Sessions Counseling Group
A Marriage and Family Therapy Professional Corporation
Phone: (805) 265-9003
Aute Porter, MA, AMFT
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, #119539
Supervised by Randé Dorn, MA, LMFT, MFA, #111746
Growing up as a mixed-race individual, I found it challenging to navigate the perplexing directives I would receive around my identity. People within my community would tell me what I was allowed to call myself, identify what aspects of myself were culturally congruent for me, while also rejecting aspects of who I was due to my being “different” than what they were expecting.
For many of us who are multicultural/multiracial, this is not uncommon. We have one foot in our individualistic society, telling us to “follow our dreams,” while our other foot is rooted in tradition and our family’s needs, playing out roles such as caretaker, translator, or provider. With all of these complex messages, it can be easy to replace the “inadequate” parts of ourselves with a performance: a curated version of ourselves molded upon the unique demands of each environment we exist in. This form of self-sacrifice can be impossible to maintain, especially into our adulthood when we shift into the driver’s seat of our lives. We may eventually recognize that aspects of who we are have become hidden, and this form of disconnection may have given rise to low self-esteem, feelings of shame, sadness, anger, anxiety, and loss, while physically feeling depleted, restless, and on edge.
I work with young adults and teens who feel “othered,” and who desire to reconnect with their truest selves without being asked to abandon their cultural heritage. Through our joint effort, we aim to find a middle ground, learning to embrace choice, self-trust, and self-acceptance. Using a blend of theoretical approaches, such as attachment, family systems, IFS, and self-compassion, we peel away the layers that we once believed were not “enough,” and explore the parts of ourselves that were once concealed, but are now yearning to be heard. It is always my goal to place the values of inclusivity and social justice at the forefront of our work together.
ABOUT ME: Originating from the Santa Barbara area, I was born in Tahiti to a Tahitian-immigrant mother, and a white-Californian father. I received my Bachelor’s degree from UCLA, majoring in Psychology, and completed my Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree from USC. I have experience working with clients of diverse ages, cultural backgrounds, and concerns, such as trauma and PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief, substance use, complex family dynamics, relationship complications, and issues of identity.
SERVICES: Currently, sessions take place online through a video-conferencing platform, or by phone, depending on your preference. I am available to meet in-person for those local to the Santa Barbara area.
At this time, I am not empaneled on health insurance plans. If you feel we'd be a great fit and are interested in working together, please reach out to schedule a brief consultation where I can share about my fees and availability for sliding scale rates.
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