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Meet Hortencia Valles

In my practice, I work hard to create a safe haven in which you can be completely yourself without fear of being judged or shamed.  It is in this environment of curiosity and acceptance that hope, change and healing can flower and thrive. I have a gentle, compassionate and engaged style, and I also love to use humor, when appropriate, as a powerful tool for exploring things that are often hard to talk about or bring to light.   


I believe we are more than our fears or our impulsive reactions, so I find that it is important to work with the mind, body, heart and spirit, as healing can and must be approached on all levels. I am very interested in Western psychological thought and scientific research as well as Eastern spirituality and wisdom traditions.  In my practice I look for ways to incorporate these in my work with clients so that every part of you is honored, respected, and seen.

I have been primarily trained in a contemporary psychodynamic and relational approach, which means that what arises in our relationship in the present moment will be explored and used to uncover your relationship patterns in order to identify and experience different and more healthy ways of relating.  I have also received training in mindfulness-based, humanistic, and transpersonal modalities which provide opportunities to explore deeper ways of relating to yourself, and your higher goals and needs. I have also been exposed to cognitive behavioral therapy, and I respect and value that it can provide many of us with tools to engage in our daily lives with a sense of empowerment and choice.


In over 6 years of working in mental health, I have acquired training and experience in working with acculturation issues, grief and loss, mood disorders, anxiety, trauma and PTSD, couples counseling, pre-marital counseling, chronic illness, confidence and self esteem issues, employment burnout, career/employment dissatisfaction, life transitions, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, eating disorders, addiction and recovery, and co-dependency. My personal experiences as a child of immigrant parents and as the spouse of an immigrant have fostered a desire in me to help individuals and couples acknowledge and work with cultural differences that can add another layer of complexity to the attainment of self, and relational fulfillment. For this reason welcome mixed couples, or individuals who are in mixed relationships or from mixed backgrounds in my practice.


Many of us have been hurt and we find it difficult to move through the painful experiences of our past.  Even talking about them can be overwhelming.  My gift lies in my capacity to sit with the shame and pain you may be feeling, and to gently support you as you begin to address it in a more self-loving way. I believe that our difficulties, when examined with curiosity and compassion, can illuminate both the places where we are most hurt, and the strength and gifts that we can draw upon in order to move forward and live wholeheartedly.  My job is to act as a guide and companion as you embark on the journey of self-discovery that is therapy.  I will offer insight into your feelings, beliefs and reactions, as well as give you tools, techniques and support so that you learn to trust and listen to your own inner guidance and make choices based on your own deeper, and historically unmet, needs. My ultimate goal is to collaboratively set you on a path of knowing your needs, desires and your aspirations more fully, so you can engage with yourself, your partner, and your life with courage and enthusiasm!  You (and your partner and loved ones) deserve no less!

Hortencia’s Training:

  • 2008-2010: Pierce Street Integral Counseling Center
  • 2009: Sue Johnson, author of "Hold Me Tight" Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship
  • 2009: Dorothy Hunt and John Prendergast:  Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy Retreat for Therapists
  • 2010: Dorothy Hunt and John Prendergast:  Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy Retreat for Therapists

Hortencia's License:

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California, License Number 82026