I really love my work. I’ve been a therapist for over 25 years and I’m so grateful to have work that lets me focus on what I consider to be most important. And what could be better than sitting with good people and
being connected and engaged in the deep exploration of our true self, happiness, love, how to have a good life and be a quality human being?
Like all of us, mine has been a long journey to the me of now. I remember being in first or second grade,standing on the playground during recess. The other kids were running around and playing and I had athought, fueled by a lot of unclear feelings, that went something like, “What a bunch of idiots.” Amid the happy times, my childhood was clouded with fear, sickness and death. Those kids seemed like such“clueless babies.” It was the late 60’s, I’d heard Peggy Lee on the radio singing “Is That All There Is?,” and that song’s feeling of meaninglessness and desperate aloneness reminded me of me.
In junior high I was exposed to existentialism and rather than finding Camus depressing I felt a light go on.Others felt the existential angst I felt and they were ahead of me in thinking and talking about it, so maybe there was hope. My search for meaning, purpose, and happiness began.
When I got to college I still felt so lost and miserable. Coming out to myself and to others didn’t change that.
It was 1980, way before Will & Grace or Ellen, and the only other lesbian I met at school was a woman a few
years older than me. I was a nervous freshman and she was a depressed alcoholic who attempted suicide
and left school within 2 months of my arrival.
I kept on searching. I really, really wanted to know: 1) What is the meaning of life, 2) How to be happy, and
3) How to be a quality human being, oh yeah AND 4) Could I figure all that out and make it happen before I
was dead. I was reading and talking about it all the time and I couldn’t believe that everyone wasn’t. I felt and
still feel like this is THE most interesting and important stuff to be thinking about, talking about, exploring,
learning, creating, and engaging in.
Connecting with people, being a “good listener,” goes way back. I enjoyed it from the start. What could be
more fascinating, more touching, more inspiring than people? As a teen I thought one day I might be a
therapist but would have to wait until I was middle-aged as it seemed unlikely an adult would want a
therapist younger than themselves. By my later 20’s, psychology was calling me; I couldn’t wait. I became a
LMFT before 30. Of course it turns out it that age is not the main factor in being a good therapist or in
helping to effect change and healing.
So what does make for a good therapist, and how to effect change and facilitate healing? There’s some
interesting research that says a lot about that. What the current thinking reflects, and definitely what I’ve
seen in working with people all these years, is that a combination of Somatic processing and integration (the
Body), Mindfulness and Meditation training (the Mind), and a Relational process, most especially one’s
relationship to oneself, of acceptance, kindness, love, and compassion (the Heart) is profoundly healing.
Body, Mind, and Heart with a dash of Soul, maybe some practical life skills, and as much humor as possible
turns out to be transformative and amazingly fulfilling.
Our lives are so busy, but making room for and giving priority to our healing, our wellness, our happiness,
our essential being-ness, can make life so very fulfilling and even ridiculously fun. If you are interested in
talking more please call me at 310-980-8988. I’m happy to talk and see in what ways I might be of help.
Lee Ann Teaney, MA, LFMT is a licensed clinical psychotherapist with a focus on trauma therapy practicing in Los Angeles, CA. Lee Ann earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. In addition to her private practice at Cutting Edge Counseling, Lee Ann is an adjunct teacher for NeuroAffective Touch™ Life Force Trainings. Over the last 25 years, Lee Ann has served as a therapist, supervisor, group facilitator, teacher and volunteer at nonprofits, treatment programs, colleges and various other organizations, workshops and trainings throughout the Los Angeles area.
Committed to staying current and on the cutting edge of trauma research and healing, Lee Ann actively engages in advanced trainings to best serve and support her clients. Lee Ann’s trainings include: EMDR; Somatic Experiencing (SE); Mindful Self-Compassion; NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM); Touch Skills Training for Trauma Therapists; EEG Neurofeedback; Gottman Couples Counseling; Psychological Anatomy; Anti-Bias Leadership Training & White Racial Awareness Project; Diamond Approach; Meditation Facilitation; and various trainings with Bessel van der Kolk, Alan Shore, Stephen Porges, Pat Ogden, Dan Siegal, Rick Hanson, Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. She has also participated in multiple Vipassana 5-10 day meditation retreats.