Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

Awakened Presence Psychotherapy

Wisdom Compassion Vibrant Aliveness

Live each moment fully and reclaim the joy of living.

Awakened Presence psychotherapy is a dynamic, evidence-based treatment for depression, anxiety, addiction and chronic pain. This mindfulness and compassion skills-based, depth-oriented approach promotes genuine presence, tranquility, equanimity, discrimination and joy. Combined with Somatic Experiencing (SE™), this work is ideal for individuals struggling with depressive/anxious symptoms, substance use problems, trauma and chronic pain; professionals in high-stress careers or life transition; couples in distress; depressed, anxious, or stressed adolescents.

How does awakened presence increase well-being?

Well-being—a feeling of vibrant aliveness—arises from mental clarity and emotional stability. Mindfulness and compassion practices stimulate 1) insight and wisdom, 2) skillful behavior, 3) joyful equanimity, and 4) compassion for self and others. A mind freed from habitual anxiety and rumination can meet life's challenges with enthusiasm and intelligence. A heart open and full of joy is responsive and connected.

How do our negative thoughts about ourselves harm us?

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.

What is genuine mental health?

It 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. Mindfulness psychotherapy allows us, even in times of difficulty to experience the mind in its natural state: a wellspring of innate radiant, clarity. This is the happiness that comes from knowing one's own true nature.



©2014 Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP
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, MFT and individuals wishing to e-mail 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.

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

Somatic Experiencing fea

Somatic Experiencing (SE™) therapy 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; making it the perfect complement to mindfulness psychotherapy.

After completing the three-year SE practitioner certification, I continue to further my SE skills in post-graduate trainings with Dr. Levine.

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008

Couples Psychotherapy fea

Though love happens naturally, successful relationships require loving attention, together time, shared goals and a mutual commitment to respectful, honest communication. Mindfulness and compassion are the engines of interpersonal healing and connectedness.

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 85 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.

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

Adolescent and Young Adult Psychotherapy fea

The three years I interned at Mountain View High School and Alta Vista High School were the most rewarding part of my clinical training. Years later, I still love working with adolescents and young adults. Most of the teens and twenty-somethings I see suffer with 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 adolescent 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.

Teens and young adults enjoy the directness and engaging style of mindfulness psychotherapy and somatic experiencing. They respond well to its open, dialogic method of inquiry. These sessions are 55 minutes; an optimal amount of time for psychotherapeutic inquiry and skills delivery.

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

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Effortless Mindfulness:
Genuine mental health through awakened presence

Deepen your knowledge of Buddhist psychology and its clinical application
A new book by Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP
Published by Routledge

Available now in digital and paperback editions.
Visit the book's website awakenedpresence.com

Effortless Mindfulness promotes genuine mental health through the direct experience of awakened presence—an effortlessly embodied, fearless understanding of and interaction with the way things truly are. The book offers a uniquely modern Buddhist psychological understanding of mental health disorders through a scholarly, yet clinically useful presentation of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist teachings and practices. Written specifically for Western psychotherapeutic professionals, the book brings together traditional Buddhist theory and contemporary psycho-neuro-bio-social research to describe the conditioned and unconditioned mind. This in-depth exploration of Buddhist psychology includes complete instructions for psychotherapists in authentic yet clinically appropriate Buddhist mindfulness/heartfulness practices and Buddhist psychological inquiry skills. The book also features interviews with an esteemed collection of Buddhist teachers, scholars, meditation researchers and Buddhist-inspired clinicians

In his foreword to the book Ron Siegel, PhD wrote, “In the pages that follow, Lisa Dale Miller takes us on an integrative adventure, exploring the intersection of ancient Buddhist teachings with modern neurobiology and clinical research and practice. While the work of many pioneers have facilitated the integration of mindfulness practices into health care and society by intentionally extracting them from their Buddhist roots, this book offers a different service: it looks unflinchingly at Buddhist understandings of the origins of human suffering and how various meditative techniques were designed to alleviate this suffering by fostering a radical psychological liberation."

Anam Thubten Rinpoche wrote in his foreword, “You will find that the scholarship and many years of meditation practice of the author are reflected on every page. It is intellectually satisfying and also serves as a rich contemplative guide for mindfulness meditation and Buddhism in general. No matter what your background might be, as scholar, meditator or seeker, you will find many valuable insights in this work. It is such a joy to see Lisa’s gift in presenting many essential Buddhist thoughts in contemporary language and making them come alive.”

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

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Video and Audio Teachings

SELECTED VIDEO

What is Mindfulness Psychotherapy?



MEDITATIONS FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

Mindfulness of Breath Meditation for Beginners

A 24-minute step-by-step guided meditation.
©2007 Lisa Dale Miller
download this meditation
iTunes Podcast


Lovingkindness Meditation

©2007 Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT

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. Metta 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 is a 21-minute guided metta practice for generating lovingkindness toward a benefactor (someone easy to love) and then toward oneself.

download this meditation
Itunes Podcast

Lovingkindness Meditation #2 is a 25-minute guided metta practice to generate lovingkindness for a neutral person and then for a somewhat difficult person.

download this meditation
Itunes Podcast



Lisa's Dharma Talks

Universal Dharma...Not Dreamlike Nature of Phenomena
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Identity and Identitylessness Part 1 Identity and Identitylessness Part 2
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The Relevance of Enlightenment Part 1
The Relevance of Enlightenment Part 2
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

Dharma and Love: Loving Wisely Part 1
Dharma and Love: Loving Wisely Part 2
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The Four Reflections:
Turning Mind to the Dharma
The Brahmaviharas:
Their Near and Far Enemies
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Being in Love as
Boundless Compassion
Finding Real Peace in Your Life
download mp3 iTunes podcast download mp3 iTunes podcast

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



©2014 Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP
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, MFT and individuals wishing to e-mail 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.

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

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Classes and Trainings

Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention (MBRP)
5-week and 8-week local and online classes

Awakened Presence Clinician Trainings coming in 2014!


Ongoing Daylong Classes

(Contact Lisa to be notified of upcoming class dates or if you wish to sponsor her to teach in your area.)

Calm the Mind and Open the Heart
Awakened Presence daylong or weekend retreat

Is your mind continually busy worrying about the future or obsessing about the past? Do you find anxiety or negativity keep you from relaxing into your life, opening yourself to new opportunities or relationships? This is the class for you. You will learn formal and informal mindfulness and heartfulness practices that decrease over-activity in the mind and lessen destructive negative emotions such as, self-loathing, self-judgment, and self-doubt. Develop peace of mind and open yourself to greater acceptance and kindness. *This class is appropriate for both beginning or experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners.

Mindfulness for Depression: A daylong retreat
Empower the healer within and get to know depression

Depression is a spectrum disorder with a wide range of severity. Some people feel stuck and isolated; others feel ambivalent and lose interest in activities; many people have impaired sleep and a change in appetite; others feel empty, helpless, or overwhelmed with sadness. Mindfulness, in its varied forms, is now being used extensively within the medical and psychological community as an important and clinically supported treatment for depression and depression relapse prevention. Come spend the day opening to the wisdom of depression by cultivating mindful awareness of body, mind, and heart. Learn practical and effective strategies to develop the ability to be present with difficult emotions like sadness, disappointment, guilt, inertia and shame. You will experience informal and formal mindfulness practices such as mindfulness of breath, mindful movement, compassion and lovingkindness meditation.

Mindfulness for Addiction: A daylong retreat
Empower the healer within and revision your relationship to addiction.

Addiction comes in many forms and manifests in many ways in the human psyche. Buddhist psychology has much to contribute to the field of addiction with its interest in how the mind deals with unmanageable cravings and urges. Mindfulness in its cognitive and meditative forms is fast becoming an effective part of clinical treatment for addiction and relapse prevention programs. Mindfulness strategies help people in recovery learn to stay present with the physical, cognitive, and emotional discomfort associated with urges and ravings, rather than reactively reaching for a “fix. Come spend the day cultivating a wise mind through mindful awareness of body, mind, and heart. We will discuss addiction from the perspective of Buddhist psychology and learn practical and effective strategies to deal with addictive patterns of thought and behaviors. You will experience informal and formal mindfulness practices such as, mindfulness of breath, mindful movement, compassion and lovingkindness meditation.

Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008 or email her

About Lisa ldm

Lisa Dale Miller, MA, LMFT, LPCC, SEP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #43725
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor #691
Certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

800 Pollard Rd. Suite B201
Los Gatos, CA 95032

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Lisa specializes in mindfulness psychotherapy; an empirically-based treatment for depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, emotion dysregulation, and chronic pain. She works with adults struggling with depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, chronic pain, grief, and emotion dysregulation; professionals in high-stress careers or life transition; couples in distress; adolescents (particularly depressed, anxious, or stressed teens). She is an outpatient clinician for the Veterans Administration San Jose/Palo Alto 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 also presents at conferences on the clinical applications of mindfulness and Buddhist psychology. She has been a yogic and Buddhist meditation practitioner for four decades.

Lisa received a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. Her masters thesis, "Uncertainty, Nothingness, Beingness" revisioned depression through the lenses of philosophy of quantum physics, Existential psychology and Buddhist psychology.

From 1982-2006, Lisa produced and exhibited provocative artwork focusing on social, political and spiritual themes. In January 2000, Lisa led a two-month arts education project in Kosovo for CRS. That experience led her to pursue a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Though Lisa has been on hiatus from producing art over the last four years, she has recently returned to art-making. Her artwork can be viewed online.

Private practice fees are as follows:

$140.00 per individual therapy session (approximately 55 minutes)
$200.00 per marital/family therapy session (approximately 85 minutes)
Group fees are determined by program
Lisa is an out-of-network provider for all PPO plans

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Contact Lisa at 408-919-7008
If you prefer send Lisa an email.

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