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Women's Therapist in Encinitas

I'm Cathy Kreisel, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 20 years.  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 emotional distress from difficult life events, past pain or feeling powerless in their current situations.  What you will find from me is warmth, comfort, trust and a safe non-judgmental space to begin your process of healing.  

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

Culturally sensitive

Strength based


Cognitive Behavioral

Compassion focused


Mindfulness based

I was trained in psychodynamic theory and is often at the base of my work. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based approach to manage anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I  also incorporate Mindfulness based practices to help you better manage stress, overwhelm, guilt, shame and negative self thoughts.  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. 


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.  I practice from a culturally sensitive lens and welcome clients of all identities and backgrounds.

The pace of therapy is dependent on you and the issues you would like to resolve.  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'm a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) practicing since 2001. 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'm currently licensed to practice in both California and Illinois and continue to be credentialed as a School Social Worker. I have speciality training in Perinatal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International and The Seleni Institute.

I bring a wide range of professional experience working individuals with history of trauma, attachment and relational difficulties, family of origin, anxiety and depression.

California Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) #LCS80708

California Pupil Personnel Support (PPS) School Social Work Credential

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

Illinois Professional Educator License in School Social Work

Professional Memberships

Postpartum Health Alliance San Diego

Postpartum Support International

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

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