Contact Us  |  Locations

Clare Willis, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

San Francisco 3896 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: (415) 484-6452

    What I Offer

    Rita Crane Photography

    What I Offer

    As a licensed clinical psychologist, I treat a wide range of issues, including:

    • trauma and PTSD
    • anxiety and depression
    • substance abuse and sobriety
    • adult children of alcoholics and addicts
    • relationship concerns
    • creativity and creative blocks
    • separation and loss
    • identity exploration
    • career transitions

    I have a special interest in trauma, because in my work and in my life experience I have found that trauma is often at the root of depression, anxiety, fear or anger. There are many forms of trauma—developmental, individual, generational and racialized trauma. Recent studies in neurobiology have shown that humans have great resilience and that our brains and bodies can heal from trauma.

    “Human beings are born with an innate capacity to triumph over trauma. I believe not only that trauma is curable but that the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening—a portal opening to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation.”

    Peter Levine, PhD
    Founder of Somatic Experiencing

    My Approach to Therapy

    In addition to psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral methods, I use somatic, or body-based, techniques. I have in-depth training in Hakomi, therapy that works with the body, mindfulness and present moment experience, and Somatic Experiencing, a gentle, organic, body-based treatment for trauma. In a separate but very related modality, I teach weekly classes in Nia, a holistic movement and wellness practice that combines dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.

    Somatic therapy provides time and space to slow down and experience what therapist and philosopher Eugene Gendlin called “the felt sense”—an internal bodily awareness of what is happening in the present moment. We can explore how gestures, movements, and sensations in the body allow access to thoughts and beliefs that may be unconscious and yet affect how we act every day. By bringing what had been unconscious into our awareness, we can then study what has shaped us, how we have organized around the painful parts of our experience, and also recognize and extend our inner and outer resources. Somatic therapy uses curiosity, interconnectedness and compassion to create change at a cellular level, change that lasts.

    What does that look like in the therapy room?

    • I will offer suggestions, not commands.
    • I will follow your pace.
    • I will respect you as an individual with your own authority, destiny and needs.
    • I may ask you to close your eyes and move your attention inward.
    • I may ask you to repeat a gesture or movement and explore the sensations that arise.
    • You might move your body in the room.
    • Your movements may bring up memories, emotions or beliefs.
    • We may work with and process this material through movement, imagination, imagery or storytelling.