About Lisa

Lisa Hauck Loy, a practitioner of the healing arts since 1984, began with the study and practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure and is currently a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Rafael, California. Lisa is a warm, empathic, active, attuned and emotionally authentic therapist who can help clients access, express and integrate their emotions in the service of healing and lasting transformation in themselves and in their relationships with loved ones.

Lisa offers attachment-based individual and couple therapy. Three primary goals of the therapy are to heal and resolve attachment traumas, to help people gain access to their inner resources and to foster their ability to form secure attachment relationships.

Lisa also brings to psychotherapy a special understanding of how body, mind, energy and emotions relate to each other, having practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure and having earned her Masters degree at California Institute of Integral Studies in Integral Counseling Psychology. She has collected and developed an eclectic yet cohesive repertoire of body-mind practices that are effective at releasing stress and trauma from the nervous system and the couple/family system.

Contact Lisa Hauck Loy.

What is attachment-based therapy?

Human beings are relational creatures that cannot survive on our own, and the attachments that we form as babies are crucial to our development. When we were babies, if our parent knew how to attune to our feelings and responded to us in a helpful and soothing way, we would have learned what safety and security felt like, but also to identify and trust our feelings so that we can get our needs met and feel soothed.

On the other hand, if we learned that some of our feelings were intolerable to our parent, therefore unsafe to express, we learned to exclude those feelings from our experience in order to get some connection and some of our needs met. We grew up lacking two important abilities:

  • Without access to our feelings, we don’t know ourselves, or what is vitally important to us, and what options, choices and decisions might be in our best interest.
  • Two, without good enough parental responsiveness and availability, a child will grow up with relational deficits and an inability to regulate and manage her feelings and nervous system, to calm or motivate herself.

Here are examples of the latter. One child may grow up feeling that he is on her own in the world, and has to solve all his problems inside his own head–it’s safer and less “costly” (in terms of stress and energy requirements) that way. So he shuts down feelings and states that are too intense, by turning away from important relationships and turning towards such things as alcohol, food, or work to help distract him. Another may anxiously worry and wonder if she really is loved by, or is important to, her loved ones, and may need reassurance that they are there to help her, and may feel angry when she perceives they’re not. Her behaviors tend to push others away, preventing her from getting the connection she desperately needs. Another may both desperately fear and need contact and intimacy and not know how to form safe connections. None of these people will have learned how to form, sustain and benefit from a secure primary attachment relationship, to consider the relationship as a true, safe, calm harbor from the storms of life, and as a source of joy, excitement and fulfillment.

Having new, different and positive experiences of oneself in relationship, where one feels safe, validated, recognized, appreciated, cared for, accompanied and helped by an interested, attuned other who encourages all feelings and processes, can nourish our ability to connect with others, and can change how we see and know ourselves and the world. What a powerful experience it is to allow oneself to be helped with difficult feelings by another and as a result to gain confidence and competence in helping oneself and others.