Jessica Brugel, LCSW


Jessica Brugel, LCSW


"Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness" - Dr. Kristin Neff

The heart of my practice is built on a foundation of kindness and compassion. I believe that healing, in whatever path you choose to follow, starts with developing a language of kindness and compassion with oneself. It’s a powerful source to both draw from and integrate into daily living. I work in partnership with my clients to help build resilience and facilitate positive change. I provide a safe and nurturing environment in which to explore options, and also offer the respect, understanding and empathy that encourages exploration and growth. As an experienced therapist, I will be there to accompany and collaborate with you on your unique journey.


Why a Therapist?

Therapy can assist with clarifying, setting and maintaining your specific goals, as well as providing a space for self-exploration. I am able to assist you with deciding where to start, which approach will work for you at this time, in addition to assessing and adjusting our approach throughout the therapeutic process. This is a collaborative effort but you are in charge of the decisions and choices.


Why now?

Entering therapy is an act of courage. Whatever your particular situation is right now, the place to start healing is through the cultivation, acceptance of and compassion for yourself. You may feel unsure of where to begin, what to say or which questions to ask. There is no one way. We will work together to identify your goals and in turn, the best ways to achieve them.


Why choose me?

I value genuine collaboration with my clients. My style is warm and encouraging. My training is broad and integrative combining Behavioral, Cognitive, Relational, Attachment based and Somatic Therapies. I listen not only to the spoken word, but equally value the non-verbal communication. I believe the mind, body and spirit are interrelated and I incorporate this connection into my approach and welcome the opportunity to explore this together. I weave Somatic approaches into most therapy sessions finding that the mind-body connection holds the greatest value in healing and personal growth.

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About Me

My personal life experiences are what awakened me to the importance of mental health and living authentically. I knew as a teenager that I wanted to help people and I became very curious about human beings in general, what motivated actions, and in particular, how an individual could lead a fulfilled life despite tragedy, grief and instability. I learned early on that my greatest strength was my ability to listen and the inherent wisdom that naturally flows from that.
I draw inspiration and find grounding from being in nature and the deep hearted connections I have with family and friends. Hiking in the woods with my dog is a stable routine in my life. I like to think of the Oakland Hills as my very own backyard despite the fact that I have to drive to get there. I believe the most important things that I bring to my clients are my heart, my humor, my understanding, knowledge, experience and ever-present willingness to listen. I welcome the opportunity to be on this path with you and will bring my truest self to our sessions.
Work InfluencesMy social work career began over 20 years ago. Prior to graduate school, my experience includes working in adult and adolescent group home settings and in a Needle Exchange Program. I have also worked with developmentally disabled persons, clientele with drug and alcohol addiction, the mentally ill as well as survivors of domestic violence. My training during graduate school took place at a homeless center for seniors and a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse Program for veterans. After graduate school I spent several years working with seniors with mental health, physical health and substance abuse issues, all in a health care setting. My last position in the community was working with the Veterans Administration serving homeless veterans dealing primarily with mental health and substance abuse concerns.

Therapy Services

My professional background includes experience with the following:

DepressionAnxietyPsycho-Spiritual StressPost Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Complex TraumaLGBTQIA related issuesLife Stage TransitionsGrief and LossParenting and Family IssuesChildhood AbuseDomestic ViolenceSubstance Abuse and DependenceWellness/Health IssuesMotivation/OrganizationCaregiver StressSenior IssuesOCD

Approaches to Therapy

My work with clients involves a blend of approaches and does not specifically adhere to one particular method or technique. A few of my primary influences are listed below:

Somatic Informed TherapyCognitive Behavioral TherapyClient centered therapyMindfulness based approachesAttachment based approachesEMDRCrisis interventionGuided ImageryInner Child WorkPsycho-education

As a Psychotherapist my primary goal is to provide a safe and inclusive space for clients of all diverse backgrounds. This commitment is rooted in the belief that every individual, regardless of their race, ethnicity gender, sexual orientation or cultural background, deserves access to effective mental health support.
To achieve this, I am dedicated to ongoing cultural competence and self-awareness. I actively educate myself about various cultural norms, values and experiences to better understand and respect the unique perspectives of each client.
My psychotherapy practice is is built on a foundation of respect, cultural competence, and a strong commitment to serving clients of all diverse backgrounds with empathy and inclusivity. I encourage you to come as you are and I assure you that your individual perspective will be held with high regard.

My Expertise

My professional background includes experiences with a wide array of mental health needs. My area of expertise, however, lies in Acute/Complex Trauma, Grief and Loss, Psycho-Spirituality and the LGBTQ+ Community.
Acute/Complex Trauma- Acute trauma is a response to a single event that is often brief, whereas Complex Trauma is when a person experiences multiple or prolonged traumatic events. Therapy will assist in processing the trauma, and developing adaptive coping mechanisms, and self-regulation skills, often using a combination of somatic-informed approaches, CBT, EMDR, attachment theory and mindfulness techniques. The overall goal is to gain a greater sense of self-efficacy and safety within yourself and your environment so you can create the fulfillment you want in your life. Your unique goals will guide how we work together. 
Grief and Loss- Our culture often equates grief and loss primarily to feelings one encounters with the death of a loved one or the ending of a serious relationship. The reality is that grief and loss are an emotional experience that our bodies move through under various life-altering circumstances. A few examples of other types of grief and loss are the experience of unmet needs in childhood or a past/present significant relationship, unmet desires or expectations of oneself, and retirement or a change in profession. Exploring grief and loss requires tremendous courage and often involves moving through barriers of hopelessness, helplessness, and/or shame. If you’ve had this experience, know that you are not alone, and you are one step closer to getting the support you need.
Psycho-Spirituality- Finding alignment between our inner spiritual world and the complexities of the human psyche can be challenging. If you were raised in an environment with strict religious values that didn’t honor the individuality of a person or thought this might bring you to a place of existential crisis or questioning of your Spiritual self. Psychology helps us to explore the roots of struggles, unearthing why we do what we do, and how to find more adaptable ways of behaving and engaging in the world, and find acceptance of ourselves. It often doesn’t address the healing that comes from the spiritual self and how to value and incorporate that in the therapeutic process. The exploration of soul work, intuition, values, meaning, purpose, and what Spirituality means to you are just a few examples of the themes that can be explored. 
LGBTQ+ Community- The LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges with stigma and discrimination, mental health disparities, healthcare disparities, coming out, intersectionality, bullying and violence. I am committed to creating a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts, emotions and experiences, emphasizing validation and ensuring that you feel heard. Our work together would be centered on goals that reflect your needs and desires. My familial roots are what have brought me the greatest depth of understanding and experience with the LGBTQ+ community, aside from professional training and working experiences. I am here to gently assist you on your path toward self-acceptance and overall well-being.Veterans- It’s an honor and privilege to work with anyone who has served

More info



Please ask about my rate. I hold a limited amount of sliding scale spots and will do my best to accommodate you.


I'm not accepting insurance at this time but I can provide a Superbill (receipt of paid services) to submit to your insurance company for partial reimbursement for our sessions. I'm happy to walk you through the process if this is new to you!

Choosing the right therapist is an important decision!

My practice is currently VIRTUAL ONLY. Although I do plan to expand into an office space in 2024 it is unclear when exactly that will be. Please reach out and ask any questions you have - I look forward to answering them and speaking with you!

Jessica Brugel, LCSWPronouns: she, her hersLCS #25590


+1 510-282-4146