Together we will find solutions to overcome unnecessary suffering. Become your best self, improve your relationships, and connect with your true nature.
520 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 201 – Los Angeles, CA 90049 – (310) 455-0928 – Psychology License: PSY 17098
Andrea F. Polard, PsyD founded a new integrative approach, synthesizing psychology and the wisdom traditions. She was trained in Primal Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Self-Psychology, and Positive Psychology (see below FAQ).
Personal Statement I knew I wanted to be a psychotherapist at the age of sixteen. After all these years, I still love very much the process of becoming. It never ceases to amaze me how people change within the therapeutic connection, become healthier, empowered, and open-hearted. My office is serene, easily accessible, and highly confidential.
Clinical Psychologist Andrea F. Polard As the client takes the courageous step to engage and share her/his life’s issues, Dr. Polard listens carefully and compassionately. Her style is collaborative and active as she supports the client to heal, focus, and/or discover. Many clients wish to learn new skills, become mindful and clear. The new approach has at its center the person. Absolute privacy is guaranteed. Dr. Polard offers the following in English and German:
• Individual, Couples, and Family Psychotherapy • Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT) • Consultations • Workshops • Training Groups and ZPT Certification (3 modules, please contact)
Her distinct, integrative approach rests on three pillars: HEAL — FOCUS — DISCOVER.
HEAL – for higher functioning As we humans are an especially vulnerable species, we have wounds to heal. How these wounds manifest varies. They include depression & loneliness; anxiety & fear; anger & defiance; addictions; obsessions; confusion about sexual orientation and gender; relational problems; weight problems; sleep problems. Many of us harbor pain about who we are. Causes for psychological wounds also vary and include:
▪ Loss ▪ Transitions ▪ Lack of connectedness ▪ Trauma ▪ Abuse and neglect ▪ Assigned roles
Unattended, our wounds create obstacles which fixate the mind when it is meant to be fluent and free. It is like being under a cloud or seeing nothing but clouds.
Psychological suffering can obstruct all light. Thankfully we can heal within a human connection, especially with a focused, open-minded, experienced therapist who can listen. The darkest clouds tend to evaporate by facing and embracing the wounds, gaining insight, turning intentionally to success and love, implementing new and healthy behaviors, improving skills, and developing opportunities.
FOCUS – for flow experiences Healing our wounds is often the base on which all further growth depends. As we go further and wish to engage fully with life, we need to develop our focusing skills. Only the focused mind can experience flow and thus happiness. As we generate flow, all but our engagement retreats. Regrets, preoccupations, and worries vanish. Flow comes about when we actively pursue:
▪ Fulfilling goals and ▪ Mutually empowering relationships
In ZPT you can learn to define and shape your dreams as well as apply yourself with confidence and competence.
Most important, we need to be able to focus on other human beings and aim for generous reciprocity — the opposite of the blame game in dysfunctional relationships. To thrive, we need good working relationships, friendships, and love. Healthy boundaries are needed. How to connect is not always apparent but in ZPT we will break it down and actively practice skills.
Learn to focus on the right thing.
DISCOVER – to wake up to the present moment Insights into healing and focused attention pave the way to becoming high functioning and experiencing flow. However, even the best activities need to be balanced with serenity. This requires letting let go of what we want the moment to be and open our minds to that which it is. Clients who yearn for balance will have the opportunity to learn just that. The discovery process includes various methods of de-identification with judgments, opening the focused mind, and pausing to return to a natural state.
The natural state of mind can only be discovered. We are born to be clear-minded, compassionate, and experience our connection with the universe. It is natural to feel our connection within the world instead of feeling our separateness. This is what is called the “light within.” It is possible to realize that we have more in common with the wide-open sky than with a passing cloud.
Clarity brings peace and compassion.
Q: Who benefits from psychotherapy at the Center?
A: Anyone who wishes to function on a higher level, seek flow experiences and/or discover more mental clarity within our trying times.
Q: What is Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT)?
A: The lived moment –not the ideas about the moment– inform the therapist. The therapist functions as a living instrument. The client heals and grows within the therapeutic connection.ZPTintegrates Western and Eastern ways. Effective therapeutic intuition depends therefore on intense training, clarity, and love of life.
Q: Do you need to be Buddhist to do ZPT?
A: No. Buddha means simply “to be awake.”ZPTis not religious and supports the client’s spirituality.
Q: What is “Zen” about ZPT?
A: There is no self to find, integrate, and improve, only growth in the garden of life. Growth includes acceptance and unlearning habits. Clarity of mind is awareness is realizing interconnectedness. Zen wisdom, koans, dialogue, and zazen are part ofZPT.
Q: Can I do ZPT from out of town/country?
A: Yes. The Center offers a three week intensive with follow-up Skype sessions.
Q: Can I study just Zen in the Center?
A: Yes. The Center offers a Sunday Zen class. Zen Psychology is a way of life, of which ZPT is one expression.
Please feel free to contact the Center for more information, please use the form below.
Services include consultations, Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT), workshops (seeBlog) and training for therapists.
For questions or an appointment for a free half hour introductory consultation, call 310-455-0928.