my therapy approach

Learn about things I commonly see, that filter the lens I use

The Lens I Use

There are five things that I consistently see in my practice,

themes that guide me in my work with you.

Rachel Packer Therapy Grief and Loss Female Therapist in San Francisco

The Inner Critic

“If you gave your inner genius as much credence as your inner critic, you would be light years ahead of where you now stand.”
Alan Cohen

We all have a voice in our head, that inner dialogue that can help us make decisions but, more often than not, that voice interferes with life. Your inner critic tends to ask you to live up to unattainable standards. Why is it that we all, as beings, are so good at self-loathing, so good at comparing ourselves to others, just to feel worse about ourselves?

A pattern I have seen is, regardless of what someone comes in the door to work on, the inner critic rears its ugly head. Together, we will work to change your inner critic and quiet that exhausting voice that is interfering with your happiness.

Loss and Grief

Unresolved grief can be a block to happiness and you may not even fully be aware that it is there.

Loss and grief come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. You may be grieving the loss of a job, an identity, the loss of a loved one, a relationship or a plan for the future that didn’t take shape. You may be grieving your single life once you are coupled or your freedom and independence once you have a child. People feel loss whenever a person, or an experience, doesn’t live up to what one had hoped or expected.

The trouble with grief is that most of the time it can produce conflicting feelings. You feel numerous feelings – sadness, rage, confusion – all at once and it can be overwhelming. Together we will work through your grief however it shows up.

Rachel Packer Therapy Grief and Loss Female Therapist in San Francisco CA
Rachel Packer Therapy Narrative Therapy Psychotherapy San Francisco

Narraive Therapy

I believe that people’s distress, sadness, ways of comparing to others, is based on a story. When we take a step back, we realize that much of what we believe, which leads to how we feel, is because we have created a story in our minds about someone else or a story about ourselves.

Collaboratively, we discover what parts of your narrative interfere with your happiness. And in realizing what is true, versus what our ideas and perceptions are, together we can change that problem-saturated story and rewrite the narrative.

Forgiveness and Self-Compassion

One of the most important things in life is the ability to forgive…. without it, deep pain and sorrow may not fully heal.

We are imperfect people. We make mistakes and experience regret. One of the hardest things in life is learning how to truly forgive, not just to forgive others but learning how to forgive yourself. It takes courage and support.

The hardest compassion to give is compassion towards the self but if you can get there…. you may find a sense of true peace.

When we can’t forgive we hold on to the past. If we forgive, we learn from the past.

Rachel Packer Therapy Self Compassion Therapy for Women in San Francisco
Daring Greatly and Rising Stong San Francisco California

The Power of Vulnerability

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Brené Brown

When we get in touch with the vulnerable places that live inside of us, we feel a physiological response that tells our brain “this is scary and uncomfortable” and many times our brain will then tell us to bail, to get out of this uncomfortable place with the illusion that escaping the vulnerable places will protect us. But it is just that, an illusion that we will be better off and protected. The reality is, going into that vulnerability is where we find truth, courage, and the ability to truly know and understand who we are with the utmost compassion. Without the ability to be truly vulnerable, we will never be able to deeply connect with ourselves and with each other.

I am trained in Brené Brown’s work and am a Certified Daring Way Facilitator. The Daring Way methodology is based on a process of exploring topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness.

Start Your Therapy Journey

Call or e-mail to schedule a brief phone conversation, giving you a chance to ask questions and share with me a bit more about yourself. After that, we can decide together if we are a good fit.