Willow Pearson, PsyD, LMFT, MT-BCWillow Pearson

Dr. Pearson is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a nationally board-certified music therapist (MT-BC). In fall 2017, Dr. Pearson joined the full-time faculty in the Clinical Psychology Department at NDNU. Previously, she taught doctoral students at Alliant International University in San Francisco, undergraduate and graduate students at Naropa University, and graduate students at John F. Kennedy University. Her website is drwillowpearson.com

Dr. Pearson’s 17 years of licensed clinical work includes experience in private practice, as well as at medical centers and hospitals (serving inpatients and outpatient clients), community clinics, and mental health centers. In these settings, she has worked with adults, children, adolescents, couples and groups. Her clinical background includes training in psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, integral, relational, humanistic, cognitive behavioral, expressive arts, somatic, existential, contemplative and transpersonal therapy, and brief approaches with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and groups.

Across a range of clinical settings, Dr. Pearson has provided crisis intervention, assessment, brief therapy, group therapy, music therapy and depth psychotherapy, from an integral relational perspective. Dr. Pearson’s private psychotherapy practice is in Oakland, on the border of Emeryville, in the East Bay.

Education

    • PsyD Clinical Psychology. Wright Institute
    • MA, Counseling Psychology. Naropa University
      • Concentration: Music Therapy
    • BA, Feminist Studies. Stanford University
      • Graduated with honors & distinction

Courses Taught at NDNU

Current NDNU courses include:

      • Case Seminar and Practicum
      • Survey of Child and Adult Psychotherapy
      • Psychopathology
      • Family Systems and Relational Psychotherapy

Research and Interests

Dr. Pearson’s research interests include relational psychodynamic psychotherapy, integral psychology and psychotherapy, dreams, psychological defenses, sexuality, spirituality, and creativity. Beyond her formal training, clinical experience, and teaching in psychology, Dr. Pearson’s work with patients is informed by dedicated personal practice and study in meditation, music, and yoga. She is a singer and songwriter; she has recorded five albums of music, four of which are composed of original songs.

Selected Publications

  • Grotstein, J.S., & Pearson, W. (2016). In conversation on caesura and reversible perspective. Fort Da: The Journal of the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, 22(1).
  • Pearson, W. (2015, March 13). Seeking mutual recognition through the matrix of projective transidentification. Women’s Therapy Center Newsletter, Issue 1.
  • Pearson, W. (2015, January, 19). Binocular vision: Seeing through the two ‘I’s of privilege and oppression. Retrieved from http://www.womenstherapy.org/blog/
  • Pearson, W. (2014). Dreaming Integral. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 9(2), 162-168.
  • Pearson, W. (2007). Integral counseling and a three-factor model of defenses. Counseling & Values: Journal of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling, 51(3), 209-220.
  • Pearson, W. (2006). The development of desire: An integral approach. AQAL: Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 1(2), 276-296.

Professional Affiliations

International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP)
Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP)
American Psychological Association, Division 39 (APA)

Selected Presentations and Lectures

  • Pearson, W. (2017, February & March). Sexual identity development among sexual minority women. Professional development seminar presented at Alliant International University Psychological Services Center, San Francisco, California.
  • Pearson, W. (2016, September). Bridging cultural humility and cultural competence in clinical work. Professional development seminar presented at Alliant International University Psychological Services Center, San Francisco, California.
  • Pearson, W. (2016, August; 2017, July). Listening to the unconscious: Working with defenses. Professional development seminar presented at Alliant International University Psychological Services Center, San Francisco, California.
  • Pearson, W. (2016, March). Working with dreams cross-culturally. Professional development seminar presented at the California College of the Arts Counseling Program, Oakland, California.
  • Pearson, W. (2015, October). Bion’s techniques. Professional development seminar presented at the California College of the Arts Counseling Program, Oakland, California.
  • Pearson, W. (2015, June) Integral psychodynamic sphere and orbits. Division 39 poster session presented at the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Presented application of Integral Methodological Pluralism to Relational Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychology: doctoral dissertation research on original Integral Relational theoretical work, weaving together developmental stage theory and psychoanalytic theory of psychological positions to formulate a more complex assessment of psychotic, borderline, neurotic, and postconventional experience.