Alexa Brand, LMFT
Internal Family Systems Level 1 (IFS Institute) - In Progress
Certificate in Somatic Embodiment & Regulation Strategies (Linda Thai, Collectively Rooted) - In Progress
Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley & Awareness Training Institute) - 2021 to Present
Intuitive Healing Certification (Kathrynn Schiff, The DEN Meditation) - 2020
40-Hour Sexual Assault Training (Coalition for Family Harmony) - 2019
TransYouth Care Training (LA Gender Center) - 2018
Graduate School of Psychology MS Counseling Psychology Alumni Award (California Lutheran University) - 2020
Employee of the Month (Hillside Wellness Center) - October 2018
Brand, A. (2022). Self-care journal: daily check-in: 75 days of reflection space to track your self-care practice. Rockridge Press.
Brand, A. (2021). The positive thinking workbook: quiet your inner critic, shift your mindset, and embrace a more positive outlook. Rockridge Press.
Brand, A. (2021). Optimists live longer: inspirational quotes: words to inspire positive thinking. Rockridge Press.
Brand, A. (2019). Why It’s Imperative to Understand Gender Identity & Gender Pronouns and 12 Strategies to Make Your Therapeutic Practice More Inclusive. SFV-CAMFT Connections!, https://www.sfvcamft.org/resources/Documents/Newsletter/November-December-2019/HTML/aBrand.html
Trauma - Alexa has extensive experience working with survivors of sexual traumas, intimate partner violence, family violence, bullying, hate crimes, and other violent crimes. Alexa specialized in family violence during her training in graduate school, has worked at a Rape Crisis center and a brain trauma center, and has provided immediate crisis counseling to students & parents of school shootings. Alexa utilizes an individualized approach that combines trauma-informed talk therapy, Brainspotting (an evidence-based technique that identifies locations in the client’s visual field that help to transform unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain), and Internal Family Systems (IFS; parts work that allows deep trauma processing). Alexa utilizes a somatic approach that allows for healing deep, complex traumas. Furthermore, Alexa embraces a social systems and family systems approach that looks at internalized shame & oppression.
LGBTQ+ & Intersectionality - Alexa is passionate about intersectionality - the interconnectedness of varying social identities including race, sexuality, gender, ability, class, and how they impact levels of marginalization and privilege. As a cis queer/bisexual, female therapist, Alexa takes into account her own oppressions as well as many privileges. When working with clients, Alexa acknowledges the unique backgrounds each client comes from and honors their experiences of marginalization. Alexa knows that our society upholds traumatic, violent systems of oppression and believes that real change has to come from both within and outside the therapy room. Furthermore, Alexa believes each client’s identity is their own to determine and affirmation is necessary in a healing space.
Mindfulness & Self-Compassion - Mindfulness & self-compassion are major components of Alexa’s treatment approach. Backed by research and her own healing experience, Alexa embraces these life-transforming skills of learning to be in the present with kindness and understanding. For many of us, our inner critic is the ruling voice in our minds. Alexa’s approach allows her clients to identify where negative messages were internalized across their lives and rewire their brains to be more self-compassionate. Currently, Alexa is in the process of becoming a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in a program led by Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield, leading practitioners of mindfulness, via the Awareness Training Institute & Good Science Center at UC Berkley.
Trainings & Certifications
Alexa currently works at Expansive Therapy, a group practice located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, where she provides trauma-informed therapy sessions for primarily LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families in California. She has been fortunate to have provided therapy in a diverse array of settings including: community mental health centers, nonprofits, schools, adolescent residential center, and a brain trauma center.
Notably, Alexa was a clinician and LGBTQ+ Program Coordinator at Coalition for Family Harmony where she provided affirming therapeutic services for low income, global majority LGBTQ+ clients in addition to facilitating LGBTQ+ and intersectionality trainings for Coalition staff, student therapists, other community organizations, medical professionals, and law enforcement professionals. Alexa also volunteered at the Coalition as a Rape Crisis Advocate where she supported clients while receiving forensic exams and law enforcement interviews.
Additionally, Alexa teaches graduate level psychology courses at CLU, including: Counseling Skills, Gender & Diversity, Cultural Diversity, and Adolescent Therapy. Prior to become a therapist, Alexa worked as a Senior Behavior Instructor and Case Manager at the Lovaas Institute, a leading Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) center in Los Angeles. Additionally, Alexa has worked in administrative roles at therapy community clinics, mental health organizations, and special needs organizations.
Alexa received her MS in Counseling Psychology from CLU in 2018 and her BA in Psychology from UCSB in 2013.
Alexa grew up and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Alexa was raised by a group of dynamic, resilient women including her single, Latinx mother, aunt, and English grandmother. Although her family did the best they could in raising her, families can't always protect us from every challenging reality of this world including their individual traumas, intergenerational traumas, and systemic harm. Alexa is an empath and highly-sensitive person who, from a young age, struggled with anxiety, a strong inner critic, and perfectionistic tendencies.
Alexa had always lived for others but not herself. In her 20s, Alexa this became a survivor of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. She began to struggle more significantly with anxiety, panic, and depression. Finding herself unable to function well in her day to day life, Alexa began going to therapy, and it revolutionized her world. Alexa had not known who her true self was. Therapy helped Alexa process her traumas as well as learn self-compassion, authentic expression, and radical acceptance. It was this growth process that led Alexa to pursuing a career as a therapist in addition to her side journeys of writer, educator, and artist.
Alexa lives in a fat body and is in recovery from body image challenges and disordered eating. She is a queer/bisexual, cisgender woman who is passionate about intersectional feminism and working with marginalized communities. In her 20s, she took a deep dive into her own privileges (including her white and cis identities) and marginalizations. Alexa understands that there is always room for growth in understanding her privileges and continues to reflect on the impact of her social identities and garner further education in this realm, as well as advocate outside of the therapy room.
Fun facts about Alexa:
♥ Personality types: Enneagram 4 & INFJ
♥ Lives with her spouse, Lemon (her low-rider dog), and Dill & Strudel (her two fluffy cats)
♥ Stained glass artist & owner of Femme Glass
♥ Lover of animation & surreal movies
♥ Enthusiast of makeup & tattoos
♥ Spirituality - nature lover & Buddhist witch