EE 2024

Counseling & Psychotherapy in SLO / the Central Coast / California

Welcome to my website.  I'm Erik Edler, LMFT - a counselor/ psychotherapist located in San Luis Obispo.  These are stressful and difficult times.  I'm here to help.  Current events may be generating anxiety or depression in you, or making existing anxiety and depression even worse.  Stress also impacts your relationships.  But, even in the midst of the world's current upheaval, our individual lives still go on.  Now more than ever, it's important to seek out support and helpful feedback.  Now more than ever, you need to be your strongest and your best.  I am happy to serve SLO and the cities of the Central Coast, from Paso Robles, through the Five Cities, and down to Santa Maria.  Please feel free to call or email with any questions, and I'd be happy to communicate with you.

I am able to meet with local clients in person, and I see many clients by video as well.  Let me know what you prefer, and we can talk about our options.  In addition, I can see clients from any part of California by video.  If you have any questions, please call me at 805-868-0767, email me at [email protected], or contact me using the form at the bottom of this page.

My Areas of Expertise - please click on the links below:

You can overcome depression, defeat anxiety, and build healthy, strong relationships.  Live from the core of your True Self.  Experience clarity, direction, and fulfillment of your potential.  

Depression, anxiety, and relationship issues all interact.  Your depression or anxiety may stem from current relationship problems or things that have gone wrong with relationships in the past.  We all really need each other, but all too often, things go wrong.  Relationships are so important because they form us and shape us, starting with our parents, our brothers and sisters, the kids at school, all the way from the past and into the present.  Sometimes it's a lost love you've never recovered from, a friend that betrayed you, or even a death you've never fully grieved.

Call for an initial No Charge 30-minute phone consultation: 805-868-0767

The Past is Not the Future:  "Your relationship history is not your relationship future.  You can change your relationship patterns; you can learn from your experiences and avoid the mistakes of the past."  David Niven 

The Scientific Secret to Happiness | Psychology Today

This is a great article to help understand how you can take active steps to work through difficulties, gain new perspectives, change your life for the better, and find real happiness.  It's not a fast process you can achieve just by using "new tools," though that's an important part of it.  Real happiness is an outcome of real growth, maturity, and personal transformation.  One important factor is that our inborn personality type plays a big role.  To live your best life, you have to know yourself well, starting with your inborn type.  You need a clear understanding of what's really right for you and what's really wrong for you.  It's this basic knowledge that allows you to know how to make the decisions that will guide your life for the better.

Quote from the Scientific Secret to Happiness: "Fifty percent of happiness comes from a genetic set point, 10% from life circumstances, and 40% from intentional activities."  We need to make sure we're taking your inborn personality type into account, and make sure that the 40% of your intentional activities are healthy and right for you.  

Follow this link to see the full article:  The Scientific Secret to Happiness

Here's another outstanding article that I'd encourage you to see. Clink on this link for a great article from Huffington Post:

Talking To A Therapist Can Literally Rewire Your Brain

Getting good individual therapy or couples counseling is the right decision, if you're looking for deeper and more substantial healing, growth and change in your life and in your relationship.  I strongly support all the supplemental help that goes into living a holistically healthy life, including massage, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, and nutrition.  But it's good counseling and psychotherapy that can truly rewire your brain, and facilitate a whole new way of living and looking at the world. 

Being a strong, healthy individual and having a good relationship go hand in hand.  If you're struggling with discouragement, stress, frustration, self-esteem issues, or other difficult emotions, and you want to feel better, I work with individual clients to overcome the difficulties that hold them back, so that they can feel good again, and face their lives with confidence.  This then becomes the best foundation for finding or building a healthy partnership.

In the field of psychology, it's well known that the most important factor in having a good therapy experience and a successful therapy outcome is finding a therapist you relate to, who really understands you, and that you "click" with.  So much depends on the therapy relationship itself.  In my style of therapy, I seek to strike a balance between careful listening with being interactive and offering feedback, and I emphasize new perspectives, working through emotions, and learning new skills.  

I would be happy to talk with you about whatever issues you are facing, and together we can find a way to work through your difficulties.  I believe that you will find here the hope and encouragement you are seeking.  

"People are so afraid of being alone, they settle for living with someone in misery.  People are afraid of ruin, but ruin can be the road to transformation.  And in life, there are endless waves of transformation." (From "Eat, Pray, Love")

I work with a range of clients, disorders and issues.  Please check out the menu bar for more information about the issues I can help with, or feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about your specific situation.   

It's so important that you be your best, now more than ever!  I believe in the latent potential that exists within people, and it's my calling and my passion to help people be true to themselves, build strong relationships, be the best they can be, and make their best contribution to the world.  Let's take this important, historical time that we live in and do all we can to fulfill our potential as individuals and in our relationships.

My therapy style is heavily influenced by the cutting-edge ideas of Interpersonal Neurobiology.  Modern neurobiology is showing us how each person's individual psychology and mental health is heavily shaped by all our relationships, from mom and dad, brothers and sisters, peers and friends, extended family, love and dating, and so on.  This is the concept of the "Social Brain."  Another key concept in Interpersonal Neurobiology is that of "Socio-stasis:"

"Sociostasis describes the ability our brains have to regulate the brains of other people at all levels -- psychological, behavioral, biological, and epigenetic.  Sociostasis  allows us to soothe others when they are upset, inspire others by our words and actions, and change the genetic expression within each other's brains throughout life."  Louis Cozolino

But what if your parents weren't able to soothe you when you were upset, or inspire you with their words?  What if your partner isn't capable of helping you regulate emotionally?  What if your friends can't stick with it long enough or go deep enough with you?  If you didn't receive the necessary soothing, clarifying, stabilizing, and encouraging words and feelings from your parents, you may not have internalized these basic components of happiness and peace of mind.  That's where therapy can help.  The therapist can help you process your thoughts, feelings, and life problems in a way you can't do for yourself -- at least not yet.  In time you will internalize these emotional skills, and you'll be able to regulate yourself, and even others, in a healthy and happy way.

Getting Triggered

"Getting triggered has become a common expression in both Interpersonal Neurobiology and in popular culture; it likely has different meanings to different people.  A technical definition might be that "getting triggered" occurs when some external or internal signal activates a memory that, in turn, activates the amygdala, triggering a fight/flight/freeze response.  This presents as a reaction that is more emotionally extreme than would appear to be required by the actual situation.  The extreme nature of the reaction is tied to unresolved stress, hurt, or trauma from the past.  I've heard some people say, if it's hysterical, it's historical."  Louis Cozolino

Depression, anxiety, and relationship problems remain the three biggest emotional challenges of our time, and our increasingly fast-paced and complex world can make these conditions even more painful and difficult.  I'm here to help.  When we get to the bottom of the problem and start you on the path of healing, you'll find you can really thrive -- maybe for the first time in your life.  Let me encourage you to imagine the next version of yourself; then you get to make the choice to take the next step forward.

Please take a look around my website, and contact me if you have any questions.  I look forward to getting to know you, and walking with you on the path toward your best self. Please let me know if you have any questions by reaching out at 805-868-0767.


"Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.  Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that really isn't you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."  Paulo Coelho

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Erik Edler LMFT