I approach my work with genuineness, sincerity, a belief in our innate capacity for healing and growth, and a good dose of humor. I have a straightforward, collaborative approach. I utilize an integrated approach to wellbeing that takes into consideration the relationship between the body, mind, social context, and the authentic self. I utilize a wide range of therapeutic techniques including CBT, solution focused, somatic, mindfulness, psychodynamic, relational, and feminist/multicultural.
As a therapist, I believe most of the internal and relational difficulties we experience are due to a conflict between who we really are and who we have been taught we are supposed to be (consciously or unconsciously). I understand the so-called "pathologies" we experience as coping mechanisms that once worked but are no longer effective. Our job is to figure out what you need and how you might get those needs met in a way that feels authentic and joyful rather than stifling and frustrating.
Dr. Sandy Peace began her psychology training with a year-long course exploring issues of power and privilege through a multicultural lens. Her first practicum as an ethnographer at a co-ed residential drug and alcohol treatment center in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, honed her ability to enter into new communities, analyze systemic and interpersonal dynamics of power and privilege, and advocate for change promoting social justice.
During her clinical training at The Pacific Center in Berkeley, one of the nation's first LGBT Community Centers, Dr. Peace gained knowledge and competency working with the challenges faced by the LGBT community – sexual orientation identity development, gender affirmation change process, and relationships – as well as healing sexual trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, living with HIV/AIDS, intimate partner violence, and personality disorders.
Dr. Peace switched her focus to University Counseling working at Sonoma State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. There she expanded her clinical competence to include treating panic attacks, specific phobias, stage of life transitions, school/work/life balance, and personal exploration. She particularly enjoyed working with first generation college students, second generation immigrants, returning/ transfer students, and international students. She started the first LGBTQQI Drop in Support Group at SSU. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she was the catalyst for the formation of the LGBT Faculty Staff Association, started the first LGBT Process Group, and was the counseling center's liaison to the Pride Center who named her the 2014 Faculty Ally of the Year.
Dr. Peace is a trained sex educator, provides trainings for mental health professionals on working with polyamorous clients, facilitates polyamory support/discussion groups, and presented her doctoral dissertation research – "Toward a Model of Polyamorous Identity Development" – at the first International Academic Polyamory Conference at U.C. Berkeley in 2012. Dr. Peace is a community organizer in the bisexual and polyamorous communities in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.
Dr. Peace grew up in rural Minnesota, and is a first generation college student. While at Carleton College, she traveled to France for a study abroad language program. She fell in love with Spanish language and Latin American culture, food, and music during her travels in Mexico and Central America. Dr. Peace values cultural diversity, is committed to helping people live authentic lives, and is aware of how dominant cultural norms often impede that process.