Gretchen J. Penner, M.S.W., LCSW

“Is anxiety stealing your joy? Do you suffer from depression, panic attacks, and feelings of loneliness and/or emptiness? Unable to fully grasp your emotions? Are you struggling with life changes, loss and/or feelings of hopelessness? Are you fearful about finding and/or losing love? Do you suffer with feelings of worthlessness and feel incapable of being loved? Do you resist giving and receiving love, despite craving it? Through attachment therapy you can learn to build healthier relationships, overcome fear, heal pain from past trauma, and strengthen your inner-self and reintegrate a sense of overall well being.”

Healthy connections are a primary need that we all have. Healthy attachments help us regulate our emotions to live a joyful and peaceful life. We were not created to be alone. But sometimes through life experiences, our ability to attach and connect in healthy ways gets disrupted which can affect multiple areas of our lives. Through attachment therapy you can learn to overcome fear, heal pain from past trauma, strengthen your inner-self worth and build healthier relationships including your relationship with God.

We learn how to attach as adults from what we experienced during our childhood. When we as children do not receive the nurturing and attachment we needed from our primary care giver (even if it was unintentional and no fault of the care-giver) we miss out on a fundamental key ingredient for overall well being. Unhealthy attachments not only negatively impact our ability to develop healthy adult relationships, it also reduces our ability to handle life challenges, both small and large, including trauma.

I am trained in EMDR and attachment focused therapy models. I take a comprehensive therapeutic approach that helps regulate your emotions and build your inner strength utilizing therapeutic mindfulness, somatic work, and other interventions specifically targeted to regulate our sympathetic nervous system which increases our peace. Through a therapeutic experience, I can help guide the repairing of negative emotions by the resetting of the autonomic nervous system based on the understanding of our internal information processing. As we repair our childhood wounds and increase our ability to attain healthy attachments, we become more resilient and our inner strength is increased, allowing us to experience the fullness of living.

Specializes In:

Trauma • Anxiety • Depression • Eating Disorders • Forgiveness • Panic Attacks • Self-Acceptance and Self-Compassion • Resiliency • Therapeutic Mindfulness • Adult Attachment

Education and Specialized Training:

  • B.A. in Sociology from Chapman University
  • Master of Social Work, with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University, Fullerton
  • Therapeutic Mindfulness
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • EMDR Basic training weekends 1 and 2

License and Membership:

  • Licensed Psychotherapist at Sound Mind Center
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker #97697
  • Member of the California Society For Clinical Social Work
  • Member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health
  • Verified by Psychology Today

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