Alyson “Aly” Dearborn is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist in California (LMFT#45462) and Oregon (LMFT#T2025). She has also completed Attachment-Focused EMDR Basic Training through the Parnell Institute. Her practice is available online only for individual adults (age 24+) – she does not treat couples, children, or families.
I believe all beings in nature have an innate biological intelligence and profound capacity for resiliency. In polyvagal-guided psychotherapy, “safety is the treatment.” I help clients learn the language of the autonomic nervous system, how to regulate state shifts, manage sensory needs, craft new narratives, and come to trust the wisdom of their body as an infalliable inner guide and best friend.
With 18 years of post-graduate clinical experience working with complex trauma survivors and 29 years of her own personal therapy work, Aly has a vast amount of perspectives and tools to offer her clients ranging from the scientific to esoteric. She enjoys collaborating on individualized treatment plans focused on the proactive exploration of resources that most resonate with her client’s own areas of interest.
Some of Aly’s favorite tools for personal growth and trauma recovery include psychoeducation, autonomic nervous system mapping, family of origin explorations, trauma and addiction timelines, inner child reparenting, Attachment-Focused EMDR Resource Tapping, creative expressive arts, dream interpretation, grounding, meditation, somatic, sensory, and earth-based regulation practices.
She has a particular interest in working with neurodivergent, sensory sensitive, ADD/ADHD, and Autistic folx who want to engage in a deeper exploration of Self through polyvagal-guided psychotherapy. As a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, her specialty is helping women who have been stuck in cycles of unfulfilling romantic partnerships due to a fear of “being alone” and betrayal/trauma bonds in developing a deeply attuned, protective, and caring relationship with the inner (wise/child) Self as the foundation for all other relationships.
Aly’s practice is rooted in the principle that “safety is the treatment” and is based upon the three essential elements required for the nervous system to experience safety (as taught by Deb Dana, LCSW):
1) Context. I thrive on transparency about who I am and the influences that inform my work. See my clinical perspectives page for more information about my primary theoretical orientations and ways in which I contextualize the process of treatment.
2) Choice. I value personal autonomy and the importance of having choices. I work collaboratively and openly with clients around treatment goals, interventions, and paths we can take in therapy.
3) Connection. I believe that “safety is the treatment“ and actively work to explore and provide the cues of safety each client needs to ground into a deeper connection with their inner wise Self.