Hi! My name is Vedalia (she/they). I’m a white, queer, disabled woman with a lifelong visual processing disorder. Having a body and brain that differ from the so-called “norm” has profoundly influenced my perspective. I enjoy working with people from marginalized groups, including clients who are disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, or adjusting to a recent injury or medical condition. Before becoming a mental health therapist, I worked in rehabilitative healthcare with survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury.
Many of us – especially those who’ve survived loss, trauma, or oppression – may desperately want to move forward with our lives, yet we may find ourselves struggling with pain that carries an old, familiar signature. In therapy, my aim is to help you heal more deeply from old wounds by gradually traveling to places within yourself that you might be afraid to go. I hope that my accompaniment will make this task feel possible and that the rewards will be rich. In the process, you might discover a part of yourself – perhaps your capacity to play, rest, dream, grieve, be intimate, or receive care, for instance – that you buried long ago in an effort to survive. Recovering and reclaiming these parts, I believe, can help us feel more alive, expanding our sense of what is possible.
My approach draws on psychodynamic therapy, attachment theory, and existential therapy. At times, I may use techniques from other therapeutic modalities as well, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Narrative Therapy, and grief and loss counseling. I also offer sand tray therapy: a creative, playful, multisensory form of self-expression that involves arranging miniatures in sand. Sand tray may be helpful for exploring emotions that are hard to get at using language alone.
I bring an anti-oppressive lens to my work, meaning I recognize systems of oppression impact the mental health of individuals. Although we can’t “solve” wider issues of injustice within individual therapy, we can explore how those broader realities have affected you, and we can unpack “internalized” oppression (i.e., harmful beliefs you may have unintentionally absorbed). I am also influenced by disability justice, a framework of values developed by BIPOC, queer, disabled activists in the Bay Area. This framework goes beyond calling for inclusion and promotes the collective liberation of disabled people.
- Master of Social Work (2023)
- Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing (2011)
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science & English (2009)