Betty Michaud, M.A., M.F.T.
Twice in my life I experienced a transition from one world into another. The first time, I was 13 years old when my family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan. We traveled from the capital of Taipei, a densely populated, homogenous metropolis, to a little rural town in Kentucky. About half of the students at the school I attended in Kentucky were black, while the other half were white students - plus my sister and myself. Everyone was friendly and treated us well but the language and cultural barriers prevented my full integration into this new world until, finally, a few years later my English became more fluent.
My second major transition occurred in adulthood following the completion of my undergraduate degree in computer science, and after more than a dozen years of work in high tech. For most of my life I did what my father, my teachers and my managers expected of me. I excelled in school and work but I lacked a sense of my true self and direction in life. Then in 1998 I became disillusioned with the fast-paced, high-flying life in Silicon Valley and embarked on a search for my life’s calling. This transition, different from the first, was deliberate and by my own choice. It took much longer than my first transition, and it also led me into uncertainty, doubt, deep questioning and even depression. But as I continued the journey to discover my true self I eventually found the field of psychotherapy and, in most importantly, the theory of Psychosynthesis.
As I reflect on my major transitions as well as smaller choices in life, I realize I always had an inner knowing, a sense when something just feels right, although I did not always listen to that inner knowing. And then there was the day when I randomly chose to attend a one-day workshop at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, and I realized the graduate school was where I wanted to spend the next two years of my life. When I took a course on Psychosynthesis at ITP with John Firman and Ann Gila, I knew this theory would become the foundation of my work. In addition to recognizing and following my inner knowing about this new direction in my life, I also began to experience a greater presence within myself. This presence felt like an energy, so to speak, and one that connects us all. This energy to me is what Psychosynthesis calls Self and is ultimately LOVE. This love is different from familial, romantic or even self-love in that it is selfless, unconditional, and always present.
I am now a licensed Psychotherapist in the state of California and a supervisor at several psychotherapy agencies in the SF Bay Area. The people I work with might be at a crossroads of their own, or are experiencing internal or external conflict and want more harmony within themselves and with others. Some people might have experienced deep wounding or trauma from their earliest moments. Others may sense something is missing but they can't put their finger on what is the matter.
People are wounded in relationships and they are healed in relationships. John and Ann taught me to stay present and love each person with whom I travel. I have learned from John and Ann, as well as everyone I have worked with along the way. A key learning is that each and every person has his, her, or their own world, and I need to let go of much of myself in order to enter those worlds with my clients.
As a therapist, I strive to see you as you are, with your unique background, upbringing and experiences. I aim to connect to your true core self, even if you are still in conflict between different parts of yourself. If you so desire, I will journey with you and explore what is meaningful for you, whether it is inner clarity, better relationships, or perhaps to find your purpose in life. I'm here to witness you and go where you wish to go, at the pace that you choose; and also to support, care and love you as the special and unique human being you are.