ABOUT JAN EDL STEIN, MFT
I was born and raised in a small, rural East Coast town where the rhythms and beauty of the natural world etched into my bones and brought much solace. The impressions of my childhood relationship with the natural world has continued to inform my adult life in most extraordinary ways.
I went on to Rutgers University to major in psychology as an undergraduate and had the good fortune to study with great teachers in the field such as Silvan Tomkins, Robert Stolorow and George Atwood. This paved the way to immediately enter graduate school in a doctoral program at the New School of Social Research in New York. I studied very traditional psychoanalytic theory but at the same time become deeply interested in Eastern philosophy and finally headed off to California to look for ways to integrate Eastern spiritual approaches into clinical psychology. Many years later, on a circuitous road that included six years working as a researcher at Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) in the development of the internet, I completed my clinical studies at the University of San Francisco. My studies were augmented with coursework at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. I interned at San Francisco’s George Washington High School, San Francisco Community Mental Health Sunset Day Treatment Center, Parents Place of Jewish Family Services, and finally, a private practice internship with Jungian analyst Susan Bostrom-Wong.
In 1990 I was licensed and started my private practice in San Francisco, later expanding in Marin County. Since 1992 I have provided clinical supervision to pre-licensed therapists and in 2004, I assumed the role as clinical director at Holos Institute, a community based non-profit counseling center and eco-psychology education center. My continuing studies have explored the realms of somatic (body/sensation based) psychology and training in the use of techniques for treating trauma such as EMDR and Brainspotting, along with Imago Therapy work with couples and Eriksonian Hypnotherapy. I have also continued to explore depth psychology and the rich healing potential that the imaginal, mythic and archetypal realms offer. While many studies, theories and “tools of the trade” may augment my work, it is centered in a balanced, heartfelt and pragmatic appreciation of the human situation and real experience.
My interest in eastern philosophy lead me to study, early on, yoga practices and philosophy, and vipassana (mindfulness) meditation. During a personal health crisis, I discovered shamanic journeying which lead me on a remarkable path of healing and re-animated my spiritual practice. In the early 1990’s I began a study of, and with, indigenous healers, and became curious about the ways in which people embedded in original cultural traditions applied a knowledge and understanding of how everything and everyone is connected. I saw that a great respect of place, the elements, the flora and fauna yielded a restoration of balance in the human psyche and that working with these relationships in creative ways could lead to powerful change. The integration of all of these systems has come to inform my work and remains a great inspiration.
Parenting two wonderful (now adult) children has been the greatest privilege and learning of my life. I have a deep love of nature, enjoy gardening and roaming the hills whenever I can.
I have had very up-close personal experiences with death, serious illness, hardship, awe, joy, adventure, gratitude, love and parenting… to name a few. Life has taught me humility, the value of sustaining relationships, an appreciation of this marvelous place we call home and the importance of speaking and acting truthfully from the heart. I strive to bring these values to my work with great respect for all of our relations.