Anita Frankel, M.A., M.F.T.
Anita Frankel, M.A., M.F.T.
I welcome people who “march to a different drummer” – artists, activists, restless corporate executives; parents at odds with cultural pressures, gay individuals striving for meaningful lives in the shadow of homophobia.
One key belief, which has shaped me as a therapist, is that the full development of each person is a condition of the full development of all. To the extent that we can assert our individuality, intelligence, or desirability, while enhancing, not diminishing, that of others, we grow into secure and happy adults. A related idea is that a fully flowering life is a joint effort, not a solitary pursuit. All of us need people who can resonate with us, and sometimes mentor us, in the process of asserting ourselves in healthy ways. Mutual, reciprocal relationships are a foundation for living a humane life in a competitive world.
I come to my views as a therapist by a long and winding route. As a Berkeley undergrad in the 60s, I was influenced by the civil rights, anti-war, environmental, and women’s movements. After graduate school in journalism in the 70s, my first career began in radio broadcasting, producing public-affairs programs for non-commercial stations.
By the early 80s, I wanted a career change. After a good experience with biofeedback for some persistent health problems, I trained at the Biofeedback Institute of Los Angeles and became a certified biofeedback therapist in 1982. Teaching relaxation training and stress management skills drew me steadily into the realm of my clients’ pain, dreams, and longings. In 1986, I earned an M.A. in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy at Phillips Graduate Institute. In 1991, I was licensed as an MFT.
Today in my private practice, I see many people who march to a “different drummer” — artists nurturing their own voice in and out of the mainstream, corporate executives made restless by the limitations of their jobs and gay individuals striving to make good lives in a heterosexual world. I also see parents coping with pressures on and within the family, interracial couples confronting identity and equality issues, childless professional women wondering where the “good men” are, and people of all persuasions who want lasting intimate relationships.
While I am a member of several managed-care panels for whom I do short-term, solution-focused therapy, the soul of my practice is in-depth work. My style is very interactive; I am not big on the idea of therapist-as-blank-screen. My job is to help nourish the conviction in my clients that they are not crazy but that the demands of life often are and that navigating life successfully requires resilience, patience, and an open mind. Therapy is heart-felt work.