My Approach to Therapy

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chödrön

My approach is based on principles from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) originally developed by Steve Hayes, Ph.D. and Kelly Wilson, Ph.D. ACT has been empirically-validated to be effective across a wide range of mental health diagnoses, age groups and cultural backgrounds.  It is a contextual behavioral approach that helps you develop mindfulness-based skills which help you live a life that is in line with your own unique values.  

ACT helps us to see that all feelings (especially uncomfortable, painful ones) are useful, and not to be struggled against; ACT shows all of us how to have a different relationship with our thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences, so that instead of rejecting these unwanted thoughts and feelings, we learn to live with them and live well.  The ACT process enables us to see which direction we want to take our lives, and learn mindfulness skills to help us have the strength and perseverance to get there.  

It is my hope that our journey together can help you to be the kind of person, daughter or son, parent, or partner that you want to be, and ultimately, live a meaningful, and purposeful life.

ACT is experiential, oftentimes involves utilizing role-plays and metaphors, and includes therapy assignments in between sessions.

My Background

University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 1994-1997

California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, SF Bay Area
Doctor of Psychology, 1998-2003

Kaiser Permanente Department of Mental Health Child and Family Services, Pleasanton, CA
Post-Doctoral Residency, September 2003-October 2004

Kaiser Permanente Department of Mental Health Child/Family Services, Stockton, CA
Staff Psychologist, October 2004- June 2006

Kaiser Permanente Department of Mental Health Child/Family Services, Pleasanton, CA
Staff Psychologist, 2006 to August 2016

Kaiser Permanente Department of Mental Health Child/Family Services, Redwood City, CA
Staff Psychologist and Pediatric Liaison, September 2016 to present

Seeds of Awareness, Oakland and Petaluma, CA
Supervisor of psychology trainees, September 2016 to June 2017

Board of Psychology License


Dr. Marie de la Paz

Dr. Marie de la Paz

“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chödrön