Conversations with Clinicians: Cynthia Martin

therapist interview Cynthia Martin

 

therapist interview Cynthia Martin

Center for Mindful Psychotherapy is a non profit collective of approximately 100 Associate Marriage and Family Therapists in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can learn more about each of them from perusing our Therapist Directory. In our Conversations with Clinicians series, we interview therapists so that you get to know them in more depth. They share more about the work that the do, the clients that they work with, their inspirations, passions, personal interests and more. Today, we’re talking with Cynthia Martin.

San Francisco Bay Area therapist Cynthia Martin

Where is your office located? City and neighborhood? 

I see California residents by Telehealth appointments. 

What is your therapeutic orientation? 

My therapeutic orientation is grounded in an integrative approach, drawing upon principles of psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness-based experiential practices, and systemic perspectives. This framework emphasizes the exploration of unconscious patterns, the cultivation of self-awareness and self-compassion in the present moment, and the consideration of broader socio-cultural influences on an individual’s well-being, facilitating holistic growth and the development of personal agency. 

I am like a guide that is here to help you explore both the tough and bright spots of your life, using tools tailored to your unique story, needs, and goals. We can look back at your past to see how it shapes your present, understanding your patterns so you have more control over who you really want to be. I’ll help you tune into and understand your body’s signals, by encouraging you to take a pause, deeply listen, and cultivate the art of responding to your own needs with kindness and mindfulness. Our partnership is key: it’s a genuine, judgment-free zone where we tackle everything together, engaging directly with the issues that bring you in, as well as your experience in therapy. Plus, we’ll consider the impact of wider societal and cultural factors on your life, aiming to increase your awareness of all the ways you are impacted by the intersections of various contexts. By weaving together the narrative of your past patterns with your aspirations for the future, we delve into the present moment with a purpose—to uncover, engage with, and harmonize the diverse aspects of all of your being. This process empowers you to emerge as a cohesive, confident individual, fully equipped with the agency to shape your life’s path. 

Put more simply, what are some keywords that you would use to describe your practice?

What are your areas of specialty? 

I specialize in addressing the impact of difficult early life experiences and unjust societal systems on mental health. I assist clients in navigating the emotional scars and challenges resulting from these experiences, including difficulties in managing emotions, “adulting,” forming relationships, and finding fulfillment. By providing guidance and support, I help individuals find healing, resilience, and empowerment on their journey towards mental well-being. 

What topic areas do you often assist with? Or communities do you often work with?

San Francisco Bay Area therapist Cynthia Martin

What other modalities inform your work?

My training and experience as a doula greatly inform my work as a psychotherapist. I have provided support to individuals during and after the intense process of childbirth. This experience has honed my ability to create a safe space to work through difficult experiences. Moreover, I recognize that emotions and physical sensations are intertwined, and I integrate this awareness into my therapeutic practice. By incorporating mindfulness techniques, body awareness exercises, and breathwork into my sessions, I help clients connect with their bodies and access deeper levels of wisdom and healing. Additionally, my past work as a doula instilled in me a strong sense of advocacy for my clients’ well-being and autonomy. Overall, I empower clients to take an active role in their healing journey and make informed choices about their mental and emotional health. 

What is it like to work with you? How would you (or clients) say you are in the room? 

Our relationship, yours and mine, is at the core of this work. It’s real and it’s raw. This isn’t about me giving advice from a pedestal; it’s about us figuring you out together. Expect to be active in this process. I’m with you every step of the way, armed with knowledge, empathy, and a steadfast belief in the possibility of change and growth. You’ll be invited to take more notice of your inner process and invite your entire being into the room. I’m highly adaptive, capable of vibing with a spectrum of personalities, whether you’re bursting with energy or in need of a more solemn, focused dialogue to tackle the task at hand. Expect to encounter a plethora of questions designed to provoke thought and insight in response to the material you bring in. Each session is tailored to meet the unique demands of the moment, ensuring that our time together is as relevant and impactful as possible. This is intimate work, it’s challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. You bring the courage, and I’ll bring my expertise and commitment. 

Who do you LOVE working with? 

People who are seeking a dynamic and engaged therapeutic experience tend to appreciate my intuitive and embodied approach. I work well with individuals who are motivated to grow, who value insightful feedback, and who appreciate being challenged in a supportive and caring manner. 

What inspires you about this work? 

It seems to me that we’re all hesitant to confront reality head-on, opting instead for distractions of every sort. Yet, nothing strikes me as more utterly breathtaking than witnessing someone push through fear to reconnect with their authentic felt experience in the moment. Embracing mindfulness as a regular practice opens up an expansive world of discovery. 

What do you do outside of this work to stay inspired? 

I get outside to be inspired and held by nature. 

Best job (or most interesting job) before becoming a therapist? 

A whitewater kayaking tour guide on damn release weekends! 

San Francisco Bay Area therapist Cynthia Martin

We’d Love Some Recommendations From You …

… for managing moments of overwhelm: 

Find a private space if possible, put on some sunglasses, or just close your eyes. For just a minute, commit to checking out what’s happening inside yourself. Perhaps put a hand over your heart and take a breath, telling yourself “I’m here- and I’m going to be okay. What’s the first step that I need to take next?” 

… for the best place to cry in the bay area: 

The best place for a good cry in the Bay Area? Anywhere your heart feels safe enough to open up. But, if you’re looking for somewhere special, consider the serene setting of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. It’s a place where the tranquility and beauty of nature invite you to express your emotions freely, reminding us that, like the seasons, our feelings are natural and ever-changing. The Bay Area, with its vastness and variety, offers countless spots where your tears can be just another form of the area’s natural beauty. 

… for self care practice on a budget: 

Self-care hinges on the small, yet impactful routines we embed into our daily lives. It’s less about expensive activities and more about the consistent, mindful habits that offer deep personal value. It’s found in the gentle stretch of a morning yoga pose that wakes and greets the body with kindness, or the mindfulness of a short, evening walk under the stars, allowing the day’s stress to be felt and then dissolved with each step. Embracing these modest, daily habits shows us that true self-care can be both uncomplicated and transformative.

Favorite non-therapy book: 

Long Life, Honey in the Heart by Martín Prechtel 

Favorite self-help book/ therapy book: 

No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz 

Favorite quote: 

“Gold has value because it’s rare. Life has value because it’s short. Death gives life value.” — Chimi, from Maya and the Three 

See other therapists’ favorite quotes.

What is one last thought you’d like to share with us?

At the end of the day, I’m just a person who loves to connect, learn, and grow, always aiming to bring curiosity and kindness into everything I do.

How can people contact you? 

  • Name: Cynthia Martin 
  • License #: 136996 
  • Supervisor: J.C. Chance, LMFT 
  • Phone number: (415) 985 – 7019 
  • Website: www.cynthia-martin.com 
  • Email: cynthia.martin@mindfulcenter.org

I offer psychoeducation at www.cynthia-martin.com and on my Instagram account @trainofthoughttherapy. Find Cynthia in our therapist directory here.

San Francisco Bay Area therapist Cynthia Martin

 

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