Katie Arfa, Psy.D.

First of all, I'm so glad you're here. Lifting people up has always been one of my strongest-held values and I hope it's something I can do for you.

 

I’ve had a lot of educational experiences that make me qualified as a psychologist, but I also have a lot of life experiences that I bring to therapy too. I'll let you decide which ones are most important to you.

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About Me

I've been working in the field of psychology for more than 15 years. I earned a Bachelor’s in psychology at UCLA and a Master’s degree at Antioch University before going on to complete my training with an APA-accredited doctorate degree from the California School of Professional Psychology, where I specialized in Health. I have expertise in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Lifestyle Medicine.

 

Over the course of my training I've worked with health populations across the lifespan, treating a wide array of diagnoses in various settings (medical centers, primary care and specialty medicine offices, research facilities, and community clinics, etc.). I've always sought out the experience of working alongside doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, pharmacists, personal trainers, dieticians, and other health professionals to maximize patients' progress.

Throughout my schooling I also worked as an NSCA-certified personal trainer, gaining knowledge and experience in physiology, exercise, nutrition, sleep, and the biological mechanisms of stress and illness. These additional experiences in the wellness world serendipitously shifted my understanding of how dependent physical and mental health are on one another and I have since completed additional training in gut-brain health and nutritional and integrative psychiatry.

 

Recognizing the connection between both health worlds, I have focused my career on bringing psychology, medicine, and lifestyle habits together with the goal of improving clients’ mental and physical health simultaneously. I operate from the understanding that our nervous system runs everything in our body--physical health and mental health are the same thing. In fact, most of my clients with chronic and/or complex health conditions benefit greatly from work that we do to re-train their nervous systems and improve their lifestyle habits.

 

My work includes individual and family therapy, program development, supervision and consultation, teaching, writing, and speaking. 

Areas of Specialty

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Binge Eating & Weight Management

  • Chronic & Complex illness (including ME/CFS, POTS, EDS, MCAS, dysautonomia)

  • Gastrointestinal/Microbiome Health

  • Diabetes

  • Sugar Addiction & Nutrition Habits

  • Gut/Brain Disorders

  • Dementia & Caregiver Burnout

  • Exercise & Cognitive Performance

  • Chronic Pain

  • Insomnia & Sleep Issues

  • Smoking Cessation

  • Post/Peripartum Depression & Anxiety

  • Trauma-related Conditions

Treatment Modalities

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi)

  • EMDR

  • Family Systems

  • Lifestyle Medicine

  • Mindfulness

My Style

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Did you know that “goodness of fit” (i.e., how well-matched the client and therapist feel) is a huge predictor of success in therapy?

“Good” therapy can mean a lot of different things, but to me it feels most like a meaningful conversation with a trusted friend or someone you’re comfortable with. I try to balance flexibility and structure using a warm yet direct style, while infusing a sense of humor for life’s quirks and ironies.

 

 I know what it's like to feel betrayed by your body or controlled by your emotions.

I know what it’s like to try to make changes only to keep falling off course.  

I know what it’s like for your health to make you question everything you thought was “normal.”