top of page
Photo of Stephanie Gast

Stephanie Gast, M.S., AMFT

Using an Attachment-based lens, I help people understand & process family roles, relationship dynamics & survival mechanisms learned in childhood that are no longer serving them. 


I guide folks through inner child work which is a way of treating presenting problems by addressing the root of our issues. There isn’t just one inner child within us; we all have younger aspects of ourselves at various ages who all hold different experiences & needs. The wounded inner child can create a “shadow self” that uses survival mechanisms to protect us from feeling our most painful emotions. 


In order to feel safe & have our needs met, we may adopt behaviors such as conflict avoidance, people-pleasing, perfectionism, etc. Once needed to survive dysfunctional family dynamics, as we get older, functioning from this shadow can cause states of depression/anxiety, stunt us from growing, & (unconsciously) recreate relationship patterns from our childhood. With a heart-centered approach, I guide people through the shadow integration process of uncovering & embracing these wounded parts with love, compassion, & acceptance.


My therapeutic approach can be considered a reparenting process in which I support folks in learning to become their own loving caregiver. Helping people deepen their understanding of themselves, cultivate self-compassion, & discover new ways to relate to themselves & others. I provide a safe, validating space for people to tend to their inner child to reconnect with their true selves.

My Story

In life, we all face our own struggles. I don't think I would be the therapist I am today if it weren't for my pain & hardships.


Due to experiences in my childhood, I found myself stepping into the role of conflict mediator at 8 years old. I provided empathy when the adults in my life lacked it. I bridged insight & understanding between people who couldn't see from each other's points of view. I voiced when I saw others in pain while the adults refused to acknowledge it. I know now that the role I stepped into, the role that was perpetually encouraged, was a way for me to ease my own loneliness & anxiety during these distressing times. As the youngest in my family, I became parentified as a protective mechanism & lost touch with being a kid.


During my teen years, I experienced bullying, harassment, & sexual assault. Being treated as the "golden child," I was rejected & punished for expressing my own pain while being praised for suffering in silence behind a high-achieving mask. I found myself suppressing my feelings in various ways but learned very quickly that my painful emotions would resurface until I tended to them. Since dedicating myself to my education & my own inner child work, I have cultivated the most loving relationship with myself I have ever had. I still struggle & have growth areas as we all do. As a therapist, I'm on my own lifelong healing journey alongside my clients. 


Resilience is so much more than being strong & persevering through pain. To me, resilience is also having the courage to lean into your most vulnerable, painful emotions with softness & gentleness. The wounded parts of us long to be seen, heard, felt, & given the love & comfort they always needed. It’s my soul’s purpose to support, guide, & encourage people so they can do the same for themselves.

Stephanie holding a coloring page with a colorful profile of  a person with text that states "I am strong."


California State University Long Beach, 2019

Master of Science in Counseling with a focus in Marriage & Family Therapy

California State University Northridge, 2017

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Minor in Human Sexuality


Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

No. 117339

Certified Queer & Trans Affirming Professional (QTAP)

The Conference on Contemporary Relationships 2022

Sex Positive Professional

Center for Positive Sexuality 2022

logo for Queer and Trans affirming professional, a certified culturally competent care provider.
certified sex positive professional
Stephanie G. Therapy
bottom of page