Developmental Disorders

Mood Disorders


Types of Therapy

Influences & philosophy

My work is informed by Humanistic-Existential and Buddhist philosophies and practices. I am extensively trained at Mindfulness-Based approaches to therapy, Dance and Movement Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy and Somatic Psychology, and family, child and adolescent therapy.

I look forward to speaking with you and see if we can be a good fit to work together to deepen your sense of well being, joy, fulfillment, and meaning in life.

Will Therapy Make Me Feel Better?

In the long run, yes.  In the short run, not necessarily.  Again it’s a very individual issue.  Some people get a lot of support from the therapeutic relationship from the outset, and it connects them up to their inner resources, and they start feeling better right away.  

Most get a lot of relief from talking about things unguardedly, from not having to hold back for a change.  Others find the therapy situation embarrassing or belittling, and need to work past that to enjoy the working alliance.  Virtually everyone who continues in therapy in spite of the difficulty begins to feel stronger, more competent, more worthwhile, and better protected.  Is that “feeling better”?  I think so.

About Parental Counseling

Parental guidance takes a lot of its principles and techniques from therapy, in that it assumes that a major engine for behavioral change is better self-understanding.  

However, it is different because it is clearly and consistently focused on the relationship with the child, whereas in therapy by definition the focus is on the person himself.  Parental counseling also has a lot to do with giving information—about child development, about handling specific difficulties and situations, about interpersonal dynamics—which has little or no place in therapy. It sometimes becomes apparent during the process of parental counseling that one or both parents could use individual help with issues that are affecting their functioning as parents.  Then they have to make their own decision as to whether to go for therapy.

The Differences Between Crisis Counseling & Therapy

It’s impossible to draw a definitive boundary between them, but there are differences.  

Crisis counseling takes its orientation and tools from therapy and adjusts them to its particular goals.  The goal of counseling is resolving the present perturbation and returning to one’s satisfactory, pre-crisis state, whereas the goal of therapy is personality change (leading to behavior change). Therefore counseling is characteristically time-limited, while therapy (as I define it) is open-ended.  

Because the goal is clearly defined and more limited, the counselor tends to be more directive than a therapist. Counseling will explore issues from the past with the express purpose of freeing up current coping energies; therapy will explore them for their own sake.

Counseling can be a prelude to therapy when the process of self-awareness leads to a desire for wider or deeper change.  Or it can be a concentrated learning experience—a form of empowerment.

A sampling of Concerns I Treat

  • ADHD

  • Alcohol Abuse

  • Anxiety

  • Asperger's Syndrome

  • Autism

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Depression

  • Drug Abuse

  • Stress

  • Dual Diagnosis

  • Eating Disorders

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Parenting

  • Pregnancy, Prenatal, Postpartum

  • Relationship Issues

  • Self Esteem

  • Trauma and PTSD

Credentials & Licenses

  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapy: LMFT# 112104 California

  • Registered Dance & Movement Therapy: R-DMT# 1937 ADTA


  • Sliding Scale: Yes. I'll do my best to offer an affordable service, depending on your income and financial situation.

  • Accepted Insurance Plans: Qualified as "Out of Network" provider. Per request, I can issue you an invoice with the appropriate code for Insurance Reimbursement.

  • Payment: Cash, check and Paypal are accepted for payment.

  • Cancellation Policy: If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified me at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.

Send me a Message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. If issue persists, please send your message to michal@somaticmft.com
© Copyright Michal Rokach Shamay.
Licensed marriage and family therapist #112104. Registered dance & movement therapist R-DMT #1937 ADTA.
(510) 944 1549 | michal@somaticmft.com
Office located in Albany, CA.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #112104, serving:
Berkeley · El Cerrito · Oakland · Albany · Claremont · Emeryville · Kensington · Richmond · San Francisco
· Services Available Online for California Residents ·