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Know Genuine Mental Health

mindfully present
lucid and calm
emotionally wise
fully embodied
kind and generous
vibrantly alive

Awakened Presence Psychotherapy™ (APP) combines dynamic, evidence-based treatments for mood disorders, trauma, chronic stress, emotion dysregulation, chronic pain and addiction. APP is an interactive, depth-oriented approach which integrates mindfulness, compassion and Somatic Experiencing (SE™) skills. This method is ideal for individuals struggling with unrelenting depressive/anxious symptoms, trauma and chronic pain, autoimmune dysregulation, substance use problems. I also work with couples in distress; professionals in high-stress careers or life transition; military veterans; depressed, anxious or stressed young adults.

Embodied presence increases well-being—a feeling of vibrant aliveness. Mindfulness and compassion skills promote insight, wisdom, skillful behavior, and joyful equanimity. A mind freed from incessant anxiety and rumination, readily meets life's challenges with enthusiasm and intelligence.

Genuine mental health is an aspiration to flourish no matter what life brings. This inner joy is not dependent upon the existence of agreeable circumstances or pleasurable objects. In fact, like the lotus that grows in mud, human flourishing flowers best in life's most challenging moments. Even in times of difficulty we can experience mind in its natural state: a wellspring of innate radiant, clarity. This is the happiness that comes from knowing one's own true nature.

Negative thoughts about ourselves and others are harmful. Many people report feeling trapped by thoughts of self-loathing, self-judgment, self-blame, and self-doubt. Negative internal narratives distort our perception and grip us in fear. When we liberate these and other forms of inner suffering we have greater capacity to embrace the total possibility of life.


To schedule an appointment
Call Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

Somatic Experiencing (SE™)

Somatic Experiencing is an effective psychobiological method for resolving trauma symptomatology and relieving chronic stress and pain disorders. SE is the life's work and creation of Dr. Peter A. Levine, medical biophysicist and psychologist. This approach is a gentle, yet direct method for releasing traumatic shock; the key to transforming PTSD and the psychophysical wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

The SE skills are easy to learn and self-apply. The SE method provides an effective framework to naturally experience where the physiology is "stuck" in fight, flight, freeze, or collapse responses and resolve incomplete trauma responses and their co-occurring, distressful physiological states—without strain or retraumatization. Mindful, compassionate presence is the foundation of SE, which makes it the perfect complement to mindfulness psychotherapy. After completing the three-year SE practitioner certification, I continue to further my SE and Somatic Touch-based skills for trauma therapists in post-graduate trainings with Dr. Levine and Kathy L Kain.


To schedule an appointment
Call Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

Couples Counseling

Though love happens naturally, successful relationships require loving attention, together time, shared goals and a mutual commitment to respectful, honest communication.

Most couples cite poor communication and lack of intimacy as their primary problems. Poor communication—biting, harsh, demanding speech and an inability to listen deeply—undermines intimacy and trust and increases secretiveness and inauthenticity. Keeping love alive and healthy can seem unattainable when relationship distress exists alongside a demanding, exhausting Silicon Valley work/family life.

My priority is to help couples achieve their vision of a deeply connected, skillful, emotionally rich relationship. I have had the honor to witness many couples heal long-standing destructive behaviors and disconnectedness and reclaim love, understanding, joy, and intimacy. With sustained desire and commitment, relationships can be healed and rebirthed—even from the ashes of an affair or other forms of interpersonal harm.

At the heart of this work is the delivery of tools to master non-violent, lovingly honest, compassionate and mindful communication. These skills avert the defensiveness and escalations that plague troubled relationships and create the conditions for authentic presence, deep sharing and healing of old wounds.

Couples sessions are 80 minutes, maximizing the effectiveness of each session and shortening the total length of time in therapy. Couples commit to targeted skills practice between sessions because home practice is the key to making real change happen quickly and efficiently.


To schedule an appointment
Call Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

Young Adult Psychotherapy

Young adults enjoy the directness and engaging style of mindfulness psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing. They respond well to its open, dialogic method of inquiry. Many young adults suffer from overwhelming stressful demands, feelings of self-doubt, depression, anxiety, emotion dysregulation, otherness, existential dread and/or failure to thrive. My work focuses on helping young pepple know themselves with clarity and compassion and reconnect with their desires and talents. This is critically important for reclaiming the motivation to achieve academically and socially.

Distressed young people often turn to substances and/or self-harming behaviors to avoid, avert or temporarily ameliorate difficult states of mind and body. An important part of effective therapy is steering young people away from these destructive habits by offering them evidence-based mindfulness and compassion interventions that not only help them feel better, but increase concentration, tranquility, patience, equanimity, discrimination and kindness.


To schedule an appointment
Call Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her


Effortless Mindfulness

EM
by Lisa Dale Miller
Routledge 2014
Purchase digital or paperback
Visit awakenedpresence.com

Written specifically for mental health professionals, this textbook brings together traditional Buddhist theory and contemporary psycho-neuro-bio-social research. This in-depth exploration of Buddhist psychology includes complete instructions for psychotherapists in authentic yet clinically appropriate Buddhist mindfulness and heartfulness practices, and Buddhist psychological inquiry skills. Deepen your knowledge with this uniquely modern, scholarly, yet clinically useful presentation of Theravada, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna Buddhist teachings and practices.


"Lisa Dale Miller’s book is an essential read for those seeking to separate mindfulness facts from mindless fictions and for all psychotherapists interested in using mindfulness techniques in practice... Miller’s book is a delightful, educative read that turns psychologists’ attention to the often overlooked theoretical underpinnings of our work... She offers the entire field of mental health an invaluable service." APA PsycCRITIQUES


"This book is awesome. I have waited a long time for someone to articulate this at the level of resolution that you are doing referent to all the various dharma streams. Thank you for writing your groundbreaking book bringing the conversation about the classical Dharma world and its relationship to genuine mental health to this next level. I hope it is very widely read and studied.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Practice Information & Fees

To schedule an appointment
Call Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her


Lisa Dale Miller, MA, SEP
LMFT CA#43725 NY#001283-1
LPCC CA#691

800 Pollard Rd. Suite B201
Los Gatos, CA 95032   map


session fees

50-minute session $160.00
80-minute session $240.00
Lisa is an out-of-network provider for all health insurance plans


about lisa

Visit Lisa's Blog

Lisa is licensed to practice psychotherapy in California and New York. She is the creator of Awakened Presence Psychotherapy™ (APP) and specializes in mindfulness psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing therapy for the treatment of depression, anxiety, complex trauma, chronic pain, and relationship distress. She is the author of a highly regarded textbook on Buddhist psychology for mental health professionals, Effortless Mindfulness: Genuine mental health through awakened presence. Lisa is an outpatient clinician for the Veterans Administration San Jose and a teacher of Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for addiction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for depression relapse prevention, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Lisa presents at conferences and trains clinicians in the clinical applications of mindfulness and Buddhist psychology. She has been a yogic and Buddhist meditation practitioner for over four decades.
From 1982-2006, Lisa produced and exhibited provocative artwork focusing on social, political and spiritual themes. In January 2000, Lisa led an arts education project in Kosovo for CRS. That experience led her to pursue a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Though Lisa was on hiatus from producing art for several years, she has recently returned to art-making. Her artwork can be viewed online.

Disclaimer: The information on any area or page of this site is intended for information purposes only regarding an available clinical service. The diagnosis or treatment of any particular disorder by the information provided on this website, or the links referred to by this website, is not recommended, intended, nor implied. No therapeutic relationship exists between Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP and individuals wishing to email or telephone her for information or to schedule an appointment. A therapeutic relationship, if appropriate, will be agreed upon in writing following an initial consultation. If a psychotherapy relationship is not possible, for whatever reason, appropriate referrals may be provided.

Interviews and Videos

recorded interviews

Guy Macpherson interviews Lisa for the Trauma Therapist Project

Serge Prengel interviews Lisa on the integration of Buddhist psychology and Somatic Experiencing

David Van Nuys interviews Lisa on the clinical application of Buddhist psychology



selected videos

Check out Lisa's youtube channel


Buddhism and Modernity: Panel 2

Mangalam Research Center June 7, 2015.
Lisa's talk begins at 8:22 in the video time sequence.



The Clinical Relevance of Awakening Parts One and Two

David Vago, PhD (associate psychologist in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and instructor at Harvard Medical School) and I discuss translating the Buddhist concept of "enlightenment" into modern clinical terms. David is currently involved in cutting edge neurobiological research on awakened mind states that arise during various meditative practices.


Part One mp3 recording or iTunes podcast

Part Two mp3 recording or iTunes Podcast

Guided Meditations

mindfulness and compassion

Mindfulness of Breath for Beginners
©2007 Lisa Dale Miller
download mp3 recording
download iTunes Podcast


Advanced Mindfulness of Breath
©2010 Lisa Dale Miller
download mp3 recording
download iTunes Podcast


Lovingkindness Meditation
©2007 Lisa Dale Miller

Lovingkindness meditation, or metta, is a mindfulness practice for the heart: a beautiful way to cultivate feelings of compassion and love for self, others and ultimately all beings. Lovingkindness meditation should be done at your own pace. It is not necessary to force yourself to move onto the second, often more challenging metta practice until you feel fully ready.

Lovingkindness Meditation #1

A 21-minute guided metta practice helps you cultivate lovingkindness toward a benefactor (someone easy to love) and then toward oneself.

download mp3 recording
download Itunes Podcast

Lovingkindness Meditation #2

A 25-minute guided metta practice helps you cultivate lovingkindness for a neutral person and then for a somewhat difficult person.

download mp3 recording
download Itunes Podcast


Yoga Nidra For Total Relaxation
©2016 Donna Sherman

Purchase on iTunes
Purchase on Amazon

Dharma Talks

lisa's upcoming events

Meditation and Dharma Talk
Marin Sangha
October 16 & 23, 2016
6:00pm-8:00pm
St. Luke Presbyterian Church
10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA


lisa's recent talks

Delusion and Deluded Mind

Non-delusion and Undeluded Mind

Liberation of Mind

The Buddhist Psychology of Addiction


lisa's past talks

What is non-attachment? Non-attachment in daily life
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Universal Dharma...Not Dreamlike Nature of Phenomena
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Identity & Identitylessness 1 Identity & Identitylessness 2
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Relevance of Enlightenment 1
Relevance of Enlightenment 2
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Loving Wisely Part 1
Loving Wisely Part 2
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

The Four Reflections:
Turning Mind to Dharma
The Brahmaviharas:
Their Near and Far Enemies
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Being in Love
Finding Real Peace
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Awakening Finding Freedom in Uncertainty
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

© 2016 Lisa Dale Miller, MA, LMFT, LPCC, SEP
All rights reserved