Shaunna J. Murtha

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCS28105
Phone: 925-372-6630, ext. 28
Email: smurtha@alhambravalleycounseling.com

Thank you for checking out my therapist profile. My name is Shaunna Murtha. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. If you asked the kids I work with they would tell you I am a "whacky" therapist. What that means is I do not typically have people come lay on the couch and tell me all their problems like you see in the movies. My belief is therapy is much more dynamic and a partnership between the therapist and the person(s) seeking therapy. As we are whole human beings, my approach to therapy is holistic. We will be working on supporting your mind and body to reach your wellness goals. This may look like traditional talk therapy, it could include some art or play therapy, often times narrative therapy is helpful as well. Therapy can be short term or longer term, dependent upon what is needed.

I have lived in the Martinez community for the past 20 years with my husband and our four amazing and magical boys. I love to spend time at the beach and am active in my community volunteering for various activities to support children, foster youth, First Responders and our homeless community. If I have a day off you may find me reading a book or spending time with my family.

I have a strong belief in family. Ohana. Family means so many different things, it can be birth family, foster family, adoptive family, chosen family, your First Responder family or some other definition of family you have created. I spent almost 16 years working in Public Child Welfare serving children and their families. As part of my work in serving youth and their families, I am "A Home Within" Clinician serving current and former foster and adoptive youth. I feel strongly that everyone needs connections. When I work with children in my practice, it involves working with their family as well. For some kids we will work together for a period of time at "Tool School" and then they will practice those tools/skills in their home environment. The practice time is where it is critical for family to be involved.

As a clinician, I tend to be direct and solution focused. I use a variety of treatment modalities (i.e. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), etc). It is imperative that things are tailored to the person seeking treatment. I am a clinician for First Responder Support Network and volunteer at the West Coast Post Trauma Retreat six to ten times a year. When I work with First Responders, we may focus on Critical Incidents, family of origin issues, current stressors or symptoms relating to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I have a believe that PTSD is more accurately described as Post Traumatic Stress Injury (coined by Dr. Mark Kamena). Meaning that we are not born with PTSD as a disorder, rather that we have had some experiences that have caused us an injury/injuries that impact our daily life functioning. "You cannot swim in the ocean and expect to not get wet." (Anonymous) The same is true of being a First Responder, you cannot swim in the trauma that is seen day in and day out and expect that it will not get on you. When the trauma gets on you, it can frequently impact the you, the First Responder, and your family members. I specialize in working with spouses and children of First Responders as well.

Additionally, I am absolutely passionate about serving are the LGBTQI community. I am FAP Risk Assessment certified. Frequently, I am working with LGTBQI youth and their families regarding Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (SSOGIE) and issues related to coming out. Additionally, I work with homeless and runaway youth and partner with nearby crisis shelters to ensure that the youth are in a safe environment.

In my other role as a consultant, I provide training and consultation for clinicians, First Responders, school district staff, foster youth, care givers and parents. The training/consultation topics vary and include positive parenting, attachment & bonding, effects of trauma on children/youth, child development, improving communication techniques within a family, best practices in serving LGBTQI youth, collaborative practice strategies, and Safety Organized Practice (SOP). I serve as a Clinical Supervisor for those individuals who are pursuing licensure with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Should you be considering therapy or have any questions for me, please give me a call, 925-917-1112. I provide a 15-minute, free phone consultation.

Education/Training:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Sonoma State University
  • Masters of Social Work, San Jose State University
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCS 28105)
  • Infant-Child Mental Health
  • Touchpoints
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • FAP Risk Assessments/Working with LGBTQI Youth and Families
  • Eye-Movement Desensitization & Re-processing (EMDR)
  • Trauma in First Responders (i.e. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, EMTs, Emergency Room Staff, Child Welfare Staff, etc)
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Secondary Trauma Training
  • Level 1 Gottman Trained Clinician

Treatment Specializations:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Co-Parenting Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Coaching on a wide range of parenting issues
  • Adjustment Issues
  • Re-Entry/Transition (transition from military or First Responder role to civilian life)
  • Grief & Loss
  • Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (SSOGIE)
  • Profession Specific Treatment (i.e. First Responders, Secondary Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, etc)
  • Training/Consulting on variety of topics (i.e. Trauma, Strengths Based Practice, Best Practices in serving LGBTQI Youth
  • Clinical Supervision & Training