Therapist- Shahani Samarasekera
AM, Pre-Licensed Therapist | She/Her/Hers

We have the power to transform our suffering. Buddhist monk and activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, said, “Suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” From depression and anxiety to pandemic stress and social justice issues, life can feel pretty muddy. Let’s grow some lotus flowers out of that mud.   

Therapy is an opportunity to explore change and gain valuable insight into ourselves and our experiences. It’s also a chance to reflect on and engage with our varied, intersecting identities. As a therapist, my areas of focus include anxiety, depression, intergenerational trauma, and family-related trauma, always keeping in mind that our experiences reflect our political, social, and personal identities. Because of my own identities, I am also passionate about working with first generation Americans, children of immigrants, and immigrant family experiences, especially those related to the South Asian diaspora. I am committed to bringing an anti-racist, LGBTQIA+ affirming, intersectional feminist lens to therapy–I want to create an affirming space where it feels safe to learn and grow.

With this in mind, I utilize a number of different therapeutic approaches, especially Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Cultural Therapy (RCT). I integrate mindfulness, values-guided action, and a fundamental belief that we grow through relationships into my work. Growth takes place in safe and trusting relationships. As a therapist, I always strive to create an environment of empathy and understanding. Once we build a foundation of trust, then change is possible. 

The way life is right now is not how it has to be. Transformation is possible. Lotus flowers are possible. Let’s walk alongside each other, and together let’s grow. 

I have completed Level 1 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and offer couples therapy in addition to individual therapy.