Our Team

Alex Dimitriu, MD

I bring a deep respect for science and spirituality into my work. Professionally, I am dual board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine. As a consultation psychiatrist, I specialized in the complex interplay between the mind and body. My work been nationally recognized by The New York Times, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, NBC News among other media. I also serve as a medical reviewer for Business Insider, the Sleep Foundation, and as a contributing author to The Encyclopedia of Sleep Medicine. From Meditation to Medication, my goal is to share the knowledge and experience I’ve gained through my work. I aim to help people achieve peace, presence, and happiness by discovering the right combination of psychological and biological interventions tailored to their individual needs.

Dr. Dimitriu completed his training in the Stanford division of Sleep Medicine. Through the optimization of wake and sleep, he has brought truly amazing outcomes to the most challenging of cases.

A thorough understanding of neuroscience and pharmacology are applied to attain the most minimal, efficient and holistic solutions possible. Beyond repair, he strives for enhancement, optimization and longevity. Science and psychology are applied to enhance joy, creativity, cognition, and performance.

Away from work, Alex lives to be in the ocean; sailing, kite-boarding, surfing, and spending time with his family. He is currently writing a book about the interplay of biology and psychology, nature as well as nurture, in pursuit of peace and performance.

Lauren Varma, NP

Lauren specializes in treating a wide-range of complex psychiatric conditions, using both therapy and medications. She was born and raised in Maine and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colgate University, majoring in psychology and political science. She completed her nursing education at Yale University, where she graduated as the valedictorian of her class, with a Master of Science degree in Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

After graduating from nursing school, Lauren moved to the Bay Area, and currently lives on the Peninsula with her husband and two sons. Prior to joining the practice, she worked as psychiatric nurse practitioner for San Joaquin County, where she was responsible for assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and medication management for patients with complex and treatment resistant conditions.

Lauren strongly believes in a holistic approach to health care. She enjoys practicing yoga and advocates relaxation training, nutrition, and exercise as part of her treatment approach. She is also skilled in providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia. Lauren believes in working with clients to provide a custom approach to treatment that is in line with each individual’s unique goals.

Jeff Leininger, NP

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Jeff uses medications and other modalities – such as mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, exercise and supportive therapy – to help you realize your optimal health. Psychiatric medications, especially when combined with psychotherapy and other modalities, can play an important role in achieving a greater sense of balance.

After getting a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in English Literature from Hunter College, Jeff moved to the Bay Area and spent over a decade working in education. When he isn’t working, Jeff is often looking for the next outdoor adventure or taking in live music.

Once he made the decision to spend the remainder of his career serving clients and their families to improve their overall mental health, he left the Bay for a few years and received his psychiatric nurse practitioner training at Vanderbilt University. He is Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. While at Vanderbilt, he enrolled in a specialized course of study that offered additional training around how to incorporate mindfulness into psychiatric practice.

After a thorough psychiatric evaluation, together you will decide what medication regimen, if any, would be most effective. Jeff has found that judicious use of psychiatric medications can help create the necessary space to foster self­love; enjoy deeper personal relationships with families, friends and co­workers; and, access one’s innate talents and creativity.

He has been successful in helping individuals who are experiencing challenging life transitions, acute or chronic anxiety, depression, attention issues, insomnia and chemical dependency.

He also works with clients during their relative times of wellness in order to create a more balanced, mindful and body­centered consciousness. He will help you articulate blind spots or resolve chronic anxieties that have traditionally disrupted your healing process or kept you from experiencing a greater sense of fulfillment.

Jeff has worked in various types of therapy settings, including in­patient and outpatient clinics, such as the County of Santa Cruz and Bayside Marin, an upscale treatment center. He has considerable experience working with individuals experiencing attention and concentration issues and those folks who are reconsidering their relationship to alcohol and other substances.

He offers a non­judgmental space and understands how important it is to meet you exactly where you are while supporting your discovery of what matters most in your life.

Rachel Hilton, NP

Rachel uses a data-informed, holistic, and collaborative approach to treat a diverse array of mental health and sleep concerns. She began her academic work with undergraduate studies focusing on nutrition and exercise physiology. She then completed her psychiatric nurse practitioner training at Vanderbilt University, receiving a full-tuition merit-based scholarship.

She has received specialized training in insomnia treatments, translational neuroscience, and precision psychiatry from Stanford University School of Medicine. She currently contributes to multiple clinical trials at Stanford and high-impact publications on the topics of psychedelics, biotypes of depression, precision diagnostics and treatments, cognition, and post-traumatic growth featured in journals such as Nature Mental Health and JAMA Network Open.

Currently, Rachel is working towards a Ph.D., centering on non-pharmacological treatments for insomnia disorders. She particularly specializes in providing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). She is committed to integrating her knowledge of psychiatry, neuroscience, sleep, nutrition, and physiology to provide personalized care for her patients.

Rachel is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is an active member of the Sleep Research Society and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. As a native of Texas, Rachel has enjoyed experiencing the beautiful nature (and cooler weather!) the Bay Area has to offer with her husband and dog, Rex.

Emily Rose Heard

Emily Heard offers a warm, compassionate, strengths-based approach to psychotherapy, working collaboratively with our medical providers.

She specializes in psychedelic-assisted therapy and integration, and is deeply committed to supporting her clients through ketamine assisted therapy as a tool for personal evolution and transformational healing.

Her practice integrates transpersonal spirituality, trauma-informed neuroscience, and evidence-based modalities such as EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and IFS (internal family systems).

Emily is experienced working with individuals with a wide range of challenges such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

She has a Master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.

Emily has over a decade’s experience as a yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher, a Master’s degree in Ayurvedic Medicine, and previously worked as a birth doula and massage therapist.

Her work is rooted in somatic therapy, which acknowledges the interconnected nature of spiritual, mental and physical health.

Shiva Wilson, AMFT, APCC

Shiva is a depth-oriented, Gestalt therapist who integrates talk therapy and bodily awareness. She draws from a variety of therapeutic modalities such as compassionate inquiry, somatic experiencing, and mindfulness to support each individual with a customized approach. Taking the client’s lead in exploring their current experience, she engages in a way that is warm, interactive and relational.

Clients work with her for support and guidance to help create change and discover a more authentic self, either within the context of a diagnosis or in the navigation of life transitions.

While Shiva’s methods do not require a retelling of stressful events to facilitate healing, any desired discussion or processing of trauma is treated with preparation and care, with an emphasis on emotional safety. She is a bilingual (Farsi) first-generation immigrant with lifelong experience in navigating Eastern and Western cultures and philosophies, and approaches each client’s culture and belief system with humility and respect.

Shiva appreciates Ketamine treatments for facilitating greater depth in psychotherapy and spiritual exploration, and is honored to assist clients in utilizing their psychedelic experiences as a tool for transformation.

She has a Master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and had her first career as a CPA and business consultant. A series of transformative events in therapy and family life led to her calling as a therapist.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.” -Rumi

Larissa Dimitriu

Larissa is a life coach and healer who works wonders without medication. She specializes in non-traditional approaches towards performance and life coaching to bring about lasting change. Her work, centered around the mind, body and spirit have lead to truly outstanding outcomes; she does for the soul, what our doctors do for the body. She works with individuals and couples for personal and professional growth.

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