I completed my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Michigan State University in 1981.  My clinical training included internships at the MSU Counseling Center and at the Los Angeles Psychiatric Service (Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center in Culver City).  My clinical training was primarily with children and adults.



My first post-graduate position was as the coordinator of long-term counseling for the Monterey Peninsula Youth Project, a non-profit agency that provided services to schools,  families, children and teenagers in the Monterey area.   In addition to individual and family counseling, I conducted parent education classes and consulted in local middle and high schools.  I began my private practice in Los Gatos in 1984.  Like all licensed mental health professionals I've taken mandatory continuing education classes, though I have received extensive post-doctoral training that far exceeds the minimal number of hours for license renewal. 

About 10 years after completing my PhD I was very fortunate to participate in classes and ongoing case conferences offered by the San Francsico Psychotherapy Research Group (SFPRG).   The SFPRG is known internationally for its empirical research that demonstrates what actually works in the process of therapy.  An excellent overview of that work is available in Joseph Weiss's book, How Psychotherapy Works.

In 2003 I began four years of classes (one weekend a month) at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, an experience that has been professionally and personally enriching.  I can't emphasize enough that contemporary psychoanalsysis has little to do with Sigmund Freud.  As ICPLA says:

"Contemporary psychoanalysis is an interpersonal experience that emphasizes the healing properties of two or more people collaboratively making sense of life in ways that are meaningful to the client...Based on current research in child development, memory, neurobiology, and culture, contemporary psychoanalysis is an advanced method for making sense of ourselves and the world around us. Today, psychoanalysis is as strikingly different from Freudian analysis as modern physics is from the work of Newton." 

In 2011 I received my PsyD in Psychoanalysis.  That doesn't mean that I do only psychoanalysis; in fact, most people meet with me once a week.  My training expanded and deepened my capacity to be present with people as they struggle to heal and grow.  And even though psychoanalysis has traditionally focused on working with individuals, my training has also enabled me to work more effectively with couples.

My interests outside of my work include photography, hiking, biking, traveling and all kinds of music and reading.  I'll take this opportunity to plug my photography website
: www.ericsphotos.net   After all, if you're considering me as your potential therapist, my photo website is another way for you to get a sense of how I see the world.


© 2017, Dr. Eric Olsen, all rights reserved