top of page
Women's Therapist in Encinitas

I'm Cathy Kreisel, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 25 years of experience.  Born and raised in Chicago, my family and I moved to San Diego in 2016 so I understand how difficult life transitions can be.  I'm also a mother and passionate about supporting other mothers through the beautiful chaos of motherhood. 


I not only work with mothers, I support a wide range of clients who are experiencing stress, sadness, grief, worry, anxiety and just about any other emotion that comes with the ebbs and flows of life.  Many of my clients come to me to process their pain from past events, want to improve their current relationships with those that are most important to them, have a desire to change unproductive patterns or want to regain power in their seemingly powerless place in life. 


What you will find from me is trust, warmth, comfort, and a safe, non-judgmental space.  My style is supportive yet interactive and I aim to provide my clients with new insight, clarity and helpful skills to improve their quality of life that they deserve.

My approach

Approaches to therapy can take many forms depending on the individual and their circumstances.  I use a holistic approach rather than viewing you as just a set of symptoms. Long lasting change occurs when we get to the root of the presenting problem.  Some of my treatment methods include:

Trauma informed care

Culturally sensitive

Gender affirming

Strength based


Psychodynamically oriented

Cognitive Behavioral

Compassion focused

Interpersonal and interactive

Mindfulness based

I was trained in psychodynamic theory and is often at the base of my work. Using a Psychodynamic perspective, a type of talk therapy that uses a supportive and exploratory approach, I aim to help you gain insight and understand the origins of repeated and unhelpful patterns, resulting in long lasting change. 


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based approach that targets unhelpful ways of thinking and unhelpful behavioral patterns. Through reframing your unhelpful thoughts, you gain mental flexibility and control.  


I  also incorporate Mindfulness based practices to help you develop body and thought awareness. Through practicing specific mind-body strategies, the physical sensations (tension, heart rate increase, thought racing, etc) help you physically and mentally relax.

What I find most important in therapy, is the therapeutic connection between therapist and client.  I strive to connect with you through empathy, trust, support and non-judgment.

The pace of therapy is dependent on you and the issues you would like to work on.  We begin with an initial assessment where I gather your medical, personal and family history and the current issues you would like to address.   Based on this initial assessment, how we decide to work together, your treatment goals and frequency of therapy is developed collaboratively with you.  Some clients meet weekly, while others may meet every other week or even monthly. 

Professional Qualifications

I've been practicing for 25 years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).  I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and graduated with honors with my Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work (MSW) from Loyola University Chicago where I specialized in children, adolescents and families.  I have a wide range of clinical experience working in-patient hospitalization, outpatient, community mental health, school social work, and private practice.


I'm currently licensed to practice in California and Illinois and continue to be credentialed as a School Social Worker in both Illinois and California. I have speciality training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) and Certified in Perinatal Mental Health (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International.

California Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) #LCS80708

Illinois Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) #149-009911

Professional Memberships

Postpartum Health Alliance San Diego

Postpartum Support International

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

bottom of page