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Dr. Anabel Plasencia

Psychotherapist in San Francisco Bay Area

My Approach to Psychotherapy

My therapeutic approach is integrative. An integrative approach means that I use techniques and strategies from different therapeutic modalities to best adapt to your needs. For example, with each client, I may use a unique framework based on concepts and techniques from Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic therapy styles as part of treatment.

In general, my therapeutic style relies on a compassionate and holistic foundation to uncover what is creating the dissonance my clients are experiencing in their lives. I tend to encourage self-discovery and will also challenge your thought process and emotional perspective when appropriate. I'm committed to work towards a relaxing, validating, and trustworthy therapeutic space where you can feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable, as well as empowered.


  • Licensed Psychologist; completed extended post-doctoral position with UC San Francisco 

  • California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP): Masters and Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

  • Psychology B.A., Sonoma State University

About Me

From a very young age I have had an inquisitive mind; interested in observing human behavior, attitudes, and preferences. What makes some of us to get up and push forward during hard times, while others give up and sink in? Like Viktor Frankl discussed, what do we do with the space between the time an event occurs, and the way we respond to it? Are we even aware of it? Do we ignore it, or use it to our benefit in deciding how to respond to the situation? 


I am the kind of person that often wonders about the many wonders of life! 

Being surrounded by nature or in the middle of a city, I see life as an opportunity for discovery. Suffering is part of it and I think there is no way around it.


I’m optimistic and also realistic, often trying to be objective searching for different perspectives even if they lead me outside of my comfort zone.


I often make “mistakes,” some I attempt to fix, others I let go…

Deeply understanding that I’m not responsible for others’ behaviors or attitudes but my own has improved my sense of agency and loyalty to myself!


Similar to most people, I’ve gone through difficult periods in my life. Many times while in the middle of the turmoil a way out has been obscured and difficult to envisioned.


What has helped? The support of my family and friends, professional assistance and definitely my own determination to reach my goal, whatever it was!


I have also learned that many times when we are suffering those in our surroundings are unaware, unwilling or unable to understand our struggle. In some cases, our suffering becomes an inconvenience, driving people away because they don’t know how to help us.


So, through my own therapeutic journey, I have realized that although the support of others is powerful, it is ultimately my responsibility as an adult to make decisions about my own life. Thus, when confused and assaulted by lingering doubts, what is important, is my own capacity to lean on my inner strength and move forward.  

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