A Contemporary Approach to Healing and Transformation
Through my years of service at Community Mental Health agencies, sadly, I have witnessed the constant objectification of those seeking help; the imposition of the “normalizing judgements” on them and reproduction of the dominant cultural discourses and values as if only one way of thinking, being and living life is allowed as ‘legitimate;’ that of the taken-for-granted practices of life and of relationships dictated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM).
The prescriptive normalizing discourses offered by the DSM disqualify the lived experiences of thousands who have been ostracized, marginalized, and have experienced discrimination and injustice. From what I have witnessed in these systems, after getting diagnosed, people accept the diagnosis as a lifetime sentence and give up on their goals, values and dreams for their life and continue being symptomatic and isolated from the society. The medication prescribed to these people, at their best, helps manage their symptoms for a while and then, after these individuals develop tolerance to their current drugs, the dosage of their medications will need to be increased. At their worst, the medication or the cocktail of medications prescribed to these people bring about serious adverse reactions in those on drugs and/or they suffer from serious side effects or harmful drug interactions. In addition to all this, there are the issues of privilege and power imbalance between the therapist and the client.
Pathologizing discourses have the potential to ignore the extent to which the problems for which people seek therapy are the outcome of certain practices of relationship and practices of the self, many of which are actually informed by the notions of individualism and decontextualized knowledge. These discourses of pathology render invisible to the eyes of the practitioners the extent to which the problems for which people seek help are so often entangled in the structures of inequity of our culture, including those pertaining to gender, race, ethnicity, class, economics, age, and so on.
Here, at our Consultation Center, we are determined to offer our community members an alternative which has not existed before; a Consultation Center where they feel heard, seen, understood, respected and responded to. A Consultation Center where we do not diagnose those seeking our help, nor do we prescribe any medication to them. We intend to provide the opportunities for our consultees to experience their lives more richly described through the identification and exploration of the history of their preferred knowledges and skills of living where the ‘weaknesses’ give way to ‘strengths,’ ‘deficits’ give way to ‘assets’ and ‘inadequacies’ give way to ‘resources’ leading to new options for them to take action in the world.
At our Consultation Center, we are responding to people experiencing emotional struggles, grief, or traumatic experiences. Our perspective intends to transform conventional notions of therapy, reshape understanding of and responding to sadness, worry, loss, psychosis and other poignant emotional experiences, and challenge the dominance of psychiatric knowledges. Here, we are determined to be conscious of issues of power and privilege and make our practice accountable to the people who seek our help. We are genuinely interested in people’s accounts of their experiences and we intend to work collaboratively with people who seek our consultation. We really want to understand what life has been for them and to get some appreciation of what these persons have been going through and actions they have taken to survive. We are hopeful that through our interactions, some profoundly helpful understandings evolve which raise and generate new possibilities for their lives. So they can live their lives consistent with their values and intentions for life.
We are here to provide consultation to all the marginalized population who seek our help, those who have survived the inequalities and injustices, those in abusive relationships, those who have survived abuse, and who are challenging the effects of this abuse in their lives. We are determined to address local injustices, many of which are related to the politics of gender, culture, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. We believe in interconnectedness of all people. This outlook assists us to open options for conversations in which persons find their lives being more profoundly joined with the lives of others and provides them with the opportunity to have more to say about which ways they might think and live.
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I thank Dr. Simone for giving me the personal resources that allowed all these wonderful things to happen in my life.
Dr. Simone led me to experience a quality of life I believe I could have never known without her help. Before I began to meet with her in one-on-one sessions, I thought I was perfect, and that every difficulty I had in life was because of others and not of my own doing. I remember when I first met Dr. Simone, my life circumstances were changing in major ways and the problems in my personal life had escalated. But Dr. Simone helped me change in ways that enabled me to solve all those problems. Now, I have a stable, rich and joyful family life with my husband and daughter, as we look forward to the birth of the baby girl I am now expecting. I thank Dr. Simone for giving me the personal resources that allowed all these wonderful things to happen in my life.
Neda, San Jose, CA
She is easy and comfortable to talk to.
Dr. Simone has an incredible ability to get to the source of many people’s problems and find solutions that work very quickly unlike any other consultants that I know of. She is easy and comfortable to talk to. She is also an extremely intelligent and witty person that makes the journey of improving yourself an enjoyable experience. Dr. Simone is a Master at getting to the root cause and giving simple workable solutions to improving your situation. I would highly recommend her!
Brian C. Campbell, CA
With her warm attitude, heartfelt kindness, and creative thoughts she showed me how to confront and improve the complexities of my daily life stressors.
If caring is sharing, with whom better than Dr. Simone? With her warm attitude, heartfelt kindness, and creative thoughts she showed me how to confront and improve the complexities of my daily life stressors. As an executive, I’m faced with making many important decisions that affect a lot of individual lives, on a daily basis. I was stressed out, irritable and overwhelmed. From what I have witnessed and experienced, this is a professional who has dedicated her life to systematically improve the lives of her clients through sincere discussions and analysis of their problems and helping them see their potentials and unique abilities to be happy and succeed. She helps her clients understand that they can enjoy all that life has to offer to them and that they have the strength to step out of their comfort zone and soar as high as they will. I did break free from all that was holding me back, overcame obstacles, removed distractions and feel relaxed. I am happier and more successful than ever and am positive that anyone who comes to her will be able to do the same.
Don L. Saratoga, CA
The sessions were very deep and thought provoking.
I had only 10 sessions of consultation with Dr. Simone, but those sessions changed my life completely. The sessions were very deep and thought provoking. This was exactly what I needed. I love you, Dr. Simone. You are very wise. Your positive energy and kind encouragements made a big impact on my attitude and understanding of the problematic situation in my life. You are super smart and saved me from making a huge mistake that would bring me misery. It’s scary to look back to where I was and I am so happy to be where I am now. I hope our paths could cross again. Thank you very much! You are the best!
Rosa L. San Francisco, CA
Dr. Simone helped me resolve the painful conflicts with my ex-husband that had wasted 8 years of my life.
When I first met Dr. Simone, I was stuck, paralyzed, going through life without letting myself feel anything. My life had been a very challenging one with numerous devastating experiences. I felt deeply depressed, hopeless and helpless; mentally, emotionally and physically. Nothing was working in my life. My devastation was so severe that I was unable to get out of bed for days. Dr. Simone saved my life in so many ways and more times than one is able to imagine. She was always there for me, kind, nonjudgmental and accepting of me despite having been perceived as different and unconventional by others, all through my life. She was the only person who really understood me. Most importantly, she never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself. Her professionalism is impeccable and the way she personalizes the plan of action and the speed of consultation to the needs and wants of her consultees makes the whole process delightful and interesting. Even though the work was hard, all the way through, there was laughter and good humor. Dr. Simone helped me resolve the painful conflicts with my ex-husband that had wasted 8 years of my life. It was then and there, with her by my side, that I started to feel that life was worth living and I actually felt hopeful for the first time in my life. Miracles were happening in different aspects of my life and that was because I had become the person I wanted to be. Now, I have great relationships with people in my life that never existed before. I’m back working again, feeling “wonderful,” doing what I love to do and making a difference in peoples’ lives. I feel loved and appreciated and miraculously, I feel that I deserve all this. I’ve learned to love myself, face my fears and walk through any barrier that might hold me back. Now I believe in myself and in my bright future. Nothing seems unobtainable! The sky is now the limit and I’m certain that with hard work, persistence and believing in my dreams, I can make today’s dreams tomorrow’s reality. I thank Dr. Simone for helping me enjoy life again and for inspiring me to want to go for my dreams, and to be ready and able to do whatever it takes to make them come true.
Irene R., San Jose, CA
Change did not come easy, but she never gave up on me.
I have never in my life seen anyone like Dr. Simone to care so genuinely and deeply about her clients. Dedicated to help me turn things around in my life, she went way above and beyond her call of duty to help me think differently and find solutions that I could have never come up with, without her influence. Change did not come easy, but she never gave up on me. What I have learned from her, has enriched my life in very profound ways. I will never forget where I was and where I am now: My life is much better in so many different ways because of her, and I will be forever grateful to her.
Bridget, San Jose, CA
We are very thankful to Dr. Simone for all the wonders she has created for us both individually and in our marriage.
We are very thankful to Dr. Simone for all the wonders she has created for us both individually and in our marriage. She showed us how to become the people we wanted to be and how to clearly communicate our values, wants and needs to each other; a skill that was instrumental in our rediscovery of each other. Only God knows how sad we were and how wonderfully enjoyable our life together is now. There are no words to express how grateful we are to her for reviving the deep mutual love and respect in our marriage. The big miracle is that we fell in love with each other all over again. With her help, we made right all that was wrong in our life. She walked with us in the trenches during very difficult times and helped us transform ourselves and our marriage. We know how blessed we were to find her, to be fortunate enough to have her help us make our dreams come true.
Susan & Alan, San Jose, CA
I want to thank Dr. Simone for the wonderful and quality sessions we had together.
I want to thank Dr. Simone for the wonderful and quality sessions we had together. She opened my eyes and helped me immensely. After a tragic accident in my family, Dr. Simone helped me get excited about achieving my goals once again. I always looked forward to my sessions. Dr. Simone has a way of making you feel at ease and very comfortable. My sessions were thought provoking; I “always” came away feeling a little wiser and more focused with a positive outlook on the stage of my life. I realized what is in the “past” is in the past, that cannot be changed, and “now” is all that matters: there is no judgment. I’m feeling better for all the wisdom and fresh perspectives that she shared with me. I thank her wholeheartedly. Dr. Simone is the real deal and I so value the time I had with her.
Louise D., San Jose
It was after I was able to truly trust Dr. Simone and share with her my poignant life story, that I remembered what it meant to feel happy and laugh out loud.
Three years ago, when I first met Dr. Simone, I was in a terrible marriage. I felt severely depressed and was aimlessly living an agonizing, day-to-day life. It took me a while to be able to fully trust Dr. Simone and open up to her about the intricacies of my troubled and tortured soul. At that time, it was nine trying years that I had been stuck in a horrible marriage with an abusive man whom I took care of, both emotionally and financially. I was trapped in the prison of the “shoulds and should nots” imposed on me by my parents, family members and the society. As an experienced nurse, I could only define my role in life as “a selfless caretaker,” which worked well for the patients under my care but was not so helpful to me, as an individual. I had given up on photography which used to be the great joy in my life. I had worked so hard to become a seasoned photographer, but at that time, I felt too ill, physically and too exhausted, emotionally to care anymore.
It was after I was able to truly trust Dr. Simone and share with her my poignant life story, that I remembered what it meant to feel happy and laugh out loud. With her help, I got the courage to place my wants and needs as the number one on my list rather than prioritizing the needs of others in my life over mine. For the first time, I was able to say “no” to the unreasonable and unending expectations of my family members and my husband, without feeling guilty about it. I dared to end my unhappy marriage and am now living the life I want. I finally did all that I was afraid to do or thought that I was incapable of accomplishing, which led to resolution of the problems in my life. Getting to know and having the opportunity to work with Dr. Simone is the biggest miracle that has ever happened in my life. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Simone because with her generous and kind heart, rich experience, invaluable knowledge, wisdom and eloquence, she helped me open my eyes and see that I actually have numerous options. I found out that I could do something about what was wrong in my life and that I have the strength and power to conquer the obstacles and follow my dreams. Dr. Simone helped me enter a new world in which I am no longer a victim but a strong, determined and capable woman who deserves happiness and can reach for the stars. For all this, I thank Dr. Simone from the depth of my heart.
Mary S., San Jose, CA
It’s been 19 years since I met this living angel on earth—my first and forever mentor whose hopeful and inspiring presence I’ve never forgotten.
It’s been 19 years since I met this living angel on earth—my first and forever mentor whose hopeful and inspiring presence I’ve never forgotten. When I first met with Dr. Simone, I felt depleted and as though I had hit rock bottom in my life. Dr. Simone had a powerful impact on every aspect of my life. Not just as a truly accomplished counselor, but as a wise and compassionate professional, she taught me to accept, respect and love myself. Her uncommon talent and accessible advice is unlike anything I’ve seen written or documented anywhere. Thanks to Dr. Simone, I now have a healthier and more loving relationship with myself and others in my life, and greater energy and motivation to achieve whatever I want. It goes without saying that I am a much happier, more hopeful, more successful person than I was before. Thank you Dr. Simone. You proved to be in my life, the miracle worker you are reputed to be.
Mariam M., Walnut Creek
What Clients are Saying
“One of the best!!! Experienced, knowledgeable, understanding, intelligent, and needs to continue to educate! She was also Very open and Helpful when answering the questions that the audience had! Thank you!“
A Master At Getting To The Root Cause
"Dr. Simone is a master at getting to the root cause and giving simple workable solutions to improving your situation :)"
Stories That Motivate Us
1550 The Alameda, Suite 150
San Jose, CA 95126
Toll Free: 1-888-291-7303