About Amata Albero, LMFT

About Amata Albero, LMFT

My name is Amata Albero and I am the founder of Star Heart Holistic Counseling.

I am a licensed psychotherapist trained in cognitive and psychodynamic theories as well as integrative practices informed by Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness Studies and indigenous spiritual traditions. I hold two Masters Degrees, one in East-West Psychology and one Marriage and Family Counseling.

I know, these are all big-sounding words and sometimes I have a hard time reading them out loud! So let me tell you what this means for me.

I believe that our wellbeing -our health- is directly proportional to our sense of wholeness, and our ability to recognize ourselves as an integrated and interdependent part of a greater Whole.

Thus, my work specializes in supporting YOU to recognize and cultivate the full spectrum of your being, developing a deeper awareness of:

  • your thoughts and beliefs (conscious and unconscious)
  • your emotions (default ones and repressed ones)
  • your body (how you eat, how you breathe, how you move, your experience of pleasure and pain, sexuality, physical exercise, etc.)
  • your spirit (whatever that means for you).

I value a client-centered approach, meeting clients where they are regarding their spiritual orientations, life values, expectations, and aspirations about healing and change. In some way, I see myself like your mirror rather than the expert in the room. More like a magic mirror that reflects back to you, asks you poignant questions and offers insights and feedback so that you can see yourself from a different angle.

In this mirroring, my commitment is to help you recognize and access the transformative power of your psyche and of your embodied awareness. As we (humans) address and process the impact of trauma, loss and developmental conditioning in our life, we also come to recognize our resilience, strength, and sovereignty. We become more accountable and response-able, and we overcome self-limiting beliefs and old separating narratives rooted in self-protective strategies. Embracing this healing potential and our ability to thrive we center in our own wisdom, creativity, and a greater capacity to love.

Guess what happens next?

We become more human! We sustain healthier relationships, we feel freer, we live with a deeper sense of unity, compassion and understanding, and maybe we become agents of change in a world that needs it desperately now more than ever.

This is my prayer. To be in service of your (and mine) healing and awakening.

My path as a therapist is informed by my own healing journey at the crossroad between psychology and spirituality.


It started with extraordinary dreams and paralyzing nightmares as a child, obsessive thoughts about rape and violence during my adolescent years, and a debilitating fear of impermanence and God in my early twenties. Social anxiety, overwhelm, and different cycles of depression led me to deep existential questions regarding heavens and hells, sex and spirit, longing for freedom and internalized oppression, and stirred the pot of my curiosity for the Psyche dimension while I was finishing a BA in Cultural Anthropology.

I developed a deep interest in the study of world religions, mythologies and spirituality and I became fascinated with the work of Jung and Hillman on dreams and archetypes. Following synchronicity like bread crumbs at a time in my life where everything was falling apart, I landed to my first MA in East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies. It’s truly there that my healing journey began.

After becoming a mother at 27 and experiencing a shattering post-partum depression, and after going through a life-altering divorce at the cusp of my 30s, it became clear that choosing a path of healing was imperative.

Up to that point, I was barely surviving, using many crutches for coping and making a big mess in my life, inside and out. When I became a mother, and I felt helpless, lost, and hopeless all I could hang on to was the thought that I wanted my child to be spared of the legacy of pain I had inherited by family. So the healing journey began.

I began my healing quest with the longing to remember what had made me so broken. What I ended up remembering was very different than what I expected.

I began to remember myself, the curse and gift of my bloodline, and my purpose on this road of life.

In my experience, healing happened through different lines of work beyond the therapist’s office, including indigenous-based ceremonies, sweat lodges, rites of passage, traditional dances, fasting, prayer, meditation, and infinite moments of contemplation with nature in solitude.

As someone born and raised in the Catholic tradition, embracing this earth-based spiritual path was radical and liberating. It helped me confront and heal a deep soul wound resulting from historical and religious trauma. I understand this soul wound as the split and perceived separateness from the very soul of Nature and earthly awareness. The integration of these practices gifted me with the chance to deepen and expand my understanding about life and consciousness, integrating values like interdependence and reciprocity, the sacredness (and suffering) of all living beings, and a non-dual experience of Cosmos and Psyche as one unified field of Consciousness.

These experiences set the ground to develop an approach informed by Loving Kindness, Compassion and Understanding rather than diagnosis and pathologies.

Most often, clients come to counseling looking for a diagnosis, a label that will put them in a category and tell them what’s wrong with them. The first four years of my path as a training therapist I worked with high-risk populations like juvenile offenders and sex offenders where diagnosis, pathologies and disorders abounded.

During these years of service, I learned how to stand in front of another human putting aside my judgments, and opening my heart with compassion, while honoring boundaries, assertiveness, and clinical objectivity.

I came to recognize that effective counseling and being in service of healing involves a lot more than great techniques and literacy about the DSM diagnosis and codes. While the techniques and diagnoses were a good part of the work to map and conceptualize presenting problems, what really mattered during those years where techniques and diagnoses were often at odds with clients’ resistance and distrust, was heartfelt acceptance, integrity, and loving-kindness.

I always joke with my clients about the L-word… Love. Love often has strings attached in our interpersonal relationships, therefore in therapy, we avoid the use of the word love. To me, this is often an absurd fact because nothing heals like Love does!

During grad school, there are a lot of teachings around ethics and the use of the word love, or the risks of loving your clients. I get it. Love, when is conditional, takes objectivity away. And as clinicians, we must be objective, and impartial. But there is a deeper form of Love that we all need to thrive in our lives, and it is a form of Love that is a state of being rather than a conditional giving or receiving, it is an ability of the heart to stay open, accepting unconditionally what is with curiosity and freedom. This is truly what defines my commitment to service.


"I now see that owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do." - Brene Brown