Conversations with Clinicians: Dena Ehrlich

Dena Ehrlich is one of Center for Mindful Psychotherapy’s Associate Marriage and Family Therapists. These therapists work in the San Francisco Bay Area, using a holistic approach that incorporates mindfulness, somatic therapy, and many other techniques. We interview these therapists to learn more about their individual work. This way, you can get a sense of what therapy with them is all about. They share more about the work that the do, the clients that they work with, their inspirations, passions, personal interests and more. So, let’s learn more about Dena Ehrlich.

What is your therapeutic orientation?

I work holistically and collaboratively with children, teens, and adults. Together we identify patterns and places where we can get stuck. We explore the obstacles and opportunities presented by these patterns, and how to use them resourcefully.

I approach this path in a warm and judgment-free manner, respecting each person and their one-of-a-kind journey. I work somatically and relationally and incorporate breath work, mindful body-scans, parts-work, and imagery into my trauma-informed care.

What are your areas of specialty?

  • Body-mind connection
  • Imagery
  • Inner-child exploration
  • Parts work
  • Play

What other modalities inform your work?

  • Play Therapy w/ Children (and Adults when they’re open to it!)
  • Clinical Herbalist and Graduate of the Berkeley Herbal Center
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Facilitator of Yoga & Gentle Movement – Awakening Through Yoga & Buddhism + Embodied Mind Yoga Teacher Training

What is it like to work with you?

I’ve been told that I have a way with people. Clients have been brave enough to share their deep dark secrets with me, and have been relieved to find that I still hold them in high regard with love and kindness. I don’t see them as flawed or broken, but, in fact, as real people doing the best they can with the tools they were given. I am gentle, warm, and sometimes a little silly.

Who do you LOVE working with?

I love working with people who are curious and excited to do their own work. I love working with people who have gotten a little lost, and are open to a little help getting back to themselves. I love working with people who have wild imaginations. I love working with people who want to be the best versions of themselves. I love working with people who are hopeful of a better planet.

See what some of our other therapists have said about their favorite clients.

What inspires you about this work?

I am constantly inspired by my clients’ life stories and resiliency. I’m inspired by their ability to change and/or come back to themselves amongst all the gunk they’re faced with day-to-day. I’m inspired by the community of therapists and healer-helpers I’ve met along the way.

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

I spend lots of time in nature – hiking, camping, and soaking in natural hot springs.

Let’s Get Some of Your Recommendations!

As a therapist, what are some of your recommendations for the following:

… for managing moments of overwhelm?

Take a pause. Take a breath. Loosen your jaw. Take another breath.

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

I love this question. The car is a nice private place. Nature is another good place, whether it’s at the park or on a trail.

Crying in the company of friends can be really healing and supportive too. It’s sometimes nice to have a witness and can show others that it’s okay to let their guards’ down as well.

… for self care practice on a budget:

Walking! Throw on your sneakers, flip flops, or even bare-feet.

… for self care practice investment:

Weekly yoga, art, or dance classes can be a great way to get out of the house, meet people, and use a different part of your brain.

Favorite non-therapy book:

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Favorite self-help book/ therapy book:

It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn

The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya-Renee Taylor

See other books our therapists recommend on Goodreads.

A Little More About You and Your Work

Do you have anything in the works that we should know about?

I’d like to start an embodied movement group where up to 8 people come together for gentle movement as we stay connected to our bodies and our breath. There’d be a social aspect to it as well. Any interest?

Anything else before we wrap up?

Therapy can be scary, especially if we’ve hidden parts of ourselves from ourselves. Who knows what might be lurking. If you’re ready to dive in and would like some support, reach out! I’d love to hear from you, there is time and space for you.

How can people contact you?

Name: Dena Ehrlich

License #: AMFT# 127602

Supervisor: Janine Morris, LMFT #107864

  • Phone number: 510.698.9339
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Office: 1635 Solano Ave, Albany (at the Berkeley border)

Meet more of our therapists by perusing our Therapist Directory. Or contact us today for a therapist consultation.