Licensed Clinical Psychologist Mark Ettensohn specializes in acceptance and commitment therapy and intensive relational psychotherapy both in his private practice and on the clinical staff of the intensive outpatient program at Sage Psychotherapy Associates in Sacramento.

(Photo Courtesy of Mark Ettensohn)

(Photo Courtesy of Mark Ettensohn)

“My approach emphasizes learning to recognize and work through relationship patterns – both with oneself and with others – that may be causing issues in a person’s life. I also help people to be more flexible in their lives and less reactive to distressing internal experiences, such as thoughts, feelings, and sensations. My specialty is in working with chronic, sometimes long-standing, issues with self-esteem, trust, anxiety, and depression. I also specialize in treating narcissism and other personality disorders.”

Ettensohn earned both his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from The Wright Institute in Berkeley and a BA in psychology from San Diego State University. He regards all of his education and training as indispensable.

This has included practicum years in a number of institutions including having been a therapist at both St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, and at Sac State University, and a postdoctoral residency at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville, CA.  But, he regards his four-year mentorship learning the relational therapy approach with local psychologist Dr. Nancy Kernick as the most valuable experience in his education, alongside writing his dissertation on the causes of vulnerable narcissism.

What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a psychologist?

“It takes a willingness to learn. You need to enjoy school, because there’s a lot of it. Most importantly, I think it takes an openness to exploring your own psychology. Some of the worst therapists are those who haven’t been through their own therapy. In my opinion, being a responsible clinician means learning to recognize your own prejudices, fears, and conflicts so that you don’t inadvertently begin to act them out at work.”

He adds, “Find a mentor. Recently the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association hosted an event designed to connect experienced psychologists with trainees looking for a mentor. I thought, ‘what a great idea.'”

Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been an educator and consultant who is currently an analyst regarding land and other public information records. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for since May of 2010. Find her work in several sections of the publication. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner