Exquisite diversity of form and color in the stained glass of Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, site of Baptism & Burial, William Shakespeare.
image courtesy of gratitude.org
at abbey, we celebrate uniqueness
and we celebrate working together !
It is often said that "Silicon Valley is a State of Mind" - shorthand for a distinctive, singular, entitled culture
of brilliance, innovation, and high technology . . .
and yet, here in this area, we are many.
Dr. Livingston has been Senior Staff Psychologist for a decade in a flourishing local agency serving refugees and asylum seekers, which has, to date -- welcomed and provided services for indigent refugees from approximately 70 countries - and these individuals, though not necessarily working as high tech engineers, bring poignant, rich distinction to this Valley !!
Dr. Ruebsamen conducts asylum and hardship evaluations and consults globally through two divisions of abbey: abbey asylum and refugee services, and abbey global.
And we cherish the diversity of the people we serve, -- the many intriguing "states of mind", cultural narratives, traditions, and the hard-earned wisdom and breadth of life experiences they bring to our community.
So when we hear the expression, "Silicon Valley is a State of Mind", we think of our varied and brave community, distinguished by the courage of immigrant families, refugees and asylum seekers, and we are honored by their resilience and spirit, their determination to begin their lives over and over again, often after unspeakable terror and unimaginable suffering and loss.
‘It is time for parents to teach young people, early on, that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
we celebrate because we are enriched by differences between ourselves and others.
In our psychology practice at abbey, we've become a bit like Joseph's "coat of many colors" in the Hebrew scriptures, . . . and diversity is one of the most fascinating and valued aspects of our work.
From that perspective, and with mindful intention, we offer thoughtful therapeutic services: deep listening and needs assessment, formal psychological assessment and psychotherapy, assessments for behavior, functional status, learning disabilities, executive functioning and emotional regulation, etc., doctoral level instruction, consultation and supervision, writing circles, clinical research; collaborating with likeminded colleagues, coparent counseling, reconnection therapy, training and speaking, community engagement.
clinical socio/religio-cultural and linguistic competence matters.
As clinical psychologists and global humanitarians, we are committed to constantly learning. We maintain a host of excellent, experienced, intercultural experts for ourselves and referrals for those we with whom we work - contacts skilled in linguistics, dialects, cultures and subcultures; colleagues in legal, ethical issues, social services, medical, religious, educational areas of proficiency. We train and supervise others in this area. We continually enhance our professional competencies through learning opportunities and peer consultation. We are highly experienced conducting psychotherapy and consultation through interpreters.
Our services are provided low to no-fee where that is appropriate; we mentor young psychologists, educators, mental health and aide workers in the US and international community; and those preparing to work in global health/mental health settings.
we honor principles of neutrality, inclusively, impartially, with open minds and hearts, welcoming others without discriminating.
We often work with individuals who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and homelands, and also with many others who have never left Santa Clara County but perceive themselves estranged or alienated for other reasons - sometimes as a result of living their days in extraordinarily uncomfortable or challenging circumstances, at times because of discrimination and rejection.
In all situations, we work inclusively, without discrimination on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, politics, economic status, belief system, documentation/immigration status. We continue to be LGBQIA and trans-responsive and affirming clinicians.
We welcome those with illness, injury, disability, children/youth in special education or gifted programs. We work with very young children and their parents or caregivers, proxy parents; seniors and frail elders.
We are long-time low-fee/no-fee providers of services to those in qualifying, underserved groups in the US, such as homeless youth making their way on the streets, and the many near-invisible individuals and families who are transmigrating between their countries of birth and the US, routinely traveling back and forth across borders, melding a new religio-cultural group with altogether new traditions, rules, and boundaries, distinct from either those of their home country or the United States. Many of these are adolescents.
We are linked internationally through our global projects, some described on this site, others described at alwaysbelisteningglobal.com, (serving war/armed conflict affected children), by providing asylum evaluations and treatment, and by involvement in other projects.
We contribute to our profession by actively supporting and participating in international humanitarian organizations -- such as Physicians for Human Rights, HealthRight International and Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection, Brussels, by maintaining a referral base of psychologists, psychiatrists, medico-legal professionals, and interpreters who offer their expertise in languages other than English and are invested and experienced in the concepts which underly neutrality, impartial and inclusive psychosocial and psychological treatment.
As clinical trauma and refugee psychologists in the U.S., we research, assess, provide treatment and expert testimony for refugees and asylum seekers, evaluating them, supporting them, along with medico-legal providers and teams of committed others, including our many wonderful interpreters, appearing as experts in Immigration Court and training others year after year. We conduct trainings with law students, psychology trainees and colleagues, collaborate with others on writing, research, and present results locally, nationally/internationally.
We've recently collaborated on a chapter in an edited volume entitled:
Social Systems: Interface with Legal, Immigration and Case Management for an edited volume on the subject of Immigrant Youth by Daryn Reicherter, M.D., Stanford Psychiatrist, and Sita Patel, Ph.D., with David Reed, Palo Alto University.
while there is incomparable beauty in the uniquenesses of the natural world,
as in these stones above from a labyrinth in Saratoga, CA,
. . . there is also profound beauty - coherence, exquisite balance, and a transcendent message of hope in traditional structures such as these which appear on Queensland, Australian beaches each weekend and elsewhere in the world . . . indigenous Canadians call them inukshuk - meaning, "working together".
we give and receive consultation (often!), working together.
We participate in clinical case consultations, giving and receiving consult, with attention to Judicial/legal/clinical, cultural, disability, educational, etc., and risk/trauma aspects of cases. We routinely consult regarding current subjects such as educational team/Learning, IEP Review/Support, Second Opinion, Humanitarian, Governmental & Security personnel, Abbey Global -regarding Emergency Field/Aid Worker issues - confidential support regarding family wellbeing issues for personnel working overseas, ADHD Assessments, Colleague clinical consultation, Clinical/Forensic Consultation for Juvenile, Family, Criminal Courts, Private and public schools, issues unique to religious academic Institutions; issues pertinent to medical personnel in the US and abroad.
we collaborate (passionately!)
We collaborate on clinical research, community and global projects, academic writing, training seminars, public presentations, and with professional psychology and humanitarian organizations on topics such as child development, effects of violence exposure on children, psychological assessment, attachment, immigration, refugee psychology, torture, post-migration, torture treatment, etc., -- aspects related to clinical, clinical child, child family, and forensic child trauma, trauma and refugee psychology.
Photos below document areas of massive disruption served by humanitarian colleagues and friends who are mental health providers, doctors and aide workers, religious communities, volunteers from innumerable countries as well as indigenous people, family members of the deceased and injured subsequent to the series of recent massive earthquakes. The loss of life, and multi-faceted aftermath of human suffering are still being addressed, complicated by weather, disease, fractured family units, injury and illness, loss of vocation and ensuing economic disaster, epic sorrow and bereavement, and societal disarray, etc.
We are particularly interested in and open to further global theoretical collaborations regarding assistance, protection, assessment and treatment of refugee children and adolescents, innovative therapeutic interventions for those chronically terrorized by interpersonal violence (including high-conflict inter-parental violence exposed children (IPV) and armed conflict/war affected children, understanding, preventing and treating the effects of gender-based violence globally; and the interaction of global health and mental health around the world.
We collaborate clinically and forensically with other health and mental health providers, family members of our clients, educational teams, clergy, spiritual directors, spiritual caregivers, directors of child and youth programs, alternative health practitioners, social service/juvenile justice personnel, legal professionals -- all who are meaningfully involved with our clients.
We are partnering with Human Health Aid Burundi, with SUTCO South Sudan/Uganda, also working with organizations in Kenya. We are partnering with a new NGO in Jordan addressing the current wave of refugees flooding Greece and Europe.