Lena Axelsson grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, received her BA in Psychology from University of Stockholm, Sweden and her graduate certificate in Gestalt Psychotherapy from University of Derby, England before moving to California 2000. She continued her academic career once in California, receiving a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Ryokan College. She also has a specialized training in trauma healing – Somatic Experiencing founded by Peter Levine.
The first years in California Lena lived and worked at Esalen institute where she had the opportunity to work with leaders in the field of psychotherapy and specifically the field of trauma healing. After that she worked for a non-profit organization serving children and their families. She held positions both as a clinician and as a clinical and administrative supervisor. Lena has been in private practice for the last 6 years and joined Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine in September of 2013.
Lena specializes in the treatment of trauma (especially complex and childhood trauma) working from a somatic and humanistic standpoint helping each client find his or her own way to healing. She works closely with the other practitioners at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine to support her clients in addressing the many issues which are often co-occuring with complex trauma such as chronic pain, hormone imbalances and intestinal issues.
Apart from her private practice Lena is member of the faculty at Ryokan College, a workshop leader at Esalen institute and an author. She has co-authored the book “Gestalt Therapy” published by APA (American Psychological Association).
Lena is an avid runner, appreciating the abundant opportunities to be outside year round here in Santa Cruz. She is also active as a mentor for UCSC students coming from a foster care background.