Gretchen J. Penner, ASW

“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 the Adult Attachment Repair Model (AARM), a comprehensive therapeutic approach that helps us regulate our emotions and build our inner strength. AARM is a unique therapeutic intervention that includes Mindfulness, somatic work, and specifically targets healing in our sympathetic nervous symptom which brings us peace. Through the use of AARM, 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 the adult attachment is repaired, we become more resilient and our inner strength is increased, allowing us to experience the fullness of living.

Specializes In:

Trauma • Anxiety • Depression • Anger • 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
  • Adult Attachment Repair Model (AARM)
  • Therapeutic Mindfulness
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)

License and Membership:

  • Pre-licensed Therapist at the Therapeutic Center for Anxiety and Trauma
  • Registered Associate Clinical Social Worker ASW #67771
  • Supervised by Jennifer Costanza, MFC #49250
  • Member of the California Society For Clinical Social Work
  • Verified by Psychology Today
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