Marjorie Miller, Licensed Psychologist, Ph.D., Encinitas, California

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
~Anna Quindlen

Women's Issues

I have a particular interest in supporting girls and women through various life challenges and transitions. Within these challenges are profound opportunities for growth and healing.

Because of the societal and inherited messages around perfectionism, inadequacy and power, women often face common difficulties when it comes to navigating romantic relationships, sexuality, body image, career, and motherhood. Research into women's development has shown that around puberty, many girls lose their confidence and enthusiasm and instead put tremendous energy into creating personas that are pleasing and acceptable to others.

Fortunately, there are certain moments in a woman's life in which the empowered and deeply grounded true self reveals herself and overpowers the more pleasing, false self. These times can often be filled with conflict and confusion as these deeper, more primal aspects of a woman manifest and it can be unsettling and confusing to her and those around her. Some of these times that are conflict-laden and potentially transformational are puberty, pregnancy and childbirth, becoming a mother, mid-life transitions and menopause.

Many of these life-cycle transitions involve a clash between what can feel like two opposing forces: inner truth vs. others' expectations, self-determination vs. the search for an outside authority, control vs. surrender, and clinging to the past vs. accepting change. These transitions often involve a delicate interplay of the physical, psychological, and spiritual.

Some of the issues I have experience working with include:

  • separation and individuation in adolescent girls
  • self-esteem, body image, and developing a healthy, empowered sexuality
  • pregnancy-related concerns
  • the journey into motherhood
  • navigating career goals and identity
  • the mid-life transition
  • the transition through menopause

My philosophy is grounded in the belief that we all have our own inner wisdom, and my job is to help people access this tremendous resource. Because the female experience in our culture tends to be "other-focused," I find it especially exciting to work with women and girls as they discover this powerful resource within.