Los Angeles (Brentwood/UCLA), CA 90049
Andrea F. Polard, PsyD founded the new integrative approach of ZPT, using methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Self-Psychology, Positive Psychology, and the wisdom traditions (see below FAQ).
Personal Statement: I knew I wanted to be a psychotherapist at the age of sixteen. After all these years, I still love the process of becoming very much. It never ceases to amaze me how within the therapeutic connection people change, become healthier, empowered, and open to the world.
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As the client takes the courageous step to engage and share her/his life’s issues, Dr. Polard listens carefully and compassionately. Her style is collaborative and active as she supports the client to heal, focus, and/ordiscover.Whether the client wishes to learn new skills or become mindful and clear depends on the client’s needs. The new approach has at its center the person. Absolute privacy is guaranteed. Dr. Polard offers in English and German:
- Individual, Couples, and Family Psychotherapy
- Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT)
- Training Groups and ZPT Certification (3 modules)
Her distinct, integrative approach rests on three pillars: Heal — Focus — Discover.
HEAL – for higher functioning
As we humans are an especially vulnerable species, we have wounds to heal. How these wounds manifest varies, including as depression, anxiety, anger, defiance, loneliness, relational problems, weight or sleep problems. Many of us harbor pain about who we are. Causes for psychological wounds also vary and include:
- Relationship problems
- Abuse and neglect
- Assigned roles
Unattended, our wounds create obstacles which fixate the mind when it is meant to be fluent and free. It is like being under a cloud or seeing nothing but clouds.
Thankfully we can heal within a human connection, especially with a focused, open-minded therapist who has the expertise and who understands the wounds while also seeing the light. By facing and embracing the wounds, turning intentionally to success and love, exploring health behaviors, refining skills, and developing opportunities, the darkest clouds tend to evaporate.
FOCUS – for flow experiences
Healing our wounds is often the base on which all further growth depends. As we go further and wish to engage fully with life, we need to develop our focusing skills. Only the focused mind can experience flow and thus happiness. As we generate flow, all but our engagement retreats. Regrets, preoccupations, and worries vanish. Flow comes about when we actively pursue:
- Fulfilling goals and
- Mutually empowering relationships
In ZPT you can learn to define and shape your dreams as well as apply yourself with confidence and competence.
Most important, we need to be able to focus on other human beings and aim for generous reciprocity — the opposite of the blame game in dysfunctional relationships. To thrive, we need good working relationships, friendships and love. Healthy boundaries are needed. How to connect is not always apparent but in ZPT we will break it down and actively practice skills.
DISCOVER – to wake up to the present moment
Insights into healing and focused attention pave the way to becoming high functioning and experiencing flow. However, even the best activities need to be balanced with serenity. This requires letting let go of what we want the moment to be and open our minds to that which it is. Clients who yearn for balance will have the opportunity to learn just that. The discovery process includes various methods of de-identification with judgments, opening the focused mind, and pausing to return to a natural state.
The natural state of mind can only be discovered. We are born to be clear-minded, compassionate, and experience our connection with the universe. It is natural to feel our connection within the world instead of feeling our separateness. This is what is called the “light within.” It is possible to realize that we have more in common with the wide-open sky than with a passing cloud.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Who benefits from psychotherapy at the Center?
A: Anyone or any couple wishing to end unnecessary suffering and to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Q: What is Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT) in short?
A: Instead of theory, actual, real-time observations inform an attentive therapist. The client heals and grows within a compassionate connection. ZPT integrates Western and Eastern ways, addressing all levels of experience. Effective therapeutic intuition depends therefore on intense training, clarity, and love of life.
Q: Do you need to be Buddhist to do ZPT?
A: No. Buddha means simply “to be awake.” ZPT is not religious and supports the client’s spirituality.
Q: What is “Zen” about ZPT?
A: There is no self to find, integrate, and improve, only growth in the garden of life. Growth includes acceptance and unlearning habits. Clarity of mind is awareness is realizing interconnectedness. Zen wisdom, koans, dialogue, and zazen are part of ZPT.
Q: Can I do ZPT from out of town/country?
A: Yes. The Center offers a three week intensive with follow-up Skype sessions.
Q: Can I study just Zen in the Center?
A: Yes. The Center offers a Sunday Zen class. Zen Psychology is a way of life, of which ZPT is one expression.
Please feel free to contact the Center for more information, please use the form below.
Services include consultations, Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT), workshops (see Blog/Calendar) and training for therapists.
For questions or an appointment for a free half hour introductory consultation, call 310-455-0928.
Click here to pay for a book or workshop.