About Me


Julia Pinsky

Psychotherapy and counseling in Santa Cruz, California

I’m a warm, direct and active counselor. I help individuals and couples find strategies that work to create meaningful change in their lives—to water and fertilize this precious life.

I’d like to guide you in exploring your challenges; to discover what means most to you; and to effect positive and lasting growth in your life. I will help you find what leads you to greater fulfillment and more satisfying relationships.

Sometimes it seems like life is complicated and difficult. (Doesn’t it?) Relationships, work, life transitions, loss, growing older all seem to conspire at times to sink us into moments of confusion, sadness, and worry. Yet, what I see again and again in my own life and in my years of work with my clients is that wrestling with life’s challenges can lead to growth and eventually more happiness. This is especially true when we work on our relationships—to ourselves and to others.

More about me:

I’m the artistic, brainy, meditative type with a corporate and freelance past. For years I helped major organizations get clear about branding and marketing communications—a form of counseling perhaps. I’m married and have experienced the ups and downs of keeping my own relationship rich while raising two girls, running my own business, being active in my community AND trying to find time to make art or stop for yoga.

I geek out on brain studies, current psych theories, TED Talks and anything related to creativity. I’m trained in EMDR, an effective brain-based therapy to treat disturbing memories and trauma (Google it). I work with doctors to assist with medication management. Meditation weaves into all my work with people in the form of mindfulness—a present-centered, non-judgmental awareness. It offers incredible insights and information to work with in therapy. My open and direct personality style combined with my corporate background especially help men new to therapy feel at ease.

I received my masters in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a bachelors degree in Art History from the University of California Santa Cruz. I interned at Encompass Community Services at the ReTurn Project serving men and women exiting incarceration.

  • M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, 2012
  • B.A. in Art History from the University of California Santa Cruz, 1985
Additional Training
  • Alan Schore study group, Berkeley, CA, 2011-2012
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction practicum & intensive, 2013, 2014
  • Motivational Interviewing training and study group, Encompass Community Services, 2013
  • Insight Santa Cruz Teacher Development Training and Mentoring, 2013–2014
  • EMDR Training, Levels 1 & 2,  2014
  • ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) patient placement criteria training, 2014
  • Psychopharmacology with John Preston PhD, 2013, 2014
Memberships and Affiliations
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Santa Cruz Chapter, CEU Committee Chair
  • EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) full member
  • Insight Santa Cruz, Volunteer & Sit Leader

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC 87951