therapy for individuals, couples, and families
Group Therapy Starting Soon!
Hello and welcome! First, I want you to know I see therapy as a helping relationship, one that supports you as you navigate life. We will cultivate a care-filled space—safe AND brave—where the top priority is you feeling seen and heard. Think of me as a compassionate and curious traveling companion for this leg of your journey. We’ll take stock of where you’ve been, where you’re at now—what’s working, what’s not—and where you’re headed. From there, we shape the kind of relationship that you need in order to move in the ways and directions you seek.
There are so many possible reasons for seeking therapy. I won’t pretend to know yours. That being said, some of my specialties include: trauma, relationships, grief, sexuality, anxiety, identity, creativity, work, depression, and self-esteem. Take a look here at some things you might like to talk about or focus on during sessions. Whatever you’re going through, take heart in knowing—right now—that you’re stepping towards more support for yourself, and therefore for all your relationships. Click below to set up a free, 15-minute consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.
Demand for our attention and awareness can be relentless, which makes it easy to get overwhelmed, feel stuck, or lose touch. Think of Individual Therapy as a place where you show up for YOU—for that very being you have been gifted to live this life. We all have a natural drive to adapt, learn, and grow, and we do so in relationship to ourselves, to others, and to the world. We will listen closely—from right exactly where you are—to help reconnect you to your innate tendency to grow and change in desired ways. This may very well mean tolerating more friction and tension at first. It’s alright. We will get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. And over time, knowing how you feel, think, and act—right here and now—will help you make better choices, recharge your sense of well-being, and enliven and deepen your relationships.
Speaking of relationships, I work from the premise that they are absolutely vital. Our relationships define who we are. We do not become a “me” without them. Some of the most important relationships are our romantic, sexual, and intimate relationships. These close bonds give us opportunities to nourish and nurture each other, but they also commonly bring about stress, tension, and conflict.
Often, connections with spouses and partners come to feel heavy or harder to navigate. Importantly, communication can be seen as more than just words being exchanged; things easily get lost in translation. Becoming fluent in these “meta-languages” takes some focus and some practice. In Couples Therapy, we’ll practice slowing down communication and listen closely to what is being expressed and exchanged, so you and your partners can better understand one another, and yourselves. Figuring out what we want and where we’re coming from—and what our partners want and where they’re coming from—helps build understanding and empathy. In turn, trust and intimacy will strengthen as love, appreciation, and respect flow more easily between you.
Not all of you are content to color inside the lines with your relationships. For some of you, the choices of intimate/romantic/sexual relationship styles, types, and approaches leave you feeling constrained or limited in some way. You may be thinking about (or already) exploring alternative approaches to intimacy, like Ethical/Consensual Nonmonogamy or Relationship Anarchy. I have extensive experience in these areas and can help you to explore and negotiate in safe, respectful, enjoyable, and healthy ways. Together, you and your partners can learn to co-author and co-shape your relationships in ways that do not necessarily adhere to conventional “relationshapes.”
If you’re a teen, you might be faced with questions like: Who am I becoming? Who do I want to be? Who do others want me to be? Maybe you think: Why can’t my parents or my teachers get me? Why won’t they get off my back? Maybe you’re going through some kind of tough transition, or feel the need to straighten out your thinking. Maybe you feel confused and overwhelmed. With so much noise coming at you everyday, and so many people competing for your attention, it can be hard to find the time and space to figure stuff out. You probably don’t need another adult telling you what to do. So, in Individual Therapy for Teens, we’ll open up some nonjudgmental space to talk through (and walk through) what’s going on in your life so you can get a better handle on things.
I orient relationally and interpersonally with clients, evoking the healing potential of an empathic, dialogic therapeutic relationship, while simultaneously cultivating compassionate curiosity. I help to develop and practice somatic awareness and mindful acceptance about what is arising—cognitively, emotionally, somatically, and behaviorally—right now. My approach is informed by humanistic, attachment, narrative, Gestalt, CBT, and existential theories/practice. I also facilitate trauma work with EMDR.
Steve LeSieur, MA, AMFT, APCC
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #117767
Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor #7759
After growing up in NH, spending my 20’s in Florida, and much of my 30s in the Pacific Northwest, I came to Los Angeles 15 years ago to work as a sound editor in the entertainment industry. I eventually moved into the field of psychotherapy, an occupation well-suited to my evolving curiosity for relationships and growth. I have an extensive background in the arts, (music, dance, theater), and believe wholeheartedly in the transformational potency of creative expression. In addition to the arts, nature is an essential life nutrient for me. Connecting to the natural world brings me more alive and provides a sense of vitality, ground, and balance.
I cherish relationships—with all beings, including the being that is my “self.” I engage with intentional dialogue and practices that revolve around building and sustaining these connections, and I am irresistibly drawn to the ways we navigate and negotiate them. While I do believe that I affect and influence my relationships, these days I am fascinated with how my relationships shape me. I believe we shape each other. This “co-creative,” bi-directional flow enlivens me.
For more specifics on experience, education, and training, click below.
During this Covid-19 pandemic I do offer telehealth (remote sessions), as well as in-person sessions. I offer therapeutic services for families, couples, and individuals of all ages and identities. If you have experienced trauma, I also offer EMDR. My fee is $150 for a 50-minute session, and I offer a sliding scale for those in financial need. Longer sessions are available and pro-rated accordingly.
In session, you might be interested in exploring one or more of the experiences and issues listed below. You also might not know where to start. That’s ok. Sometimes growth happens in the most unusual ways, and in the most unpredictable places.
• heal trauma
• get unstuck
• develop resilience & empowerment
•trust your feelings
• regulate nervous system
• mindful awareness
• learn coping skills
• reconnect emotionally & socially
• awaken agency
• break patterns
• allow difficult emotions
• improve communication
• build trust/intimacy
• consensual nonmonogamy
• rekindle sparks
• honor your process
• adjusting to loss
• moving through
• being with pain
• it’s natural!
• reclaim your inner spark
• creative unblocking
• express yourself
• harness right brain
• art is for everyone!
• career shaping
• work/life balance
• occupational transitions
• workplace challenges
• online identity
• understand family dynamics
• practice boundary-setting
• accepting difficult family members
• refine/define parenting
• legal & illegal drugs
• internet & devices
• set SMART goals
• identify core values
• accept what we can’t control
• practice self-compassion
• honoring your process
• moving through mindfully
• sitting with pain
• regulate your nervous system
• practice coping skills
• trust your feelings
• build trust
• claim erotic desires
GROUP THERAPY STARTING SOON
S ometimes, individual therapy is not quite enough to solidify real changes in our lives. Talking about things in individual therapy is important, but eventually we have to leave the safe and empathic hold of our therapist and go back to interacting with the people in our lives. How can we translate the insights of individual therapy to our actual relationships? Group therapy offers a unique chance to experiment interpersonally with others in a therapeutic setting. We get to learn about how we experience others, and how others experience us, in a safe AND brave space. We might notice patterns in how we relate, which can help us fine tune how we want to be with others. Expanding awareness of how we show up in relationships can help us learn and grow in directions that align with our aims, wishes, and desires, and those of our loved ones. The fee is $50. Send me a message below if you are interested.
C hoosing the right therapist can be challenging. Often we don’t know what we’re getting into until we actually get into it. To help you, I offer a free 15-minute consultation to see if we might be a good fit.
There is a path forward.
Anything you’d like me to know?
I practice sensitivity to identities and experiences relating to race, gender, spirituality, sexuality, ethnicity, immigration status, ability, neurodiversity, and/or relationship style.
4620 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90027
Aurisha Smolarski, MA, LMFT #90391