She launched the center when her daughter was three months old when the perfect suite of offices opened up in the beautiful, historic Wells Fargo building in downtown Berkeley.
As every new parent knows, the timing was, let’s face it, pretty terrible.
But Annie knew in her bones that the beautiful corner suite in the Wells Fargo building would be the ideal home for the boutique therapy center she had dreamed about opening ever since her clinical internship days. And since those suites rarely opened up, she had to take the opportunity.
You see, since 2010 when she started grad school, Annie had wanted to create the resource she wished had been available to her 20 years ago when she was beginning her healing journey...
A place where someone could reach out, find a warm, kind voice on the other end of the phone and then get matched with expert, evidence-based support, figure out what was going on and why they were feeling so bad, and, more importantly, finally find a pathway out of their suffering and move towards a life more worth living.
For Annie back then and for so many today, the journey to receiving great therapy support was and is, fraught.
First, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. In other words, sometimes you don’t even know that specialized therapy (versus general talk therapy) is what you need. Next, it can feel impossible to find therapists who are truly well trained, taking on new clients, and who are a good fit relationally and logistically.
All of these barriers can slow the progress someone makes towards healing (not to mention stopping them from even getting started!). Annie wanted to solve this problem so others could have better experiences than she did all those years ago.
So despite the inconvenient timing, Annie jumped in with both feet and signed the lease.
Over the last four years, she has raised her beloved daughter, who in the early days, often accompanied Annie to the center while she restocked the tissue boxes, gathered the mail, and watered the office plants.
Since then the center has grown from two clinicians serving about 40 clients a week to 18 extraordinary clinicians serving about 425 clients a week with a wraparound support team of four incredible, dedicated administrative supports.
Our Vision and Mission
Our job, our calling, is to help people feel better because, when they do, we trust they will do better to others out in the world.
Our vision is to help co-create a world in which abuse, trauma, and neglect are non-existent, especially for children.
Our mission, the way we play our small part in achieving this lofty vision, is to provide the highest quality, evidence-based trauma-informed therapy to those who have endured suffering, pain, and trauma of any kind so that we may both immediately help them find relief from their symptoms and also equip them with capacities and choices so that any intergenerational cycles of dysfunctional behaviors stop with them and doesn’t get passed on.
Our Core Values
Our therapy center centers on the following values and ideas.
Accordingly, each member of our staff is hired and handpicked by the founder for their warmth, kindness, and humanistic worldview while also being grounded in evidence-based treatment modalities. Simply put, we’re a group of really kind, caring, and highly trained humans.
Our mental health and well-being are inextricably tied to the well-being of all other peoples’ safety, dignity, and body sovereignty as well as to the well-being of this planet called home. Accordingly, we strive as a center to be as inclusive as possible, actively anti-racist, financially involved in social justice work, and earth-centered in our practices in our physical office space. Simply put, we consider ourselves allies to all, including the earth.
While therapy is a privilege, and certainly being able to seek out a private pay therapist and have an insurance plan that reimburses out-of-network mental health benefits is a big privilege, we don’t believe in the diminishing term “first world problems.” Suffering is suffering. Period. And the people with privilege who tend to their own suffering are then better equipped to act with more choice, more emotional regulation, more esteem, and more capacity to care well for others. Simply put, we believe that seeking out and doing your own therapy work is an act of social justice and can create consequential ripples of societal change.
From the very first phone call with our clinical intake coordinator, through the scheduling and intake process, to the regular clinical treatment you receive, we take great pride in the excellence of our customer service and our clinical treatment skills. We’re continuously seeking your feedback to learn how we’re doing so we can improve even more. We’re continuously learning more clinical content, deepening our therapeutic skill sets, and receiving consultation so that you can have the most rigorous and effective treatment possible. Simply put, we set a high bar for ourselves in order to give you the best experience possible.
This is the tagline of Evergreen, yes, but it’s not just empty, nice-sounding words: it’s neuroscience. Advances in neuroscience and neuroimaging have shown us that the brain is “plastic” and can change literally up until the moment we die. We can change until our very last breath. So no matter how traumatic your past experiences, no matter how hopeless you feel about the possibility of things being better, neuroscience suggests that change is possible. For you, and for all of us. Our job as therapists at Evergreen is to help our clients achieve those changes they want to see.
- We are a White-owned and White-led company in an industry historically dominated by White clinicians.
- We’re striving to do good but acutely aware of the urgency and life-long work entailed in becoming actively anti-racist and providing services and creating change within the social structures of racism, capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy that we exist in.
- This work will never be done. This work is ongoing.
- As part of our ongoing work, we’re recommitting our leadership’s time and resources to centering this work in our mission.
- As part of our ongoing work, we’re listening more deeply to our colleagues of color and our clients of color to learn from their experiences and insights.
- As part of our ongoing work, we’re updating our policies, recruitment, and hiring practices to make equity more explicit.
- As part of our ongoing work, we want to acknowledge that the physical office spaces of Evergreen Counseling exist on stolen Native lands.
- The Ohlone are the custodians of the unceded land upon which we live and conduct business as a therapy center, including the Chochenyo and the Karkin in East Bay, the Ramaytush in San Francisco, the Yokuts in South Bay and Central Valley, and the Muwekma tribe throughout the region.
- As part of our ongoing work, we welcome having our eyes opened to what we ignored.
- In the words of Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
- At Evergreen Counseling, we seek to know and do better.This work will never be done. But you have our word that we are committed to doing the work.