Dr Jim Matto-Shepard
With passion pray, with passion make love, with passion eat and drink and dance and play. Why act like a dead fish in this ocean of God?
— Rumi

Jim Matto-Shepard Ph.D.

My style as a psychotherapist is relational and engaged.  I actively support clients to focus their intention, explore their defensive structures and rediscover their inner wisdom.  In addition to collaborative conversation, I may suggest that we work more actively to reweave psychological patterns through movement, enactments and other somatic, relational approaches.

The Importance of Relationship.  Most psychological difficulties are born through and manifest in relationship.  We form specific attachment styles in our earliest relationship, our identities are formed through modeling and conditioning, and we absorb culture through language. Thus, it is important that your therapist has not only learned the tools to help you, but has done his or her own personal work.  We therapists must not only “talk the talk,” we must “walk the walk.”

Somewhere Inside You Know What You Need.  At our core, each of us is working to manifest a satisfying life.  Symptoms and suffering manifest when childhood survival strategies and identity structures block or confuse this natural developmental process.  With increased awareness and self-acceptance, the way to satisfaction becomes more palpable. 

My personal path of transformation has included both psychological and spiritual approaches.  I have been practicing meditation since 1978, have practiced several styles of transformational ritual and have been involved in various breath, movement and body awareness practices in addition to psychotherapy.  

The training I have received is outlined in each of the therapy sections on this site.  But let me just say that I am the kind of person that is always trying to refine my skills.  I have documented well over 2000 hours of training since I received my psychologist license in 1993.

My offer includes a clear understanding of personal, relational and cultural dynamics, an exceptional ability to be in relationship and a plethora of effective strategies for addressing blocks. 



I was licensed as a psychologist in 1997 (psy15031).

I have worked in the field of counseling and psychotherapy since 1977.  

Early in my career, I was the program director for a residential treatment program for teens where I worked for about ten years.

I was the Director of Counseling at Petaluma People Services Center from 1990 to 1995. 

I was on the faculty at the Institute of Imaginal Studies (graduate school for psychotherapists) from 1996 to 2005.