I am a licensed psychologist and health service provider with more than
20 years of experience in the field. My areas of clinical focus include:
Acute and long-term experience of grief
Traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress
Anxiety and depression
Interpersonal and communication problems
Life challenges and adjustment
Development of optimal functioning, self activation, individuation, and creativity
I did my undergraduate work at UCLA and received my Master’s and doctoral degrees in Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern California from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). I completed a psychoanalytically oriented, APA-accredited predoctoral internship at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. I then took part in a National Institute of Mental Health fellowship with Dr. Hans Strupp at Vanderbilt University, studying the effectiveness of time-limited psychodynamic therapy and the effects of negative therapist complementarity.
While in Nashville, I served as president of the Nashville Psychoanalytic Study Group, a chapter of the American Psychoanalytic Association and taught in its Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy program. I also taught course work at Vanderbilt and the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy.
My book The Paradox of Loss: Toward a Relational Theory of Grief (Praeger, 2003) reflects my overall relational and phenomenological outlook as well as my belief in the variability and nonlinearity of grief responses and appreciation of cross-cultural experiences. My most compelling interests are: Grief as variable, relational, and culturally mediated; traumatic experience and the intergenerational transmission of trauma1; optimal development and the (more) “fully functioning person” (C. R. Rogers; J. Seeman); and creativity and play as communication and a source of vitality.
“Zen Turtle" Photo by Jane High,Ed.D. ©2014
I am currently in private practice in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and Nashville (in-person, and via phone and internet). My practice includes both brief and longer- term therapy with adults and children, couples, families and groups dealing with a range of problems including traumatic experience, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. I am concerned with optimal self development over the lifespan and how we can learn not only to survive but to live life to our fullest, meeting our maximal potential in relationships, work, play, and creative expression.
THE THERAPY RELATIONSHIP
The nurturing of relationship may be seen as the heart of successful therapy. In an effective psychotherapy relationship, clients can use the relationship as a vehicle for understanding why their ways of communicating and connecting may be unsatisfying, ineffective, frustrating, possibly hurtful. They can gain support from the therapy relationship to develop ways of nurturing self development, identity, and self-esteem. They may also, both consciously and unconsciously, try out or replay experiences in their lives that have been difficult, conflictual, and possibly traumatic, thus promoting the emotional as well as intellectual understanding that can help them feel more integrated and empowered. The professional psychotherapist provides a safe environment that combines caring and empathy with a commitment to ethical behavior, professional boundaries, and confidentiality.
I practice from an integrative perspective that includes psychoanalytic, humanistic, and experiential approaches and tailor my way of working to relate with my clients’ unique experiences and needs. My first priority is to be as completely present and available to your experience as I can be so that I can understand from your perspective what you are going through and dealing with, and collaboratively we can discover the most useful path for our work together. I believe that relationship is central and the ability to develop a relationship therapeutically allows skills and insights learned in counseling to be translated into the client's everyday experience.
My approach in working with grievers as well as those experiencing the effects of traumatic experience, emphasizes the relational and the specific circumstances and personal identity of the griever and the traumatized client. While there are commonalities across grief experience, I believe that every grief is unique, as is every individual, and the experience of grief and trauma do not necessarily follow a linear course.
For more information about me, my experience, and the practice, please feel free to call me at either:
(424) 320-5916 or (615) 218-7128.
I look forward to connecting with you.
Marilyn McCabe Seeman, Ph.D.
CA Psychology Lic. No. Psy 27245
TN Psychology Lic. No P2311