Vipassana Therapists Directory

Sylvia Israel, MA
Sex: Female; MFT 31245
1924 Fourth St., San Rafael 94901
312 Third Avenue., San Francisco 94118
(415) 454-7308
Fee scale: $175., some sliding scale available


The core of my practice is to compassionately work with clients to aid them in opening their hearts to themselves, whatever the presenting issue. As a psychotherapist, I help clients to be loving parents and guides to themselves and at the same time access their deepest wisdom to discern what needs attention.

Each session is a co-creation with my clients. I weave together an integrated approach drawing from years of experience in experiential therapy. My work also draws from somatic attachment therapy, sandplay, guided imagery and other expressive arts therapies as well as cognitive, psychodynamic, Imago and Buddhist Psychology.

I have over 25 years of counseling experience with individuals, couples, families with adult children and groups. I specialize in working with relationship issues, trauma and childhood abuse recovery, addictions recovery, grief/loss, creativity and transitions.


I attended my first Vipassana residential retreat with Ruth Denison in 1984. I have also attended retreats with Ayya Khema, Christina Feldman, Stephen and Martine Bachelor, Sylvia Boorstein and Toni Packer. I have facilitated experientiall workshops on various Buddhist themes including: The Journey of Living and Dying, Metta and the Five Hindrances and Forgiveness, and Mindfulness-Loving Kindness through Action at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.


-Registered Drama Therapist/Board Certified Trainer (RDT/BCT)
-Certified Psychodrama trainer and practitioner (TEP)
-Trainer for Therapeutic spiral Model of Psychodrama working with trauma
-Trainer for substance abuse counselors
-Trained in Somatic Attachment Therapy
-Founding member of the Bay Area Moreno Institute
-Founder/Director of IMAGINE! Center for Creativity and Healing
-Faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Kansas State University