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It’s time for all the parts of you to be affirmed for who they are.

Meet Angela Shankman LCSW

LCSW #88574

Pronouns: she / they

After a lifetime of not being truly understood for who you are or what you need, it can be mentally and emotionally excruciating to put yourself out there enough to find a therapist. I have been there many times, too. You are looking for a therapist that understands and is welcoming to all parts of you.

As someone who strongly values reducing harm and increasing compassion, I provide care from a LGBTQIA+ affirmative, anti-racist, social justice oriented lens. My therapeutic style is very relational; I see building a connection and trust as the foundation of any successful therapeutic work with my clients. To the degree that it is supportive of my clients’ processes, I bring my humanity into the room and do not hide behind a professional facade. 

 

I work with my clients from a non-pathologizing lens, meaning I see your mental health symptoms as signs that something in your life needs attention and shifting. I relate mental health symptoms to a “check engine” light on a car - your symptoms are very wise signals from your mind and body but do not define your character any more than that light defines the car. With my use of both Compassionate Inquiry and Internal Family Systems approaches, we can examine your perceptions and how they were created, gain more clarity on your life experiences, connect you back to your body, find compromise between the different parts of you that may be in conflict, and explore how cultural and generational events have shaped you. I see you as the expert on your own story, and my sessions are completely led by what you see as important to explore. The flexibility to meet you where you are is very important to me so that I can support you in doing the work that is most beneficial to you in the present moment.

 

Your emotions and your stories deserve to be held with gentleness, care, and humanity. 

 

I am not the type of therapist to hold a stoic (or even professionally guarded yet somewhat warm) demeanor- I am here to be a human with you. I’m so interested in coming into your world to visit and help you figure out how to navigate it, no matter what is coming up for you. A lot of therapists shy away from talking about “taboo topics”- politics, sex, money, and more. But how do we separate these things from who we are and what we need as humans? Your whole experience is on the table to explore.

 

That shared experience with another human can be so powerful in healing. These are some experiences I identify with that may be important to you too. I am…

 

  • Queer identified: pansexual and somewhere in the “genderqueer” realm, using she/they pronouns

  • A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and and empath

  • Social justice oriented, valuing collective liberation, antiracism and anti-oppression

  • Vegan for the animals, for health, and the planet

  • Childfree

 

If there’s another facet of your identity that you want to make sure a therapist is able to be with effectively, please feel free to ask me during our consultation.

Experience & Credentials

Clinical Trainings

  • Compassionate Inquiry

  • Internal Family Systems

 

Education & License

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • Master of Social Work (MSW), University of Southern California

  • Bachelor of Art of Psychology and Spanish, Pepperdine University

 

Prior to private practice, I had the pleasure in working in a variety of settings: addiction treatment centers, programs for teens and adults on probation, group home and school settings, ranging from non profit to luxury mental health.

 

I also have also been passionate about doing volunteer work throughout my life. Since 2011, I have volunteered with Connemara Ranch and its later formed sister non-profit, Cavallo Foundation. They host a range of equine experiences: horseback riding for the general public, and equine therapy for various groups such as addiction treatment centers, foster youth, and girl scouts. 

 

In 2020 I started to get involved with Compassion Prison Project as an online trauma circle facilitator leading discussions on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that impact the majority of incarcerated people. CPP seeks to create more compassionate and trauma informed prisons through educating prison staff, incarcerated people, and policy makers.

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