27111 Aliso Creek Rd. #170

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

marissafdefeo@gmail.com

 

Tel: 949-791-9384

By Appointment Only

Wed & Thurs: 10am - 8pm​​

​Sunday: 9am - 12pm

Also available for Phone and Skype sessions outside of normal business hours.

© 2019 by Marissa DeFeo, MA, LMFT. 

One of the biggest questions people often ask me is "what is your theory?"

 

This is a complicated question.  Many psychology purists will argue that a therapist needs to pick a theory and stick with it -- that calling oneself "eclectic" or deviating away from one's chosen theory is a psychological cardinal sin.  But I disagree.  While I understand that a theory is what drives us and gives us a framework from which to work, I also know that one size does not fit all--at least not for me.  

 

The short answer is that my theory of choice is Gestalt, but I would not call myself a Gestalt therapist.  I believe that Gestalt is a way of thinking and a way of being, but it is not the only way.  Gestalt theory emphasizes conscious awareness, mindfulness, and being present and aware in the moment.  It denounces shoulds and woulds and places a great deal of focus on authenticity and being one's tue self. I really like that.  Those concepts seem to gel with my overall way of being and thinking, and as a result, I incorporate that part of the theory into my work with clients.  However, it's not the only way of thinking. While being in the moment is critical to reducing anxiety and enhancing self awareness, I believe it's also important to explore those moments and experiences from our past that have undoubtably shaped who we are today.  

I like to approach therapy from a collaborative standpoint.  After all, we are in this together.  We are a team, and as a team, we have to work in unison.  There may be times when you disagree with me, and there may be times when I will need to take a more directive approach with you, but overall, I want you to help guide this ship.  Tell me where you want to go and we'll figure out a way to get there together.  You are the expert of your own life and I am honored to have the opportunity to share in that life with you.

I believe in subjective reality, which means that what is real to you--what you defined as your truth--is THE truth.  I will never tell you that you are wrong, that what you believe is incorrect or false, and I will never judge you. I know that you know yourself (deep down) better than anyone else.  I will offer you insight, help you to expand your thinking and know yourself better, and I will always support you.

I want to help you grow, help you heal, and help you discover who you were, who you are, and who you will become.  As a free-thinking human being, you have the capacity to learn, change, and evolve.  I look forward to going on this journey with you and assisting you in becoming the person you desire to become.  

My Approach

I provide therapy for adults and adolescents, as well as couples and families.

 

My areas of special interest include*:

 

  • Women Issues 

  • Adolescent Females

  • Relationship Problems

  • Sex Addiction and Sexual Intimacy Troubles

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Grief and Loss

  • Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Overeating 

  • Stress Management

  • Codependence 

  • LGBTQ 

  • Personal Empowerment 

  • Type I Diabetes 


*For more detailed information, please visit the Therapy Services section of my website.