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Svetlana Tikhonova, M.A., M.F.T.


To contact Svetlana, email her at:

I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in California. I also provide clinical supervision to pre-licensed therapists, and consultation to professionals. For more than 20 years I have been presenting public and professional workshops and seminars on personal growth, creative expression, and positive parenting, both in Russia and in the United States.

I am one of the developers of the Psychosynthesis Circle website. I humbly hope this website that offers an opportunity to study Ann Gila’s and John Firman’s approach to psychosynthesis therapy will be a useful resource to professionals, and to those seeking guidance in their personal growth.

Prior to my study and work in the United States, I studied psychology and worked as a psychologist in Russia. My interest in psychology and personal growth began when I was a student at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technologies where I graduated with a Masters of Science in Research Physics and Engineering. During that period, dramatic geo-political and economic changes started happening in Russia, and it was also during this time that I became a parent. This led me on a search for life meaning and for the understanding of who I am. I changed my career and began a new professional journey in the field of psychology.  I attended and graduated with Diploma Cum Laude in Practical Psychology from the Moscow State University of Humanities. I have never regretted changing my professional path.


Here in the United States, I graduated with a Masters of Art in Counseling Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) in Palo Alto, California, with an additional specialization in Creative Expression. I was introduced to psychosynthesis psychotherapy in 2007 at ITP, in classes taught by John Firman and Ann Gila. Following graduation from ITP, I continued studying with Ann, and am qualified to teach psychosynthesis therapy.


I also received post-graduate advanced training in humanistic-existential psychotherapy for individuals and groups with Myrtle Heery at the International Institute for Humanistic Studies. I trained in Jungian (Kalffian) Sandplay Therapy, and I am a Registered Sandplay Practitioner with the professional association of Sandplay Therapists of America. Two additional areas of my training are in advanced couples therapy, and EMDR therapy.


Despite my in-depth study of a wide variety of psychotherapy approaches that I actively use in my work, the integrative nature of psychosynthesis theory and practice as presented by John Firman and Ann Gila, has a special place in my heart. This way of therapy has also become my personal growth practice because I believe that true presence with clients requires honest inner work on the part of the therapist.


In my psychotherapy practice, I help children and adults in stressful transitions, times that often awaken a powerful transformative personal and spiritual growth process. Another area that is strongly present in my work is helping clients to heal from post-traumatic stress, and facilitating their journeys from surviving to thriving. I find John’s and Ann’s psychosynthesis theory and practice deep, useful and practical, and I am very passionate about sharing it with others.

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