Jacob Art, MA

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
San Francisco CA
I work from a strong foundation of warmth, genuineness and empathy. I have discovered that our natural state of being is one of ease, openness, compassion and wisdom. These qualities become obscured during our necessary adaption to our particular family environment and to a culture that overall values production over sustainable living. These are the main ingredients of my approach: 1. Deep listening to what you tell me and what your body tells me. I ask a lot of good questions and make plenty of reflections on what I see and think about your situation. I consider your healing from the perspective of the interconnectedness of mind and body. 2. Empathy and Challenge. We grow when we have the right balance of mirroring and gentle support alternating with appropriate feedback and challenges. We need to be felt and understood in our struggles, and we need help seeing the ways we’re holding ourselves back. I aim to find the right balance and timing of these and solicit your feedback along the way. 3. A commitment to an experiential therapeutic process. More than just talk therapy, I’ll guide you in processing difficult emotions and finding a grounded resourcefulness in your body. I’ll ask you to notice what your experience is in the present as we’re doing therapy, and this will anchor positive emotional changes in your body and increase your general awareness and aliveness. 4. Mindfulness. Much of our suffering comes from judging ourselves. Using tools from cognitive psychology, you will learn how to give your experience attention without judgment. Mindfulness helps you change patterns of thinking and feel less overwhelmed in general. It also helps you make sense of your life through gaining insight into the emotional logic behind your struggles.
I have been practicing psychotherapy in San Francisco since 2006. I began the path toward becoming a therapist when I was 20 years old and attended Naropa University in Boulder, CO, where Eastern and Western approaches to psychology are taught along with mindfulness training in the Buddhist tradition. Psychological and spiritual work has been at the core of all aspects of my life. I believe it helps to have a therapist who has been through his or her own therapy and self-exploration. I’ve been in some form of a counseling relationship off and on since 2001, including six years of individual therapy with two different MFTs. I was in a Diamond Heart group from 2009-2013, which is a psychologically-minded spiritual inquiry group. I have accumulated 270 days in silent retreat practice within various Buddhist traditions. From all my studies personally and professionally, I have a thorough map of human consciousness, but I understand maps don’t always correspond to reality. More importantly, I get from the inside the often murky and sometimes open and joyful terrain of human experience. As a therapist, I’m your guide through your healing journey, but I’m also walking alongside you in my own way. In 2017, I became a father. As my daughter grows, I become even more sensitive to the incredible joy and vulnerability that lies at the heart of human experience. This relationship of profound dependency (of the child) and responsibility (of the parent) is something we all went through and many of our struggles come from carrying forward the behaviors and attitudes we developed in order to make the best of that relationship. We want to break free from the limited perspectives of self, relationships and the world that we feel somehow kept us safe, yet now hold us back. My training and life experience is directed toward helping you with that goal.