I am licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT #46421).


Like the majority of California MFT's (unlike in other states, where, as the name implies, MFT's specialize in families and couples) I work primarily with individuals, both adults and adolescents.


MFT’s are unique in the mental health field in that our approach to mental health issues is rooted in the philosophy that mental illness or unwellness occurs in the context of relationships: to self, significant other, family, spirituality, society, economy, and so on. That is to say that we are part of larger systems that shape and influence who we are and how we are. And also, by extension, that relationships are the context within which we can heal, come to terms with, or transcend our circumstances.


I have extensive training in a wide variety of therapies and draw inspiration from a multitude of sources and approaches including contemporary psychoanalysis, existential psychotherapy, Jungian psychology, dialectic-behavioral therapy, systems theory, motivational interviewing, coherence therapy, accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, sensory-motor psychotherapy, family constellation work, narrative therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, and neuroscience in general.

I have been working as a psychotherapist since 2004, and I opened my private practice in at the end of 2008. I added neurofeedback to my practice in 2011 because I find that it powerfully addresses many of the issues that people commonly bring to therapy (anxiety, depression, trauma, poor sleep, or diminished performance) and thus markedly accelerates treatment.

The initials “BCN” after my name indicate that I am Board Certified in Neurofeedback by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (www.bcia.org). BCIA is the only institute recognized worldwide that grants certification to biofeedback practitioners. The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (BFE), and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (www.ISNR.org) all endorse BCIA certification.

Neurofeedback is a proven and effective treatment and alternative to medication for problems with attention, mood, recovery from trauma, and many other common mental health issues. I’m proud to be able to offer my clients this powerful tool for healing in addition to psychotherapy.


In September 2016 I was elected to the Board of Directors of the ISNR. As a board member I hope to help unify our field, both nationally and internationally, in the interest of making neurotherapies more widely available.


Additionally, having worked in public schools for several years, I am available to supervise MFT interns working in schools and other community agencies.


  • individual psychotherapy, intensive short-term or open-ended 
  • neurofeedback, various forms: traditional amplitude or SMR training, the proven, established method for a wide variety of conditions; z-score, a novel approach which trains the brain against a normative database; alpha-theta or deep states training which has a long history of use in recovery from substance abuse or trauma; ISF or infra-slow fluctuation training, which targets some of the lowest and slowest activity of the brain critical to patterns of activation and rest in the human body. This form of neurofeedback is particularly effective for anxiety, trauma, insomnia, migraine, and more.
  • neurofeedback mentoring for practitioners working toward BCIA certification.
  • QEEG or brain maps: a 19-channel recording of EEG is compared to a normative database revealing areas of atypical brain activity. I recommend a qEEG whenever there is a history of brain injury, stroke or seizure. My reports include sLORETA (standardized low-resolution electromagnetic tomographic analysis), a brief written interpretation, and recommendations for neurofeedback training (specific protocols). QEEG is also used in psychiatry for differential diagnosis and medication selection.

About

Services offered include:

Psychotherapy & Neurofeedback in Santa Rosa, California | (510) 868-2802

Silvia Costales, MFT, BCN