"It isn't where you come from; it's where you are going that counts". [Ella Fitzgerald]
Have you ever felt stuck in a vicious and never-ending cycle of extreme anxiety or deep depression? Are you struggling with picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of the world after the death of someone you love? Are you someone in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol, and finding it hard to face the struggles of being newly sober(the overwhelming mix of guilt, low self-esteem, and fear of disappointing others)now that substance use isno longer an automatic option for coping? Life can bring us down, and hard! Sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere—hitting as abruptly as a tidal wave. In only a few moments, the life you’ve built is suddenly underwater and you’re grasping for something to keep you afloat. In these most desperate times,we need to reach out and reconnect with the CORE BASICS of life. The core basics we all need, regardless of whether we are struggling with anxiety and depression, learning to be in recovery, or grieving a deep loss, are:
  • to be Loved;
  • to be Acknowledged;
  • to be Respected;
  • and to be recognized and applauded for who we are—our inherent Worthiness.
We need a non-judgmental, safe and supportive space to share our vulnerabilities, learn new tools for coping with life has thrown our way,and figure out what to do next. Seeking help is the first courageous step toward creating a better life, and I celebrate your bravery in being here now to explore how therapy may be able to support you through your current struggles, life-challenges and beyond! I am “Dr. Mavis”the only female Samoan psychologist on the island of Oahu. I offer individual psychotherapy services to women and men who are ready to learn more effective ways of coping with challenges like these:
  • Getting unstuck from depression and anxiety—when it seems like life is telling you “you’re done,” but you are NOT!
  • Surviving the transition back into society post-addiction when you are trying to re-claim your role in your family, your workplace, your social circles… but it seems everyone assumes you “are unreliable; incapable or just can’t be trusted anymore.”
  • Coping with grief and extreme loneliness after your loved one’s death or because of major life-changes that have turned your world completely upside down, such as ending a marriage or relationship, losing a job, or being forced to start over in a new place.
I also offer pre-marital counseling for couples who want to deepen their commitment by exploring the What, Why, and How of marriage (including the “Are You Serious?!?” questions) before saying “I do!” My therapy style is sincere; reality-based; challenging and spontaneous. I pull a lot from my vast experience in the mental health field, as well as the many years of my clinical training, internship and fellowship. I believe that religion and spirituality play an important role in healing and growth. I am therefore passionate and open to incorporating both aspects into the therapeutic process when that is desired. My primary approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) within a brief, solution-focused framework. This means I am able to see you not only as your individual and unique self, but as a complex person who is influenced by many factors including biological, psychological and social forces. It also means you will be able to start feeling different rapidly in our working together as well as being able to make changes more quickly outside of our therapy sessions. We will collaborate to identify what is ailing you, develop and practice skills for better coping, and build your internal resources for long-term healing.I see therapy as a pit stop to wellness rather than as a lengthy, drawn-out process. I am an affirming therapist who welcomes people of all genders, races, sexual orientations, ethnicities, sizes, and abilities. I especially enjoy working with individuals like myself who are Samoan / of Polynesian descent.  My office is located on Kamehameha Highway within the Pearlridge Shopping Center in Aiea.  I look forward to hearing from you! Are you ready to get started living the life you want? Click here to read more about therapy in Aiea with Dr. Mavis.