Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Writer and Producer . . .

Clear Lake Counseling Center (CCC)

Taira St. John, Ph.D., M.F.T.

As a depth psychotherapist, life coach, radio host and writer-producer of radio, film and video projects, I combine my private family counseling and mediation practice in Lakeport, CA with my background in communications and entertainment. As a Ph.D. and California-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA MFT 33695), Family and Civil Court Mediator in the California Superior Court, and Director of Alternatives to Violence (ATV), I have integrated two decades of mental health and court experience related to marriage, divorce, reconciliation and child custody and visitation mediation with my general mental health clientele, all based on or combined with the creative and collaborative process.

Whether viewed from a neurological or a depth therapy perspective, human behavior is largely produced through observation, mimicry and reaction to habit .  We do what we have been used to doing!  For better or worse, outer behaviors affect the inner, just as inner thinking and feeling affect the outer; and the outer behaviors of one member of the family positively and negatively impact others in the family.  Therefore, you can start almost anywhere in a group or in the cycle of daily experience and raise the consciousness to notice and begin to shift the  simplest repetitive behaviors in order to improve feeling and sense perceptions that positively impact relationships and group living conditions.

The consideration of possible and imaginal outcomes to various responses can provide rich veins of insight to an otherwise sense of stuckness, confusion or imbalance. Poignant human stories and images in theatrical drama, comedy and historical or mythological tales can serve as allegories for the real-life human experiences relived in the counseling room.  These true stories viewed from creative perspectives of all members of a family also serve to fulfill client development of imaginal thinking and intuitive rather than reactive responses in resolving their own daily differences and personal challenges.

From the perspective of depth therapy, analyzing your dreams can be your most reliable teacher. through integrating the principles of dream tending with your own dream notes, as taught by one of my own mentors, Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D. as described in his definitive book, Dream Tending. Paying respectful attention to your dreams provides a key step toward accessing the unconscious guidance and understanding available in the messages dreams communicate. You may wish to listen to Dr. Aizenstat's radio interview streamed on this website. (Go to the Radio button, then to the KPFZ section and the first interview in the "DNA of Carl Jung" series,  where you will also find other interviews about the psychoanalytic understandings and techniques of Carl Jung.

Utilizing a unique combination of Jungian depth therapy, family systems and brief, solution-focused techniques, we can address together the core of your concerns in a timely, emotionally- and economically-sensitive manner, toward the goal of understanding, resolving or integrating them into your life to increase your confidence, fulfill your needs and help you cope effectively with obstacles and frustrations.

My counseling practice and media projects are dedicated to helping people understand themselves and others, to increase joy and fulfillment in life, and to reduce frustrations, anger, violence, and negative projections. In my view, life is intended to be happy and productive, a continuous creative process. Founded on the philosophical rule of taking responsibility for everything that happens in our lives, including words, actions and attitudes, we can learn new ways to guide our thinking that ultimately reduce errors in judgment and negative responses that can unwittingly create painful or inconvenient detours from a satisfactory life that fulfills our dreams.Through deeper understanding of ourselves and others, we can more readily practice forgiveness and compassion for self and others, eliminating blame and freeing ourselves from stress while facilitating greater personal and communal growth.

In addition to specific interventions for more serious mental health conditions, making the personal commitment to change restrictive personal habits can help reduce or eliminate critical mental and physical symptoms, including clinical depression, anxiety, panic and other stress reactions, and even positively impact unpleasant or extreme mood shifts.

Everyday family or other relational obstacles, including couples or family communications issues, job stress, parenting, and child development issues can be positively-impacted through therapeutic counseling. Impulse control and other habitual behaviors, including anger and violence are changeable.  Even the feelings of grief and loss can be more adequately coped with through the development and practice of healthy daily thinking and behavioral habits.

You are the driver of your own therapeutic progress. Responsible commitment to and participation with ones own well-being through regular inspiritual reading and meditation that follow your own inner mandates, healthy living practices, moderate exercise, adequate rest and intelligent eating and spending habits, provide basic steps toward creating the life you want, with workable personal and therapeutic solutions to individual and  relational challenges.  It is not rocket science, but can hardly be achieved alone.  It takes a trusted counselor or coach to help keep you on task and share challenging moments through perspective, perseverence, encouragement, reminders and support.  

Although it is gratifying to work with long-term clients committed to deep understandings, endless, drawn-out therapy except under unusual circumstances, is not a necessary prescription for personal change. As both a pragmatist and student of the unconscious, I encourage my clients to take on life and use both personal experience and counseling as learning tools, discovering what their overarching issues are and learning how to resolve them in the present moment...in this phase of their development, accepting as more long-term the changes that are necessary in crisis, such as grief, separations and other severe life changes that require slower adaptation. Not all problems have to be solved  at once...the problems themselves are the lessons that bring the highest rewards.

Through practicing what you learn from everyday experience, depth counseling and personal encounters with your family and friends, you can take time and allow your ideas to develop and become engrained by testing them out in everyday life, finding out what really works for you in a meaningful way. When people take energetic control of their own psyches, they can reliably take time out from therapy, and return for counseling as needed to take the next step in developing even more fulfilling personal and professional solutions.

The most disastrous situations are likely to teach us life's highest lessons, and may be be met with intelligent options that lead to positive resolutions. While good times teach us important lessons about our value, about feeling, intimacy and the joy of sharing experiences, we learn our most critical lessons when we least expect them, many times when situations are seemingly completely out of our control. In fact, it may take an unfortunate incident or series of events to teach us what we may unconsciously seek to learn.

I look forward to getting to know you, and planning with you a path for your personal change!


Email me at stjohnt@mchsi.com or call 707-262-0400 for questions or an appointment.

On all calls and correspondence, please leave your name, telephone number and email address with your inquiry or other message, and let me know when you can most easily be reached.