Leona Esmaeily, LMFT
Virtual Therapy Services: Individual, Couples
Specialties: CBT, Solution Focused
State Licenses: CA
My primary specializations include anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, emotional expression/regulation, and relationship issues. I have experience working with individuals and couples, supplying them with therapeutic tools to achieve all their goals. I know making your first step into the therapy office is uncomfortable and I want to make that experience easier for you. Having struggled with my own anxiety, I can empathize with my clients in their healing journey. Therapists are more than just mental health professionals; we are here to guide you through your darkest times and loneliest moments. Human beings have evolutionarily been programed to appear strong and invulnerable to life’s unending challenges. Those who were perceived as weak did not last. Personally, coming from a Middle Eastern background we did not talk about our feelings. Happiness was the only emotion I expressed while all others were tucked away. This seemed normal until my therapist showed the destructive effects this “normal” lifestyle had caused. I was emotionally immature, closed off from my emotions and extremely out of touch with my true feelings. Repressed or buried feelings can cause tension in our hearts and stunt our personal growth. We want to be able to release some of that tension by talking about our feelings. We want to be able to trust the people around us and let them into lives. We need to be aware that there are so many emotions in this world and we have the ability to feel them. We need to open our hearts and minds to start feeling. My therapeutic approach is a mix of Person-Centered Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I will help you feel heard through practicing empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. This means I will try my best to understand your point of view without judgement as well as help transform and replace your automatic negative thoughts with more positive mindsets and emotional responses. When all is said and done, I will help you find some healthy coping skills to make your struggles easier. I want to help show you that there are positive ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, and relationship problems. Additionally, we need to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy coping skills. Meditation, exercise, setting boundaries, journaling, making lists, and positive thinking are a few of the wide varieties of coping mechanisms available to us as mental health professionals. I want to help you become the best version of yourself and if I can make that a little easier for you, then my job is done!