I am a clinical psychologist specializing in stress management and behavioral medicine (treatment of concerns involving both physical and mental wellbeing). In times of stress, we may experience anything from emotional turmoil, to difficulty concentrating or making decisions, to chronic pain or insomnia. Because of this interconnection between our emotional, cognitive, and physical functioning, I address all three in my practice.
I strive to assist my clients in increasing their overall wellbeing and quality of life. I do so by creating space in which people can recognize and process their stressors, define their goals, and formulate an effective strategy. I carefully evaluate each person’s needs, relevant history, and life circumstances, and then use empirically-validated approaches to create a customized plan. My goal is to establish a strong collaborative relationship with my clients and introduce them to coping strategies that would fit well with their sense of identity, values, and current life circumstances. I truly cherish diversity and welcome and affirm clients from all backgrounds and walks of life.
My Approaches to Therapy
During my training years, I had the honor of working with clients facing a wide spectrum of stressors, ranging from homelessness, to relationship or health issues, to navigating successful careers. Because of this, my approach to therapy is highly customized. My aim is to recognize and meet each of my client’s needs, help them regain a sense of direction, and set and meet their goals. In some cases, it may mean meeting for a few light-hearted coaching sessions; in others, engaging in long-term intensive psychotherapy. I truly value being able to do this with my clients, and facilitate and witness the gains that people make in treatment.
My initial goal in therapy is to create a safe and trusting environment, in which self-exploration and change is possible. My scientific training informs me about the effectiveness of many different techniques. My clinical experience tells me to pay close attention to the uniqueness of each client and enables me to guide them on their own path to improvement. With a strong collaborative relationship in place, I use techniques from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, Family Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing to create therapeutic momentum allowing my clients to make progress.
In recognition of the strong link between emotional and physical functioning, I have recently begun incorporating biofeedback into my work. By complementing psychotherapy with brief biofeedback sessions, I help people recognize the impact of stress on their body, and learn to regulate body functioning more directly. Biofeedback can be particularly useful for people dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, as well as chronic pain and many other health conditions.
My Qualifications as a Psychologist
I received my BA in psychology and sociology from UC Davis, and my PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona. I then completed residency at the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry and the San Diego VA Healthcare Center, and post-doctoral fellowship at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. I became a licensed clinical psychologist in California, assisting people dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and medical conditions.
During my training years, I worked in several community mental health clinics and medical centers, from rural Arizona to San Francisco. My main area of focus is treating people with physical and mind-body concerns and using behavioral modification, cognitive techniques, mindfulness, and biofeedback to alleviate physical symptoms of stress and medical illness.
As a researcher, work focuses on the mind-body connection and health habits as well. I have conducted several studies on emotion-eating, smoking cessation, and pain management, and published on the connection between physical health, emotions, and personal relationships. This work allows me to enrich therapy sessions with my clients, and enables me to offer a wide range of techniques that can help overcome emotional, cognitive, and physical roadblocks to an optimal lifestyle.
Jane Skoyen, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY 28668
(see here for licensure verification)
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