Sally Clark MFT
Therapist: Albany, Berkeley, Mountain View
"Sally Clark is a gifted and empathic teacher and facilitator of pre-and perinatal processes, with a natural as well as a trained capacity for keen observation of personal growth process."
"Sally Clark is an exceptional teacher of psychological and spiritual process. She knows her material through personal experience and deep study, and facilitates her students with integrity, humor, and powerful wisdom."
"Sally Clark is an experienced and skilled psychotherapist with an abundant knowledge of PPN ( pre and peri-natal psychology). She has a heart of gold and is, I believe, a sage and a people-whisperer. She listens deeply, and understands in a way that is healing."
I grew up as a foster child in a small, small town in Pennsylvania. Although my early trauma shaped me, it also opened me for new possibilities to emerge.
Living in a small rural community game me numerous gifts. There I could touch the stars and luxuriate in the glorious countryside. I loved the change of seasons and the laughter and celebrations which grew out of each passage of time. In the summer were the Sunday night ice cream parties at my Uncle Paul's farm. At night the crickets chirped and the fireflies turned my world into a magical kingdom. In the fall the world turned especially delightful, filled with colorful trees. Fall meant Wednesdays with the quilting club. As my mother and the other women gossiped and quilted, I played with friends.
Winter came and the house became cold as we had only a coal furnace for warmth. Winter meant Christmas and walking through the forest with my brothers looking for the perfect tree to cut. Behind my house was a pond which extended the full length of the village. On Sundays everyone in town would go ice skating or pull sleds. I loved the sense of community. Next came spring with the poppies popping their outer pods; I was listening and seeing the dynamism of nature. On a warm night I sat under the sugar maple tree in our side yard and watched our neighbors walk by. I knew everyone, as that is the joy of a small town.
The spring rains came, as do my tears as memories of all those special moments wash over me, moments that gave me the feelings of connection amidst an interior life that struggled with issues surrounding being a foster child.
After college I felt drawn to the Peace Corps. I knew I had to explore the greater world, as I always knew that I did not want to live the predictable life which I had experienced around me in a small town. What a true education I received by living in the Marshall Islands. As I observed ways of being that were so different from my own, I felt through every fiber of my body that I was the product of my environment. Everything that I had ever been taught came into question. I was in a culture where people laughed at different jokes, were free sexually, had a slow life-style , and did not believe in competition. The society was matriarchal, one in which individual families did not own material belongings but shared, and where the extended family flourished. I finished the Peace Corps not knowing exactly who I was, but knowing that I could never identify myself again with just one culture.
Since then I have had international living experiences in Japan, China, Peru, the Brazilian jungle, and Europe. In all cases there was an internal shift in my understanding of what it meant to be alive on this planet; there were major cracks in my persona created as I no longer identified myself with a country or culture, but instead as an international member of this spacecraft earth. My concept of who I was shifted rapidly at the same time as I evolved a deeper understanding of alternative ways of healing.
I became a high school teacher in Newark, California, after the Peace Corps and have been teaching there for the past 30 years. In my early 40's, wanting to explore psychology and spirituality more deeply, I took a sabbatical from teaching to earn my masters in transpersonal psychology and MFT license and then began seeing clients while I taught part-time.
Spiritually, I have had profound-blissful experiences and have been pushed to my edges about understanding the illusion of duality. The thought and visceral experience of knowing that I AM and that there is no separate essence rock me to the core.
In no inner place am I as profoundly affected, however, as in the pain associated with the death of family members, friends, and collective important figures. I have fought with God, argued with life and hoped to avoid death myself. I find surrender and understanding, only to be plunged into an adversarial relationship with life when a friend dies.
My journey, which has included relationships, international living, teaching, and being a therapist has brought me so many riches. I love my goddaughter Olivia, who has taught me so much about love, and I love my wonderful extended family of friends, lovers and all the four-legged and winged creatures that so bless my life.
Life keeps teaching me to surrender to that inner place, and sometimes I can be there. And when I am, I feel so deeply at home.
Copyright © 2007 Sally Clark