Conversations with Clinicians: Interview with San Francisco Therapist Erma Kyriakos

Conversations with Clinicians: Interview with San Francisco Therapist Erma Kyriakos

Conversations with Clinicians: Interview with San Francisco Therapist Erma Kyriakos

Meet one of CMP’s associate therapists: Erma Kyriakos, a California therapist who is providing therapy through Telehealth only at this time. In this interview we learn more about her approach to therapy, what inspires her to do this work, and what some of her recommendations are for people seeking various tips for self-care and resources.

What is your therapeutic orientation?

I pull from a range of therapeutic modalities including Client-centered, Gestalt, Relational, Liberation Psychology, Psychodynamic, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Trauma-Informed using polyvagal theory and the mind-body connection. 

What other modalities inform your work?

I include and incorporate somatic practices, buddhist philosophy/mindfulness, feminist theory, non-violent communication (NVC), CBT, and humor in my work with clients. 

What is it like to work with you?

In other words, how would you (or clients) say you are in the room?

My approach is warm, engaged, and direct. I follow the clients’ lead in what they like to bring in and find it important to foster an environment of mutual respect and trust. I see myself and my clients as co-explorers in this work together and I hold myself accountable to show up in an authentic way. I believe that my clients deserve someone who can hold space and gently push when each is appropriate. I aim to be culturally humble, open, and curious and I aspire to be an ally with clients who are a part of communities that have been systemically oppressed. 

San Francisco Therapist Erma Kyriakos

Who do you LOVE working with?

 I enjoy working with anyone who is having a hard time in relationships – whether it is romantic, platonic, work related, or family related. I connect well with clients who may have had a chaotic childhood, dealt with narcissistic family members/partners, or have suffered from religious trauma. Couples work has become a passion of mine and I am grateful to help couples navigate communication, infidelity, pre or post marital struggles, and whatever else may enter the therapy room. I also find it extremely humbling and fulfilling to work with survivors of sexual assault. I am continuously in awe of and want to support survivors’ resiliency, strength, and self-advocacy. Additionally, I appreciate having sessions with men and women and everyone in between who may be coming up against gender stereotypes and feeling the effects of white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy. 

What inspires you most about this work?

It sounds simple, but I am truly inspired by all of my clients’ courage to look within and their commitment to self-growth. Through my time as a therapist, I find it incredibly inspiring to see noticeable, tangible shifts and changes made by clients that contribute to their overall wellbeing and leads to a more easeful, fulfilling, joyful life.

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

Outside of this work, my community, my partnership with my husband, my family, my dog, yoga, nature, my own commitment to self-growth, and my commitment to social justice keeps me inspired. 

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

I was a full time musician and music teacher before deciding to become a therapist… definitely one of the most fun jobs one can explore in my opinion! My main instruments are the violin and my voice. 

Therapist Recommendations

What are your personal favorite recommendations for …

Recommendation: for managing moments of overwhelm:

Name it. Normalize it. This is a moment of overwhelm. This is a human experience. Check in with your body… What is tense? How’s your breathing? How can we relax or soften in this moment? Can we press pause and try some long exhales or do some stretching? Do we need to tell someone who we are engaging with that we need 20 minutes for a walk around the block before continuing a conversation? What is it you need in this moment of overwhelm? 

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

The ocean.

Recommendation: for the best place to find a laugh in the bay area:

Any dog park. 

Recommendation: for self care practice on a budget:

Yoga on Youtube. I like Sarah Beth Yoga because she is very clear and not a lot of ‘fluff’. She has short videos, long videos, videos for beginners and intermediates, yoga for grief, anxiety, digestion, for the morning or sleep, etc. 

Recommendation: for self care practice investment:

THER. A. PY. Not the cheapest thing in the world, but I have always found this investment in myself to be worth it. 

Favorite non-therapy book:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 

Favorite self-help book/ therapy book:

This is difficult to name just one… Currently, I’m really looking forward to Nedra Glover Tawaab’s new book about unhealthy family relationships, Drama Free. If you’re just looking for somewhere to start, here are the two books I started with years ago: The Road Less Traveled (1978 – an oldie but a goodie) by Scott Peck, M.D., and The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. 

Favorite quote:

“We’re born naked, and the rest is drag” – RuPaul 

How Can People Contact You?

Name: Erma Kyriakos 

License #: AMFT Registration Applicant awaiting number 

Supervisor: Lynndal Daniels #78183 

Phone number: (415)761-3494


Bio on This Website


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