanding of trauma to help them regulate during session and experience successful communication.
I'm a sex-positive, kink aware therapist, and I am also comfortable and experienced working with neurodiversity.
On a personal note, I'm a Third Culture Kid, which means I grew up among cultures, born in Chile to a Chilean father and American mother, and living in 5 countries before moving to the US again permanently when I was 14. While this has resulted in my having a fairly broad world view as well as an ability to empathize with many different perspectives, I had to work through issues of identity and trust. If a large part of how we define ourselves is in contrast to our culture, who am I? I also had to consciously teach myself how to put down roots and to rely on people, since I'd been taught by my nomadic early life that it was too painful to do so.
And finally, passing for white in the US, it is a fact that I’m privileged, and with hard work and reflection, I’m beginning to understand what this means, and how I contribute to and perpetuate the status quo. I am committed to continuing this personal work and to interrupting racism where and how I can.
Sharice Rolando, AMFT
I am a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and have a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and work under Larissa's supervision, AMFT #129044.
While I have experience working with elementary and junior high school students I found my calling working with older teens, adults, and couples while at Almaden Valley Counseling Services.
I am drawn to working with clients with who experience feelings of not being enough, low self-esteem or who have been labeled 'needy' or 'clingy' (sometimes leading to feelings of anxiety and/or depression), and those who might be frustrated with changing unwanted habits. I'm also trained to work with and have personal experience with ADHD and ADHD-like symptoms.
On a personal note, prior to working as a therapist, I was a stay at home and mother to two sons, one of whom is neurodivergent; I volunteered, advocated, and played an active role in navigating the challenges many encounter when raising a child who is neurodivergent. I also understand the challenges within a relationship and family that can arise with extra stressors.
My family immigrated to the United States when I was a small child. I grew up influenced by two very different cultures, something that led to my lifelong interest in all cultures and languages and a deep understanding of unspoken and culturally influenced expectations and the need for communication within a couple and the family.
I speak conversational Armenian, French, and Spanish. I love hiking and being in the outdoors, as well as making mosaics during my free time.
Kapila Venkataraman, AMFT
I am a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and have a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and work under Larissa's supervision, AMFT #116080. I also hold a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Christ College, Bangalore, India.
As an immigrant, I am particularly sensitive to cultural issues and have a unique understanding of the joys and challenges of living between two cultures. I also have experience and training working with children, couples, and adults who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. I understand the impact these experiences have on your day to day life, and I can help you become aware of and work through the strategies you've been using that might no longer be serving you.
My approach is client-centered and integrative. I would be honored to walk beside you on your healing journey.