Joanna Lay (she/her)

Accepting Clients

Everyday is Halloween for your beloved dark teen. She's weird & quiet & you love it but you can see she's lonely even if she won't admit it.

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Supervised by Laura Gardner, LMFT

  • Individual
  • Adolescent/Teen

About My Clients

To say she’s mastered the art of the nonconformist teenager is an understatement. And honestly, you couldn’t be prouder. You know a thing or two about marching to the beat of your own drum. And while she’s happiest at home with her bearded dragon, you long for her to feel confident in exploring new friendships. You know she's been burned in the past, but you want her to start giving new people and experiences a chance. You understand her discernment, but it's time to start letting people in.

My Background and Approach

Misfits need friends too. You think she too easily pushes people away. She knows that it's a form of protection, and the reason is way more complicated. You think finding a therapist for her will be impossible (she's not a fan of authority). She knows she's highly suspicious of authority, but even more skeptical that anyone will ever really understand her (or wants to). Using her innate strengths, we'll go beneath the surface to understand her why. Therapy with me has no hidden agenda; it is an invitation. Using talk, art, and dreamwork, we explore what usually stays hidden or avoided. We draw awareness to defensive structures and protective patterns to uncover a new way of relating. Using a collaborative container, we explore both the conscious and unconscious realms, leading to a deeper understanding of who she is and how she wants to be in this world. Let's find the real reasons behind her resistance to connection. Schedule a consultation today.

My Personal Beliefs and Interests

She's much too likable to be without friends. It's become too hard for her to open up to new people. She knows that's not the whole truth...fear of rejection, for sure, but there's a lot more to it. She resides in that sticky place that most teenagers (and adults, too) find themselves--where the fear of being seen and the deep longing to be seen go to battle. It's a terrifying and potentially magical position. Connection is inherently risky. As a parent, it's incredibly hard watching her get in her own way. She knows that this gnawing hunger for connection will only grow stronger and harder to satisfy. With endless curiosity, humor, reflection, and nurturance, we can challenge the places she feels stuck and begin to explore a new path. From the beginning of our work together, she will learn to find safety in connection with others and discover that her incredible, unique self-expression is not in conflict with belonging. Email me today to schedule your initial consultation.

I offer online counseling in the following states:
I have experience with the following
  • Judaism

At A Glance

  • Experience: 4 years of practice
  • Languages: English
  • Rate: $200/session


Email Joanna
2155 Union St
Suite 2
San Francisco, CA 94123
Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center
Oakland, CA 94610

Reach out to Joanna