"I aim to be a catalyst for creating hope, purpose, and meaning in a person's life."

Cécile Lyons

Cécile Lyons

I am a person who is drawn to others, listens deeply to the stories my patients tell and I'm eager to help when asked. Being an explorer of the inner workings of people, I've always had a desire and need to resolve problems, particularly human ones. I'm a licensed psychologist in the Santa Barbara area. I'm also a certified money coach and seminary-trained spiritual director.

My philosophy of wellbeing is a holistic one, with recognition of individual, social, political and economic forces. I help people to seek wholeness through integration of mind, body and soul (spirit) in order to expand their consciousness, so they can have the capacity to live more meaningfully. I believe learning and growing are lifelong endeavors that can be accelerated by adversity and crises.

My practice is to honor the other person in each encounter, circumstance and relationship with respectful attention, positive energy and contemplative curiosity. I strive to create opportunities for people to feel hopeful, see possibility, construct meaning, deepen their understanding, integrate conflicting ideas, resolve dissonance and reduce anxiety.

The route I journeyed from vocation to occupation in pursuit of licensing in psychology may have been unconventional, but enriched the work I do today. As an undergraduate, I chose to study English because I wanted to understand psyche through the lens of literature. I complemented my liberal arts studies with classes in psychology, but was less interested in laboratory research because I found the naturalistic classroom of life to be more relevant to my goal of being a professional practitioner. Today, I incorporate discoveries from cutting-edge exploration in neurobiology, as well as teachings derived from behavioral research, to assist those individuals along their path of greater fulfillment, strength and understanding in their lives.

How I'm Qualified

I completed my undergraduate studies and my first master's degree at Stanford University. My bachelor's degree was in English. Although I did not start my education in psychology, the head of the psychology department was a mentor of mine.

In my return to graduate studies, I first completed a Masters in Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion, a member seminary of the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, California. My coursework was done throughout the GTU and I also earned a postgraduate diploma in the Arts of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

After completing relevant master's level work, I was qualified to pursue the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and chose to attend Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California, which is what brought me to the Santa Barbara area. My research focus was the Subjective Experience of Money. In conjunction with this area of inquiry, I earned post-professional certificates in money coaching and addiction counseling.

My Theoretical Orientation

I engage from a psychodynamic perspective and integrate best practices, relevant to identified issues and complementary to needs as presented by person(s) seeking consultation. I do not believe in a 'one size fits all' method of therapy. I work collaboratively with people to ensure the needs or desires that prompted them to involve a professional are being heard, understood and addressed in ways that make sense and feel right to them.

The attitude I bring to my work is one of honoring the imagination, the intellect, the emotional core of experience and the concentric circles of context and influence. I respect the intersections of the unconscious and consciousness and the mystery in the transpersonal interplay.