Chaela D Stewart, LMFT
Connecting Couples Therapy
Attachment Based Couples Therapy
Offices in Santa Rosa and Petaluma
Regain the spark, depth, and intimacy your love relationship deserves!
Since I was a child, I have wanted to be a therapist that worked with couples and families. I took note of the marriages, divorces, and families around me and had the dream to help couples create more beautiful, lasting, and loving relationships. I know first-hand how challenging relationships can be, especially after the transition a marriage undertakes when kids enter the picture. And I have great respect for the couples I see who put in the hard work to really make their relationship what they want it to be. I couldn't be happier doing the work I know I was meant to do.
I attended the University of Washington for my undergraduate work and then in 2006 I earned a Master's of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University, (SPU). During this time I held a graduate assistantship facilitating an undergraduate course for Dr. Les Parrott, international speaker and New York Times #1 bestselling author. I worked in a broad range of settings before becoming a licenced therapist. I worked in a university counseling center with individuals, engaged, and married couples; in a public school setting with "severely emotionally disturbed" (SED) children; in a residential group home with at-risk foster youth; and as a leader of a new parent support group for mothers and their new borns. In 2011, I decided to go into private practice and focus on my passion, working primarily with couples. In graduate school I studied Family Systems theories and focused my work on Experiential Therapy, specifically, Dr. Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT). EFT is a clear, short-term, structured approach based on clarifying and identifying relational distress and improving adult primary attachment. EFT has over 20 years of empirical research, showing it's effectiveness, with nearly 90% of couples showing dramatic improvement. Dr. Sue Johnson is the author of the book, "Hold me Tight". I am a certified Level 2 Clinicial with Dr. Stan Tatkin, author of "Wired for Love," in PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy). This methodology looks at early childhood attachment and focuses on how that effects both the brain and the nervous system of partners. Using the PACT approach, I work in the moment, noticing the slight changes in affect and arousal that constantly occur within a couple, and placing a high value on experience, rather than on the cognition or analysis of events. Since 2011, I have attended two professional trainings with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, "The Attachment Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together" live with Dr. Neufeld, and "Neufeld Intensive Level 1: Making Sense of Kids" via distance learning facilitated by Transformative Parenting. Neufeld is one of the world's leading attachment theorists and experts on child development. The author of "Hold onto your Kids," Neufeld, uses attachment theory and the belief that the relationship IS the cure, as the basis for helping parents work through behavioral stuckness in their children. Because of the parallels between the parent-child relational needs and the primary-love relationship needs, I often make references to Dr. Neufeld in my work with couples, as well as when working with parents.
My work is also influenced by the ideas of David Deida, author of "The Way of the Superior Man," Nicole Daedone, author of "Slow Sex," and the Authentic SF movement. I utilize the concepts of masculine-feminine polarity, the need for emotional containment, real intimacy and vulnerability, and a spiritual healing that comes from being more seen and more fully present within a couple relationship. I help couples experience a deeper connection through facilitating an increase in body awareness, eye-contact, and touch.
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
-Antoine De Saint-Exupery