About Vanessa Graf

Vanessa Graf, PsyD, LMFT, PC

Vanessa Graf, PsyD, LMFT, PC

There’s a part of me that feels I’ve been a therapist all my life. Being the youngest of two children and a girl in a family with a mentally ill mother, I grew up attempting not only to understand for myself, but to help my family members understand how to cope and survive the missing component of a Mother in our lives. When I graduated college with a double major in English and psychology, I wanted to continue my education. It turns out that “the education” was focused and concentrated in the school of life.

At 24 years old I began to travel from coast to coast, meeting with groups of people, large and small, teaching techniques for interpreting dreams and exploring spirituality from a variety of perspectives.  Having been raised in the Bible belt, I had a strong value system based on Christian principals. As I continued traveling and lecturing I began to study esoteric psychology and Carl Jung’s approach to dreams and their role in our lives. After a tragic personal loss, I entered into a long term therapeutic relationship which helped to transform my life and broaden my world view. As I began to deal with the childhood issues of not having a mother and the impact of her mental illness on my family, I began to heal in a deep and profound way. In retrospect, this was the most important part of my education in becoming a good psychotherapist – and something that sets me apart from other therapists. I have done my internal work!

Going back to school to get my masters degree in Clinical Psychology and then my doctorate were exhilarating and rounded out the internal work I was completing at the time. As is true of many people that have suffered loss and deprivation in childhood, wounds of the past serve as an empathic gateway to understanding the suffering of others and the obstacles to their achieving happiness. I view my role as a psychotherapist as a facilitator in a conversation of renewal and transformation. Happiness is a worthy goal!

Today I combine clinical knowledge with an empathic gift to bring clients a broader and deeper experience of the therapeutic process. The insights and interpretations in therapy are a combination of a clinical perspective and an intuitive understanding of my clients and how to help them understand and accept themselves on a meaningful level.

I love my work!