Embodied Psychotherapy with Olivia Fae Stadler

Call or email olivia.stadler@yahoo.com for a complimentary brief consultation: 415-964-0892.

With awareness comes choice...

I warmly welcome you as you are, and hold a safe space to support your intention for growth and healing as your guide, witness, and companion.

Olivia Stadler, psychotherapist

I enjoy working with clients who want more than traditional “talk” therapy. I offer experiential therapy, so you can go beyond cognitive understanding to having a transformative experience. I have an active style that is more than simply listening. I would describe the way I work as collaborative, curious, and challenging when it needs to be. I identify as a highly sensitive person (HSP) of gifted intelligence, both of which inform my work.

My approach is mindfulness-based and grounded in somatic, psychodynamic, and transpersonal theories. I am certified in the Hakomi method of experiential psychotherapy. I also incorporate a number of modalities in my work – including Drama therapy, Gestalt, IFS, AEDP, Polyvagal theory, and the Adult Attachment Repair Model – so I can adapt to your individual needs.



  • Developmental trauma (complex trauma/C-PTSD), acute trauma, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, toxic relationships
  • Queer, non-binary, LGBTIQA+, sex-worker friendly
  • Kink & BDSM
  • Gender identity
  • Attachment
  • Communication, boundaries, codependency
  • Couples
  • Families
  • Pre-marital
  • Breakups, separation, divorce
  • Open relationships, polyamory, non-monogamy, polycules

Areas of focus:

  • Personal growth, identity, and spiritual exploration
  • Multicultural experiences, first generation Americans
  • Religious family backgrounds
  • Self-esteem and identity, finding your voice
  • ADHD
  • Career
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Fears and phobias
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Psychedelic integration
  • Perfectionism, obsessions, compulsions
  • Transitions
  • Grief and loss
  • Chronic illness

Read Olivia Fae Stadler's Yelp Reviews here.

What is somatic therapy?

Some definitions I've curated along the way, not my original words:

The soma, being internally perceived, is categorically distinct from a body, not becaue the subject is different but because the mode of viewpoint is different: it is immediate proprioception — a sensory mode that provides unique irrefutable data.

According to Eugene Gendlin, PhD, who coined the term, the felt sense emerges at the intersection of the psychological and the physiological and allows us to “form meaning from bodily experience.” The felt sense becomes known at the intersection of top-down and bottom-up processes; felt sense perceptions bring together the awareness of our body’s reactions concurrently with emotional responses and thoughts, and the combined experiences, each belonging to a different order of being, allow us to make meaning of our internal world. The felt sense is not a mental experience, nor is it only a bodily awareness; it is the coming together of (1) the body’s direct sensory and emotional responses to internal and external events, (2) the mind’s attention to and synthesis of the information gathered by the senses, and (3) the level of congruence between these channels of experience and their integrration to form the awareness of a particular state of being, a situation, or a problem. On the somatic level, to access the felt sense is to retrieve the knowledge and wisdom implicit in bodily experience. On the level of the mind, it is a process of developing a capacity for sustained, focused attention that supports relaxed, nonjudgmental awarenss so that internal processes, both psychological and physiological, can truly be heard and tended to. The capacity to accurately assess whether the signals between body and mind are congruent or disjointed is critical to stabilizing internal chaos and making sense of one’s world.

The felt sense is usually not “just there;” it forms as we pay attention to our internal experience, moment to moment. When the felt sense is given time to emerge and form, we discover that our often-intangible bodily states progress from silent existence at the periphery of our awareness to a vivid presence on the map of our consciousness. The more we bring our focus to perceiving our sensations — skin sensitivity, body heat, involuntary and voluntary muscle contractions, organ vibrations, body positions, and so on — the more vivid the awareness of our internal visceral-affective experience becomes. Sensory qualities unfold according to the body’s flow, much as in free associati9n, thoughts are noticed as they float to the surface of the mind. By finding words to describe the qualities of pulsation, movement, texture, color, or temperature that make up the information we receive from our senses, nonverbal experiences are brought into a verbal narrative. Sensory attributes can then be shared and processed and their implicit information translated into explicit personal meaning. In this way, new awareness is drawn from and given back to the biological realm, strengthening the links between body and mind.

Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD, has shown that a developing an expanded vocabulary to increasingly differentiate the awareness of the bodily self is the foundation upon which the entire structure of conssciousness is built.

My office is located in Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula, servicing the areas of Monterey, Carmel, Salinas, Carmel Highlands, Pebble Beach, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Big Sur, and Sand City. My practice exists and benefits from being on stolen and occupied Esselen land.
Video sessions are an option for non-local clients within California or abroad internationally.

Somatic Psychotherapy and Couples Counseling in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula with Olivia Fae Stadler