Hi, I'm Linnea Butler. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT #83313), a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and the owner and director of Bay Area Mental Health. I spent most of my twenties and early thirties working in advanced genetics and biotech in Silicon Valley. However, I found the research and the technology lifestyle unfulfilling and disconnected from daily life. I wanted to be so much more "in it."
I used to think of mental illness in terms of severe disabilities including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar I, and so many other heartbreaking and disabling disorders. These are very serious conditions and I have spent years treating them.
However, in my own life I have watched people that I love suffer with more mild, but no less important mental illness. These manifest as depression, anxiety, relationship and connection problems, or PTSD. People with these problems suffer profoundly and in agonizing silence. They don't talk and no one wants to know. It seems convenient on the surface, but people's lives literally and routinely fall apart from these conditions.
Therapy is not just happy, fluffy stuff. People really do fall apart all the time, and their internal struggles are intense. Medication can be very effective, but in the end the core problems must be addressed or the medications can become a band-aid.
At Bay Area Mental Health that's what we do. We work with people to solve, actual, real, tangible and serious problems. Our clients often cannot acknowledge their situation in the outside world, but collaboratively we attack their problems aggressively. We get things done.
Its private. Its effective.
The body is usually healthy, but from time to time we break a bone, or catch the flu or a cold. The brain is no different. It also becomes temporarily disabled. We don't like to acknowledge this, but it is a fact. The brain is sometimes under the weather.
We work with talented therapists and affiliates and collaborate with other professionals in order to provide you with the best care possible. We treat people with severe problems, but more often hidden problems. That's who we are, that's what we do, and that's why we are here for you.
We specialize in trauma therapy, PTSD (take the PTSD Test here), Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Grief and Loss, and Emotional Trauma Therapy.
Jesalyn Eatchel, LCSW (license #27613) Jesalyn has worked in a variety of settings including health clinics, intensive outpatient programs and private practice. She is skilled at working with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and has trained internationally. She has developed intensive outpatient programs for adolescents and young adults, and has developed award-winning programs for building somatic resources through body movement. She specializes in working with trauma, stress and anxiety and is trained in CBT, DBT and somatic approaches to therapy.
Jesalyn offers holistic psychotherapy, founded in traditional psychotherapy approaches and incorporating mindfulness, somatic psychology, spirituality and intuitive awareness. She guides individuals to access their innate self healing abilities so that they can live with joy and authenticity. It is Jesalyn's experience that stress and trauma have many faces and layers and that a mind/body/spirit approach helps move stuck energy and emotions, as well as release old patterns. This creates the opportunity for lasting positive change. She feels honored to hold a container for individuals on their healing journey. Jesalyn enjoys working with adolescents, adults and couples as well as running groups. She currently leads a group for women who have experienced sexual assault and abuse and periodically runs groups for managing stress and anxiety
Amalia Pappanastos, LMFT (license #102138) Amalia is a holistic therapist and she views emotional health through the lenses of mind, body and spirit. Working on these 3 levels simultaneously speeds along the healing process. In addition to talk therapy, Amalia uses expressive arts therapy and somatic approaches to work on multiple levels of healing. Expressive arts therapy is all about the process rather than the artistic product; writing, drawing, movement and/or sound externalizes your internal experience and can be useful when words aren't enough to describe what's happening. Amalia is passionate about working with adults, children, couple and families. Her areas os speciality include grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, depression, problems in family dynamics, improving communication, body image issues, self esteem and co-dependency
Dr. Jennifer Bruha, Licensed Psychologist (PSY29015) Jennifer is a licensed clinical psychologist and holds a PhD in clinical psychology, 2 masters degrees in psychology and a certificate in chemical dependence counseling. She specializes in working with addiction, trauma and PTSD, eating disorders and mood disorders. She has 15 years of experience working with addiction and substance abuse and wrote a book on relapse prevention that won both the International Book Award and the USA Best Book Award in 2013. She has training in sexual trauma counseling and worked with Rape Trauma Services in San Mateo County. She also has expertise working with eating disorders and has researched the effect of mindfulness on eating disorders. Her research earned an award from the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy.
Prior to joining Bay Area mental Health, Jennifer ran and helped design the Intensive Outpatient Program at Our Common Ground. Jennifer uses her personal experiences as well as her extensive training to help clients achieve their goals in therapy. Jennifer loves working with both adults and teens and believes strongly in the power of group therapy to effect lasting change.
Stacey Alvarez, LMFT (license #101176) Stacey has been helping clients with a spectrum of issues, including trauma, domestic violence, rape and sexual trauma, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, suicidality, self-harm, relationship difficulties, and life transition issues since 2009. She believes that each person is on a unique journey through life, with each experience combining to influence the vital human being we become, whether these experiences are joyful or aversive, or all the possibilities in between. Many times the journey becomes a struggle to avoid the aversive experiences, the icky yet unavoidable parts of life. This can lead to suffering, a dimming of our own personal vibrancy, unworkable patterns in our relationships with self and others, and a stuckness in life that may appear impossible to move from. She believes that no person is broken, no one needs to be “fixed,” and that everything a person does and feels makes sense given their life experiences. She regards a healthy, vibrant, and empowered existence as one in which each human is able to live with radical acceptance for whatever life brings, while continuing to move towards a values-based core of vitality and personal strength. This, in turn, can help reduce and limit pain and suffering.
Relationships are essential in finding our personal vibrancy. Stacey views her role as a collaborative ally through whatever part of your journey you are on, illuminating possibilities and joining you in creativity, compassion, and occasional humor as you head toward the growth you desire, while helping you find the voice you may not know you have. Stacey's main therapeutic approach is a mindfulness-based therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She also utilizes client-centered approaches, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and existential therapeutic approaches. Stacey has obtained a Masters of Art degree with emphases on Clinical Psychology and Professional Clinical Counseling at San Jose State University, and Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology and Religious Studies from San Jose State University.
Ann Hawkins, LMFT (license #77747) Ann co-facilitates DBT groups with Linnea Butler. She takes an engaged and collaborative approach with clients that honors the unique experience of each person. Listening deeply, reflecting, exploring and sometimes challenging, she works with the intention of drawing forth clients' own healing wisdom and self-awareness.
Read more about our approaches to therapy using these links: