Ali Giacona LPCC, RDT
Psychotherapist | LPCC #5619
Registered Drama Therapist
Couples + Family Therapy
location + HOURS
San Francisco Office
- Generalized Anxiety
- Disordered Eating
- Self Worth
- Self Esteem
- Mothers who are overwhelmed
- Work Life Balance
- Finding Creativity
- Effective and Healthy Communication
- BA in Theater Arts- Drew University Madison, NJ
- MA in Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Art Therapy- Lesley University in Cambridge, MA
- Certificate in Nutrition from Academy of Healing Nutrition in NY, NY
who I work with
People who work with me tend to be interested in doing deeper introspective work and being compassionately challenged. I love to work with young adults and mothers. As someone who had a difficult time in her later teenage and young adult years, I can empathize with that time period of life. I also like working with adults who are new to therapy. Many who I work with struggle with anxiety, depression, disordered eating, self harm, self esteem, body image, and overall life stress.
I often find myself in sessions exploring healthy communication (both communication with oneself and others), core beliefs about oneself, and self compassion. I tend to be action oriented and engaged fully with my clients. I have a background in somatic work and often use this approach with clients.
I first and foremost believe that the relationship between the therapist and the client is the most important factor of therapy. I will bring my full, authentic self to work. I like to take an action oriented approach and will sometimes draw upon my creative side and my background in expressive art therapy to use a variety of techniques and approaches during sessions. I often use CBT, DBT, expressive therapy, motivational interviewing, psychodynamic, and person centered approaches in therapy. I generally assign homework in between sessions as I believe that the therapy work is ongoing and does not just happen in sessions.
I have a strong intuitive sense and often draw upon this while sitting with a client. I tell clients what I am feeling from them and what I think they are trying to communicate. I look at both sides of situations and help hold the complex feelings that can feel opposing. The work will always be collaborative and my clients are an active participant along the way. I challenge my clients gently with compassion. People have described me as warm, empathic, humorous, action oriented, and intuitive.
I received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Theater from Drew University in Madison, NJ. I was born and raised in New Jersey and am still a jersey girl at heart. Growing up I always had a love of theater and the arts. When deciding what to do for a career, I knew I wanted creativity and arts to be part of my work. I look at therapy with a creative lens.
I decided to move to Boston and receive my Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Art Therapy. For me, the idea of combining working with people, using arts, and helping others was the perfect fit. During and after graduate school, I worked in community mental health, eating disorder residential, adolescent residential, and adult inpatient settings. I had a good balance of using individual and group therapy in my work.
While working at a hospital in Boston, I started to become very interested in the connection between mental health and food. Having struggled with some health issues myself and also having food allergies, I decided to pursue my interest further. I attended the Academy of Healing Nutrition in New York City. I completed a year program in Nutrition and commuted from Boston to New York once per month to attend classes. I learned a great deal about the mind/body connection and often use this in my work with clients.
I moved to San Francisco in February 2018. Since then, I have worked in a private practice setting, as well as an adolescent residential treatment program. I am excited to be at Wellspace and collaborate with a team of fun, caring, and intelligent staff members. Sense of community has always been very important to me.
WHY I LOVE THIS WORK
I have always had a strong curiosity about people and loved working with people. I am constantly learning as a therapist and I never reach a point where I feel like I know it all. People are complex and dynamic and every client feels unique and intriguing to me in different ways. Being able to bear witness to someone’s journey and self discovery truly feels like a gift. Being able to provide a space where people are able to share both the joyful and difficult parts of themselves feels deeply fulfilling to me. I have never been someone who lives by the “one size fits all” approach and it is always fascinating to discover what works well for various people.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT ME:
I definitely make sure to add fun and play into my life on a consistent basis. I love having game nights, going out to trivia, spending time with friends, and going out to a nice dinner. During the week I can be found getting deeply involved in whatever television show I am interested in. I live in a house with a lot of animals and love being a pet owner. I have a therapy dog and she and I spend time serving the community together. I try to strike a good work life balance. I love to travel and try to see at least one or two new places per year. The beach has always been my happy place and living near water is very important to me.