Annabelle Niebel Drda, licensed MFT 104340--I hold a MA in Integral Counseling Psychology from CIIS and a MA in South Asian Studies (Religion and Languages of India) from SOAS in London.

I was in academia for 10 years, and in my fifth year of working on a PhD in South Asian studies at UC Berkeley, I felt a calling to go into the field of psychology in order to work more directly with people to make positive changes in their lives. I have always been a very eager student filled with wonder and curiosity and to this day I continue to focus on growth, learning, and the cultivation of my creative self expression through many avenues, some of which include being an educator, writer, dancer, lover of nature, astrologer, and the mother of a young child. 

These are some of the areas that I specialize in:

Mindfulness to reduce stress and enhance communication


Life Transitions--Breakups, Divorces, Moving, Loss of all kinds, Becoming a Parent

Highly Sensitive/Intuitive People/Empaths

Gender/Sexual Identity


Eating/Body Image Issues

Spiritual/Existential/Dream Work

Healing/Cultivating Conscious Feminine

Creative, Outside of the Box Lifestyles


I have received training in these areas:

Integral Counseling




Healing Shame

Somatic Experiencing

EFT for couples


Working with the Inner Critic

Sand tray/Play therapy

Therapy with Teens

About Counseling

As I see it, the primary role of a counselor is to serve as a mirror to help reveal what the client hasn’t yet been able to see—especially those patterns of relating to self, others, and the environment that might be causing suffering. At the same time, the counselor is there to reflect, affirm, and strengthen the client's unique gifts and talents, including those that might be lying dormant.

One of the biggest impediments to healing, growth, and creativity is shame. To help clients move through this debilitating emotion, I use a combination of mindfulness, body awareness, and other healing modalities. Since shame keeps us frozen with feelings of being a bad and unloveable person, the strongest antidotes are compassion and connection, along with movement and simple breathing techniques.

I have counseled adults, couples, families and teenagers on a wide variety of issues over the course of six years of working at a Gestalt clinic in San Francisco and at the Lomi Clinic in Santa Rosa, a Mindfulness clinic in San Jose, and in my private practice in Santa Cruz.

Currently, I work in a Mindfulness-based private practice in Santa Cruz, CA.