My only ambition as a little kid was to be happy, and all these years later it still remains central to my vision. My motivation to become a therapist sprang from a desire to learn more about the complicated business of being human. I always wondered—How do I get “good” at life? How do I stop being harshly critical of myself? Can I stop feeling so scared? How do I make sense of being born, living and dying?
I became a cutting edge trauma therapist because I had a lot of trauma in my early life. After years as a talk therapist, I became frustrated with its limitations and began looking into additional therapies, for healing both myself and my clients.
Fortunately, in the last 20 years or so there has been a confluence of information coming from neuroscience, positive psychology, somatic therapies and mindfulness practices that give us greater insight into how to leave traumatic memories in the past and live in the fullness of the present moment.
I began using EMDR over 20 years ago and found it to be an amazingly effective and fast way to move through traumatic events, but in time I came to its limitations as well.
I also became a mindfulness meditator and experienced firsthand how I could quiet my mind, not get lost in depressed or anxious thoughts, and find some inner peace.
I was still looking for more and set out to learn an even deeper healing therapy, and for me that was Somatic Experiencing. I found myself astonished by the body’s capacity to heal itself and how the body gives us the information to facilitate that process. Every day I am grateful for this work, both for myself and for my clients.
A few more things about me: I believe that when you have big trauma, you need big fun. Healing from trauma brings back fun, ease and silliness.
I’m direct, interactive, and real and you get to be those things too. I’m interested in social justice, and the breakdown of racism, classism, misogyny, homophobia, all the isms.
I believe we can grow in every decade of our lives. I’m interested in spirituality and meaning. And I remain vitally interested in the cultivation of happiness, of learning how to make wise choices and have intimate connections to ourselves and others.
If you are looking for greater self-acceptance, compassion and healing, I invite you to call me at 310-391-5851 to learn more about how I can help. I also encourage you to watch my video to get a better sense of who I am.
Stephanie Book Koehler, MA, MFT is a licensed clinical psychotherapist with a focus in trauma therapy practicing at Cutting Edge Counseling in Los Angeles, CA. Stephanie earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Throughout her career, Stephanie has provided pro bono trauma resolution therapy to veterans, served as faculty at Antioch University teaching courses on Couples Counseling, Diversity Education, and Human Sexuality and worked as a therapist and family therapist in both inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency programs.
Committed to staying on the cutting edge of trauma research and healing, Stephanie actively engages in advanced trainings to best serve and support her clients. Stephanie’s trainings include: EMDR; Somatic Experiencing; Mindful Self-Compassion; NeuroAffective Touch™ and Attachment Repair; Gottman Couples Counseling; Anti-Bias Leadership Training & White Racial Awareness Project; Meditation Facilitation; Twilight Brigade: training in death, dying and end of life support; Anti-Violence Project (AVP); various trainings with Bessel van der Kolk, Alan Shore, Stephen Porges, Dan Siegal, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach; and multiple Vipassana meditation retreats. Stephanie is also the recipient of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s Award for Excellence in Professional Achievement. She is a volunteer therapist for Homeboy Industries and is affiliated with White People for Black Lives and Aware LA.