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The Marin County Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists publishes profiles of our members, who are licensed and pre-licensed therapists providing therapy to children, teens, adults, couples, and families in Marin and other Bay Area counties. All information on this page is the responsibility of the listed therapist.

Karen Rachels


(510) 861-7225


Member profile details

First name
Last name
Office Phone
(510) 861-7225
Additional Website/LinkedIn

License & Education

Clinical License Type
  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
License number
MFC 31722
  • M.S.

Office Locations

County(s) office located
  • East Bay
Office Address
Grand-Lake Area
Office City
Office State
Office Zip


Areas of Interest
  • Consultation
  • Attachment
  • Body-Oriented Psychotherapy
Short Description
I train therapists in Somatic Attachment Therapy through individual and group consultation. My workbook, "Body, Brain, Love: A Therapist's Workbook for Affect Regulation and Somatic Attachment," is available.
Description of Practice
Somatic Attachment Therapy marries an understanding of nervous system regulation with the somatic underpinning of secure attachment development. By honoring defenses and seeking client permission at every juncture, we support the wisdom of the body as an illuminator of the path to healing. Within a defense is the seed for change. It points to the unconscious need to protect and keep the psyche intact.

For example, a client, in mindfulness, says, “I can’t let myself cry,” while tapping her chest. Her statement is a wise one. Somewhere along the way her “letting herself cry” was not a safe choice. In SAT, we support that wisdom without knowing the backstory – all we know is that in the moment, a protective urge has emerged and we share the client's sense that it is important and to be respected. As SAT therapists, we can contact the gesture of her tapping her chest. Without having to know why, we understand the gesture is a reflection of a right-brain, limbic experience. As we begin to let that protective urge emerge, the full, implicitly-stored experience begins to break into conscious awareness – an image, a memory, an emotional sense, the presence of someone in the room, what we were doing, wearing, a hand raised to hit, an internal sinking feeling of shame, head bowed, shoulders collapsed.

We accompany the client through that somatically-remembered experience, both of us in mindfulness, the client simultaneously in present-consciousness of observation and experiencing an altered-consciousness of feeling the memory.

In that space, words are fewer and visceral sensations, energy, movements, urges and images are more apparent. Words come out to communicate and describe states rather than to explain.

If we support the client to not let herself cry, e.g, “Really important not to cry. Let’s see how we can help you do that,” or we contact the gesture, “You are tapping your chest. Can you let yourself do that,” she has the opportunity to observe her experience, feel in control of what happens, and feel supported and seen all at the same time. She knows we are okay with whatever happens, we will be present and accepting, that therapy isn’t designed to only go for the hard stuff but also to support the internal wisdom developed for survival purposes which later can alter to more creative, thriving resources. Over time, this relationship of respect and gentleness for the client’s process allows them to experience the seeds of an earned secure attachment as beliefs about self begin to shift.

Attachment work, implemented through somatic skills and concepts, is the key to Somatic Attachment Therapy. Our securely-attaching presence coupled with self and client awareness paves the way.
Additional photo


Credit Cards Accepted

Therapy Groups Offered

Group Description
All consult focus on helping therapists build their comfort level and skills in affect regulation, attachment, and embodied awareness. Client-therapist attachment dynamics emphasized.

Therapist Identities (optional and voluntarily self-disclosed)

cis female
white/European American/Caucasian
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