My Psychodynamic Approach

Allie Selkirk in gray tank with red necklacePersonally and professionally, I believe that life is about learning as much as you can, especially about yourself. There is healing to be found in genuinely experiencing all the emotions that we have been endowed with—sadness, panic, fear, joy, pleasure, etc.—and knowing that those feelings are okay. Throughout the therapy process, you can get in touch with the richness of your experience, investigate the depths of your emotions, and uncover what you need to navigate your life with greater ease.

Our work together cannot start until you feel a sense of safety and authentic connection in my office. As a therapist, I know that what feels authentic to one person may feel jarring to another; what creates trust for one person may feed apprehension in the next. With this understanding, along with a genuine curiosity about you and your needs, I work to create a therapy environment that welcomes self-discovery. Whether you crave gentle warmth or intensity, lightheartedness or direct focus, I meet you where you are, adapting my approach to best serve your unique, evolving needs. With that trust and therapeutic alliance in place, we can begin the process of discovery and your unique journey toward healing.

Whether you come for interpersonal relationship therapy, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma therapy, or insomnia treatment, my short-term goal is to help you reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms that cause you distress. In the long-term, I strive to help you manage these symptoms with a fuller understanding of why they are happening. My primary goal is to help you feel more in charge of your own functioning, whatever that might look like for you.

I draw from cognitive behavioral therapy so you can develop effective strategies for shifting your perspective around difficult emotions, unhelpful thoughts, and unproductive behaviors. Then, you can begin to change your response to challenges and establish healthy patterns that support a sense of empowerment and purpose.

female hiker standing at summit overlooking valley below

Once you have productive routines in place and feel more grounded in your life, we will take a collaborative, psychodynamic approach to the rest of your healing work. This means you will have space to investigate your early life experiences—including your early relationships—and gain valuable insights into how they might be shaping some of your beliefs about yourself and relationships, and manifesting in your current life. By putting those beliefs in a bigger, more accurate context, we can reduce their distressing effects on you.

While I will be engaged and present in sessions, here to witness and validate any emotions that arise, you have the power to make meaning out of your own life. I will guide you toward your own insights and revelations, encouraging you to look closely and connect the dots. When appropriate, I provide an analysis, and I guide you to make your own interpretations as well. As such, you can attune to your truest, deepest feelings and allow the expression of your most authentic, genuine self.

stones with words of inspirationAlthough it can be frightening to do this challenging, meaningful work, I truly believe that therapy is a unique and luxurious opportunity to find enduring solutions to the most entrenched problems. No matter what arises for you, I will always encourage you to be real with me and with yourself. After all, especially if you are struggling now, where else can you feel safe to inhabit your raw, honest experience? Where else can you disregard the taboos, decline self-repression, and defy whatever has been keeping you stuck? In my office, you can cry, scream, and laugh, without self-censorship. You can feel seen, heard, and accepted for who you truly are. The freedom you need to create the life you want is likely found in that emotional unveiling.

Please click “Contact Me” so we can find out if I can be of assistance to you. You can ask any questions you may have about my psychodynamic approach and my therapy practice in Beverly Hills, CA.


Alaleh “Allie” Selkirk, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education, a Doctorate in General Psychology, and a Post-Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She started her career as an elementary school teacher. While raising her small children, Dr. Selkirk became increasingly curious and passionate about human development, leading her to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology. She became a Commissioned Naval Officer and a Navy psychologist for nine years before entering private practice. Dr. Selkirk has specialized training in trauma treatment, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, and insomnia treatment, as well as extensive experience working with anger, relationship issues, and personality disorders. In addition to multiple Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Dr. Selkirk is meritoriously honored as a lifetime member of America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals, and distinguished by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals and Doctors of Excellence as a Top Psychologist in Beverly Hills, California.

Dr. Selkirk holds hospital admission privileges at the 61st Medical Squadron, Los Angeles Air Force Base, where she currently provides specialized mental health services to active-duty service members with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia.