Sharon L Rafferty, PhD


For more information about my private practice and my approach to psychotherapy, please visit my personal website at:

On this site, I’m interested in sharing a larger vision of how I’d like to see The Collective, Inc grow and expand. I am both a licensed Clinical Psychologist (in the states of California and NY) and a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2002, one month after completing a 250 hour yoga teacher training certification. My interest in yoga occurred prior to that time, during my graduate school training, when I experienced profound openings (and thus personal growth) in my yoga practice that I wasn’t experiencing in my academically required psychotherapy. I began to understand that there are nonverbal things (i.e. emotional material) that become stored in the body and out of our range of consciousness. I began noticing that this material was coming up in my physical yoga practice but not necessarily in the heavily dominated mental space that I was exploring in psychotherapy. Over the next several years, I began studying eastern traditions and alternative medicines and added meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) to my yoga practice.

As a psychologist, I incorporate these ideas into my work with clients, integrating a mind/body approach and fostering a deepening sense of self awareness and potential for their own growth and healing. I also believe there is power in disconnecting from the chaos of our daily lives and spending time in nature and engaged with other cultures. In this way, we step out of our own small world views and perspectives and have the opportunity to view life on it’s broader terms. This isn’t always comfortable, but it undoubtedly provides us with an opportunity for stretching ourselves out of our comfort zones and expanding our capacity to give and receive. By learning to be with what is, and have regard for those who are different than us, we increase our capacity for empathy and compassion, something I’ve discovered most clients do not even have for themselves. This is one of several concepts that will inevitably be explored and discussed while on retreat. It is in these instances, when we are surrounded by nature and it’s stillness, that we can truly slow down and listen more attentively to our own inner stirrings, our knowings, and the maladaptive beliefs that impede them.

While I possess the skill set to facilitate my clients’ inner journeys, I recognize that there are tools such as bodywork and other alternative treatment interventions (Nutrition, Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, etc) that can complement the more traditional psychotherapy approaches. The Collective, Inc aims to be a resource for classes, workshops and service offerings that can round out a holistic approach to health and well being.