TRISTAN SALDANA DESTRY, AMFT
“The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes,” said the French novelist Marcel Proust.
A self cannot fully inhabit the lived experience of another, yet our therapeutic relationship can, without disrespecting the integrity of your lived experience, present the opportunity for me to take your perspective. I hope to imagine your experience because, as Carl Jung said: “Loneliness comes not from having no people around you but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you,” and in the memory of childhood’s loneliness and solitude creative power resides.
I bring a grounding presence to you and will listen well. I also find joy in collaborating in your self-discovery where gender, sexuality, and cultural background, all present a kaleidoscope of intersecting differences and similarities—multiple lenses through which to appreciate a common, human identity. I will meet you with you.
From a place of not knowing and holding space, we can gently explore the impact of the outer environment on the inner world, and through compassion for the mystery of suffering, we may know the relations between self and other and the ways in which the psyche’s inner landscape mirrors the outer landscapes of the social and natural environment. Let’s begin.
While a San Francisco native, I grew up on the streets of Hollywood and was saved by the magic and beauty of words and poetry thanks to my eleventh grade English teacher, Barry Smolin. In 2001, while attending CSUN and acquiring an MA in English Literature, varieties of modern and contemporary poetry captured my attention, and yet studying Milton with Professor Jonathan Post at UCLA proved my most transformative poetic experience, for I have not been the same since reading Paradise Lost.
For over two decades, I have taught English at twelve California Community Colleges and two state universities. My life-long fascination with the mind-body-food relationship led me to study live food, spiritual nutrition in a Master’s program taught by Dr. Gabriel Cousens and to participate in a 200-hour teacher training at Yoga Mountain Studio. During my career, I continued to pursue my love of words and classical languages at UC Berkeley, where I studied Classical Greek with Professor Donald Mastronarde and took Dacher Keltner’s first EdX MOOC, “The Science of Happiness,” which transformed my English Composition courses to embrace themes of nature, mind, and environment.
I graduated with an MA (2019) in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute.