In this challenging time I am offering tele-health sessions (phone or video) during quarantine as well as walks and reposes in nature. Please take care of yourselves, drink lots of water, eat foods high in antioxidants and Vitamin C and D3, take walks, call friends and family, connect with neighbors and limit exposure to the news and internet.
PLEASE REMEMBER, PROPERLY FOLLOWING QUARANTINE ORDERS MEANS FOLLOWING PHYSICAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES, NOT SOCIAL ISOLATION.
Walkabout Ojai is established to provide multiple psychotherapy services: Individual therapy (on walks through the outdoors, on set in conjunction with Intimacy Coordinators, or via Telehealth), clinical supervision (group and individual), program development consultation and mental health trainings.
Call /Text 805/290-4466 or email
It is not the most intelligent species, nor the strongest who will survive, but those who can best adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.
- Leon C Meggison
Robin Balchen, LCSW
I am a psychotherapist and since 2003 have specialized in treating clients with anxiety, grief, depression and acute and chronic trauma and injury.
Walkabouts: I provide psychotherapy sessions on walks alongside one another outside, or sometimes sitting near a stream or under a shady tree, to incorporate nature and fresh air into healing.
Traditional Psychotherapy Sessions: I provide Telehealth sessions via phone or video.
Clinical Supervision: I provide individual and group clinical supervision for multiple inpatient and outpatient programs in California via Telehealth for therapists gaining their hours towards licensure.
Consultation: I provide consultation services to administrative teams seeking guidance in adherence to MediCal (EPSDT) guidelines, Short Term Residential Treatment Program guidelines, Hospital Diversion, Partial Hospitalization, and Intensive Outpatient Program guidelines, foster youth rights and inpatient mental heath rights.
Training: I provide training on topics related to social work, mental health diagnosis and treatment, trauma, holistic wellness, clinical and residential documentation, and non-violent intervention.
Counseling in tandem with Intimacy Coordinator: In coordination with Shana Jacobs, Intimacy Coordinator, I work with artists on set to provide advocacy and trauma informed care for those navigating sexual intimacy scenes on screen.
Call /Text 805/290-4466 or email
Verified by Psychology Today
Experienced and Compassionate Care
Clinician, Clinical Manager and Director
After working as a counselor and case manager for adolescents in inpatient and residential programs, I went on to receive my Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Denver. Since then I have worked in many communities in multiple capacities such as Clinician/Psychotherapist for the Counseling and Psychiatry Department at the University of California Santa Cruz, Clinical Program Manager for Rehab One Medical Group, and Director of multiple mental heath inpatient and outpatient programs since 2003. I have also supplemented my education with extensive cultural travel throughout the planet.
Training, Educating, Consulting
I have provided clinical expertise, training and education throughout California, including training law enforcement in the San Jose Police Department's Crisis Intervention Team, consulting for human rights attorneys at the Silicon Valley Law Foundation, Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at San Jose State University, and completing psychiatric assessments and therapy at multiple hospitals and medical groups. I currently provide clinical supervision, trainings in clinical diagnosis, intervention and documentation, and therapeutic program development consultation to multiple inpatient programs in California.
Modes of Therapy
I have been trained in multiple modes of therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) I find most effective. It is the basic underpinning of most evidenced based practices used today, including mindfulness. In CBT we work to explore your stressors, the thoughts behind them, and how they affect you. We then challenge these thoughts with mindfulness exercises, which in effect changes the emotions they bring forth and corresponding actions. We work to open your mind to objective, rational, nonjudgemental thoughts that reflect the bare truth leading to self compassion. The results are liberating, leading to a healthy and flexible sense of self. When you no longer have toxic thoughts and disabling emotions, you are confident and adeptly able to achieve your aspirations. More information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is provided on the "Helpful Information and Resources" section of this website.
There is a multitude of studies showing the benefits taking care of your body to take care of your mind. Walking and ecotherapy go hand in hand. Here in the Ojai Valley we are blessed with the beautiful countryside teeming with walking trails. Side by side, ambling down the light trails and talking is the most natural setting to process stress and uncover insights. Breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds sing and catching glimpses of wild life through the trees, we will meander down the path and back for our session. We may pause from time to time for breathing or perception exercises to deepen insight. More information on research on ecotherapy is provided in the "Helpful Information and Resources" section of this website.
Since 2003, I have provided clients a wide range of individualized psychological and counseling services to find their strengths, develop emotional awareness, celebrate their unique human-ness and to move on inspired and free. I also provide specific grief and loss therapy to assist those seeking guidance to explore, honor and meaningfully incorporate your loss into your "new normal." When you are ready to seek professional help, I am here, ready to work with you, support you, and help you gently swim out of emotional soup or gracefully bow out of the boxing ring. We will get you to a place where you can truly move forward and thrive.
I offer both Telehealth psychotherapy in the convenience of your home, and eco-therapy walking and resting in nature. My walkabout therapy sessions are 1 hour long, beginning at the meet up point for the walkabout and ending at the meet up point (example the gate at the top of North Signal Street to walk Shelf/Valley View Road). You will need to be healthy enough to walk at a gentle pace for 1 hour, although we may pause at benches for mindfulness exercises. I recommend you bring at least one bottle of water as this helps your body and mind regulate stress. Please dress according to the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Immersion programs are a sound way to overcome self-defeating thoughts, anxieties and debilitating philosophical impasses in a condensed treatment format. I offer 3 day individualized immersion programs in which we schedule 3 days within a week where we will meet for 1 hour in the morning, and 1 hour in the afternoon/early evening, and you will be assigned homework in between sessions to create a profound change in improving your relationship with yourself and the world around you.
I also offer support and therapy to artists on set, navigating intimacy scenes, in conjunction with Shana Jacobs, Intimacy Coordinator, for those who have suffered sexual, physical or emotional trauma. Often victims of this type of trauma experience feeling on edge, angry, tearful and anxious at times, but sometimes these feelings get triggered and stop us from being productive, preventing us from performing to the best of our ability. Often this unresolved trauma can have a cumulative effect, leading to a persistent difficulty in various aspects of the work place. Counseling/Psychotherapy is a proven method to overcome trauma and anxiety. In therapy you unveil root beliefs and judgements you’ve never questioned before and explore them in a safe and contained environment. In this process you work through your thoughts and reactions and objectively put these experiences in perspective, build your self confidence, and emerge thriving without past triggers haunting your performance.
Call /Text: 805/290-4466 or Email:
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves" ~ Viktor Franki
What To Expect On Your Walkabout
Many of us experience feeling on edge, unmotivated, angry, tearful and anxious at times. Sometimes these feelings don't seem to go away and can be harmful to our minds when they stop us from being productive. Often this is due to the affects of psychological trauma (grief, strife, abuse or change) or physical trauma (injury, fires and other disasters). Results can be cumulative, leading to relational difficulties (including the relationship with yourself), emotional or functioning difficulties (at home, school or in the work place) and even lead to spiritual crisis. Reaching out for therapy is tough for many because you want to be able to overcome these issues in the safety of your own personal environment. But if you are seeking to revolt from this old paradigm, you need an emotional revolution. This revolution mercifully challenges old conditioning, judgements, convictions and rituals. Together we will consciously cultivate an inner evolution and let the revolution infinitely evolve. There will always be obstacles of all shapes and sizes year after year, and each resolution you pursue will manifest when your internal paradigm shifts creating a flexible mind. The deeper the resolution, the greater the shift. Purging the patterns that hurt us, or hinder our creativity and productivity, will liberate our soul. ¡Viva la revolución!
If you are drawn to the Walkabout ecotherapy sessions, this therapeutic process alleviates your stress as we talk in a natural setting, walking side by side, throughout our sessions. All my therapy sessions are safe spaces that lend to the gradual process of growth, compassion and change. You will learn new tools to gain an evolving, healthy, flexible mind. I have many years of professional as well as personal experience to help you along your journey. Please call for a complimentary consultation. I would be honored to work with you!
"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer"
~ Albert Camus
Sunday - Thursday
Sunrise to Sunset
To schedule a complimentary initial consultation for a walkabout or tele-heath session, or any other clinical service, please call or text 805/290-4466 to schedule an appointment.
New Clients Welcome
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Helpful Information and Resources
Quick Reference Studies Regarding Ecotherapy
Taking Counseling and Therapy Outside: Destruction or Enrichment of the Therapeutic Frame
European Journal of Psychtherapy and Counseling December 2010
A study of the benefits and obstacles to plan for in ecotherapy
Stress Recovery with the Sounds of Nature Study
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2010
A study done on the benefits of hearing and listening to nature and how it impacts physical and mental health
Helpful Information and Resources
Information about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta analyses
This study looks at the effectiveness of utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on multiple emotional and mental health issues.
Cognitive Conceptualization Diagram/Worksheet from the Beck Institute
Here you can look at a simple worksheet that is the basis of CBT in working to uncover your thoughts, corresponding beliefs and emotions, and consequential actions
Contact Me for More Info or Appointment
Complimentary Phone or Initial In Person Consultations