About Pat

p-hromalik-head-shot-li-2I have many years of work and life experience that inform my work in the areas of helping people manage conflict, deal with stress more effectively, manage life transitions, and work on relationships. I have an understanding of the challenges of family dynamics, parenting, career and job issues, relationship issues, divorce, abuse, trauma, suicide, self-esteem, depression and anxiety. I particularly enjoy working with couples, and individuals dealing with trauma, transitions and relationship dynamics.

My clinical work has been in a variety of settings and non-profit agencies offering counseling services to a diverse range of people of all ages including couples, seniors, people of different gender and sexual orientations, people who have suffered from trauma, people in crisis from abuse, elementary school children, at risk youth, university students, emotionally and behaviorally challenged children and adolescents, as well as people suffering from long-term mental health challenges and illnesses.

My Path

In keeping with my practice’s name, I have followed many different paths in my life. My favorite poem by Robert Frost is an apt summary for me: “Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” I have lived on both coasts and had multiple careers, yet have always been drawn to the interpersonal and relational aspects in my work. While in a successful technology career, I returned to school to complete my undergraduate degree in an area where my heart and passion was, Psychology. However, the responsibility and the joy of raising my two sons with my husband kept me on my corporate path for many more years. When I was faced with job loss, I realized after some soul searching and with the help of a wonderful therapist, that there were multiple paths to consider, including following my passion and becoming a therapist.

My Training and Experience

I received my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. I have specialized couple therapy training with Gottman Method Couple Therapy (Level 1 and 2) and in Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (Level1), using both of these researched based and internationally recognized methods in my work. I am also certified in Triple P: The Positive Parenting Program, designed to help parents manage behavior effectively and positively. I am certified in Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and a member of the FFT Team at Petaluma People Services Center working with at risk youth and their families. FFT is a short-term, powerful treatment strategy that helps individuals and families become more adaptive and successful in their lives. I have prior experience as a crisis counselor for Marin Abused Women’s Services and as a Certified Sexual Assault counselor for the Marin / Contra Costa Rape Crisis Center. I provided counseling and psychotherapy as an intern with Partners Programs, Dominican University Counseling Services, Marin Behavioral Services of Catholic Charities and Petaluma People Services Center. I also bring a wealth of experience from my business career in technology, project management and leadership development in dealing with diverse people and situations.

My Approach

I use a compassionate and collaborative approach with my clients. I believe in each person’s potential for healing, change and growth, and I partner with my clients to uncover their strengths and personal resources to find the answers and solutions they are seeking. I am comfortable working with brief therapy models that are solution focused, as well as working in more depth if my clients want to explore underlying issues and do more personal growth work. I draw from a variety of techniques that focus on understanding, integrating and using the mind, body and spirit, as well as techniques that balance change work with acceptance work, all while emphasizing and working with one’s strengths. If you have questions about a particular type of therapy or technique, please ask me.

Because I have walked many different paths in my own life, I think you will find me to be open, flexible, curious, understanding and non-judgmental. I hope you will experience me as compassionate, knowledgeable and down to earth. I find gentle humor can be a great healer and hope we will share laughter together.