Dr. emily semow


I have seen that when a person feels genuinely valued, listened to, and helped by a psychotherapist, change can occur. New tools and coping mechanisms develop, the authentic self emerges as robust and confident, and life ultimately begins to lighten up.


My approach to psychotherapy is primarily psychodynamic, which means that I help people identify and change patterns that may not serve them. I consider childhood events and social context as shapers of people’s strengths and struggles. I often attend to the “here and now,” addressing emotions that actively emerge during the therapy sessions. I also draw on trauma research as well as mindfulness and behavioral practices to provide coping strategies and tools that can be used outside of therapy. My work is strongly informed by cultural humility, meaning that I respect and honor my clients’ diverse identities, understanding that they are the experts on their cultures and identities. I welcome diverse people, including but not limited to all ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities, socio-economic levels, and religions. When I work with children and adolescents, I use play therapy (i.e, imaginative play, board games) to communicate with them about their feelings, thoughts, and concerns in an age appropriate manner.


I obtained my doctorate of psychology (Psy.D.) from the Wright Institute in Berkeley. I completed an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited internship at the Ann Martin Center, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Access Institute for Psychological Services. At both organizations, I received training in contemporary models of psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and adults. My clients have presented with concerns related to interpersonal relationships, family conflict, divorce or breakups, work/school-related struggles, life transitions, grief, adoption, and immigration. Clients have wrestled with anxiety, depression, and the effects of one or multiple traumas. I have worked with people experiencing a sense of emptiness, self-criticism, perfectionism, and lack of motivation. I also have experience providing psychotherapy to Spanish/English bilingual/bicultural adults, children, and adolescents. This work is supported by my fluency in Spanish and background living and working in Puebla, Mexico.


I enjoy collaborating with clients to make psychotherapy tailored to their unique needs. I strive to create an environment in which clients feel safe to express themselves freely. Ultimately, I hope people will feel seen and helped in our work together.