We have an amazing team of therapists here at Bay Area Mental Health. We asked each of them a set of questions to help us get to know them a bit more. First up: Larissa Pasut, AMFT.

Why did you become a therapist? 

From the time I can remember, my thoughts have been consumed by the need to understand human nature, to search out why we relate to each other the way we do and why we so often act in ways that don’t bring us the happiness we crave. I vividly remember my 8-year old self vowing to open a home for children. My life took a different path, but it has been my lifelong mission to reconcile my own internal struggles, and along with that a strong desire to help others do the same. I don’t remember the exact moment I realized that not everyone spent their waking hours consumed by thoughts of the inner workings of the human mind, but I do remember being surprised by this realization.

What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?

In many ways, my being a therapist is selfish: I embark on a journey with every client and along that journey, I uncover something about myself, something about humanity. Working as a therapist keeps me connected to myself. We are all so different and we are all so the same. I have been blessed enough to reach a place in my life where I finally feel free — free from shame, free from the constraints of my own shadows, and it is my deepest wish that we all have opportunity to feel that freedom, that everyone find that place of peace and contentedness. Simply put, it’s an honor to be invited to walk beside someone, to be a witness to their vulnerability and shame, to be trusted with their story — and I marvel that this is my job.

Who are you outside of the therapy room?

I’m in my early 50s now, and I feel myself narrowing my focus, slowing down. I am letting go of some of the goals that I had but know now that I won’t pursue, and honing in on those few things that I can do more deeply. It’s been a process of learning what I want versus what I thought I wanted. It’s interesting how sneaky those ‘shoulds’ are. I value time with my teenage son and husband. We are at the life stage where my son is moving away from us and I am adjusting to the changing relationship; it’s been a journey of grief and love. We play a lot of board games, cook together, and go out in nature together. I also spend a fair amount of time riding either my mountain bike or my motorcycle in our beautiful California hills. There’s something about the wind in my hair.