Gretchen Piskura is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides individual, couples and family therapy. Her theoretical orientation is humanistic and psychodynamic with a focus on the whole person, using a client-centered, strengths-based approach. In the spirit of acceptance, compassion and nonjudgement, Gretchen nurtures the therapeutic relationship to facilitate emotional expression, self-awareness and growth. Throughout this process, clients are invited to explore a deeper understanding of family dynamics, relationships and sense of self. Gretchen works with a wide range of issues including anxiety and depression, trauma, grief and loss, family and relationship dynamics, anger issues and creative and emotional expression.
Gretchen began her educational journey at the University of Colorado with a degree in Cultural Anthropology and later continued with a Masters Degree from UCLA in Clinical Social Work.
Her experience in trauma work began in South Africa where she worked for two years with children and adults living in city shelters. There she worked with a wide range of people to address trauma/PTSD related to political instability, social violence and the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Returning to Los Angeles, she served in a mental health clinic that offered individual counseling for substance abuse/addiction and mental health issues, and also facilitated support groups for anger management. During the same period, Gretchen worked as a psychiatric social worker for the Los Angeles public school system. In that setting she supported students with special needs and those coping with emotional issues impacting their learning.
In Hawaii, Gretchen first lived on the Big Island where she provided therapeutic crisis intervention as a crisis outreach worker. She was invited to Oahu to become the Oncology Social Worker at Kuakini Hospital. There, she provided counseling to patients and families dealing with cancer and facing issues related to adjustment to illness, end of life care and coping with loss. Her role also involved advocacy, serving on the Kuakini Oncology Board to ensure standards of excellence in provision of care.
From the hospital setting, Gretchen transitioned to a focus on end of life care with Hospice Hawaii, working first as a community based social worker providing therapy to patients and families, and later as the Social Work Clinical Supervisor, providing therapeutic supervision to clinical staff. Her work in hospice furthered her passion for individual, couples and family psychotherapy and finally led her to private practice in August of 2010.