Jessica Oifer, MA, MFTI am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#54051) located in Southern California, with offices in Marina del Rey and Sherman Oaks, CA.  I work with individual adults, teens, families and couples dealing with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, trauma and life transitions.

My Therapeutic Approach

I have a gentle, warm and non-judgmental approach to the therapeutic process. I use a variety of therapeutic tools, including talk therapy, mindfulness, and mind-body (somatic) techniques, to help my clients reach their individual goals. I understand that everyone has unique reasons for coming to therapy. My goal is to help each of my clients heal from their own painful symptoms and feel empowered to achieve the balance, contentment, and success they desire. I work thoughtfully and collaboratively with each of my clients to develop a safe and trusting environment in which they can grow and heal.

I believe that past experiences and beliefs can impact our present experience. I also believe that healing starts with awareness, compassion and understanding. I help my clients understand how their previous experiences or beliefs may be contributing to their symptoms and possibly hindering them from achieving what they want in life.

I also consider the connection between the mind and the body in the healing process. The body’s nervous system has a natural way of responding to trauma, stress and other emotions. When this natural response is blocked, emotional and physical symptoms can emerge. We can heal these symptoms by both expressing our emotions and by balancing the nervous system. I find that when clients understand the role their nervous system plays in the development and treatment of their symptoms, they feel empowered to find balance and reach their goals.

My Education and Background

I hold a M.A. in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, from Phillips Graduate Institute. Prior to working as a therapist, I earned an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC) and spent 10 years working in corporate business environments. I believe this professional experience has provided me with a unique perspective on the challenges and pressures that clients working in such environments face on a daily basis.

I am trained in multiple therapeutic approaches, including Attachment-Focused EMDR and the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM). I also have completed training in the treatment of TMS or Psychophysiologic Disorders (PPD). In addition to my private practice, I am an Adjunct Faculty Member at Phillips Graduate Institute, where I have taught a number of different classes and served as an advisor and mentor to second-year MFT students. I also am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

My Specialties

My specialties include anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions, and chronic pain. I was drawn to work with people suffering from anxiety and depression because both disorders are so prevalent in our society. Everyday, millions of people are affected by the emotional and physical pain of anxiety and depression. They are the two most commonly diagnosed disorders. Fortunately, they both can be successfully managed and healed through a variety of therapeutic techniques.

I also work with people suffering from trauma. Trauma, too, is so very common in our culture. Often, people think of traumas as life threatening events or experiences. However, a trauma is any experience that impacts your ability to feel safe and connected. Trauma affects us mentally, physically and emotionally. To better support my clients as they work through the painful effects of trauma, I am trained in EMDR and the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM). EMDR is a widely researched and highly effective trauma treatment that helps clients successfully process through the painful effects of trauma. TRM is a mind-body approach that addresses the biological effects of traumatic experiences, helping clients heal in a gentle and empowering way.

I also work with people experiencing life transitions. Our world is dynamic and changes occur everyday. Adapting to change can feel stressful. Letting go of what is familiar or what was expected can be difficult. At these junctures, as well as during other planned or expected transitions—such as a new baby, a career change or a major move—it’s common to feel confused, overwhelmed or disappointed. Therapy can provide support and guidance to navigate the emotions that emerge when the world throws us curveballs.

Finally, I work with clients struggling with chronic pain and physical symptoms caused by emotions. Not all physical pain is caused by structural damage or disease. Physical pain also can be triggered by difficult, unexpressed, or unresolved emotions. This type of pain is known as TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) or PPD (Psychophysiologic Disorder). When structural causes have been ruled out by a medical doctor, I help clients begin to think about their pain differently, and incorporate techniques that can decrease or even eliminate physical discomfort.

If you are struggling with painful emotional or physical symptoms, or you feel that you, your teenager, or your family are struggling, I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific circumstances and answer any questions you have about therapy and my practice.