Dr Ken BenauPsychologist, Author
Dr Ken Benau
Ken Benau, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with 27 years’ experience. He has a private practice in psychotherapy, consultation and training in Kensington, CA, located in the San Francisco Bay area.
For many years, Ken worked in school settings and outpatient psychotherapy with children, teens and young adults with special psychosocial and learning needs, including those living with learning differences, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Now he sees primarily adults in individual and couple therapy, and over the last 15 years has enjoyed working with early relational trauma survivors and their loved ones. Ken’s approach to psychotherapy can best be described as ecumenical and striving toward integration. Having been in the mental health field for almost 40 years, and as an avid student of the history of psychotherapy, Ken is most comfortable with approaches that are experiential, constructivist, psychodynamic, relational and attachment-based, emotion-focused, neurobiologically informed, systemic, narrative-/solution-oriented, and more broadly, strength-based.
Congruent with his non-pathologizing stance, he has a special interest and expertise in working with shame and authentic pride in psychotherapy. The therapeutic approaches Ken currently draws from most include coherence therapy, accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP), sensorimotor psychotherapy and related somatic approaches, self-state/parts work, the developmental needs meeting strategy (DNMS), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy that incorporates intra-relational resourcing. Regardless of which “brand” of therapy he accesses, Ken seeks to bring his true self forward and invites his patients to do the same. Ken’s true self embodies plenty of playfulness and humor, especially when the topic is serious.
Ken is a regular contributor to this platform – The Science of Psychotherapy – and below are a few of his articles.
Shame and pride serve many intrapersonal and interpersonal functions, and understanding how best to work with each in psychotherapy, particularly with survivors of relational trauma (see Schore, 2001), is essential. This is part of a series of posts that have been...
The following session took place one year, 4 months into my therapy with “Clay”. Clay is a very attractive, always well-coiffed, intelligent, articulate man in his mid-50s who originally sought therapy to determine if he “had ADHD”. However, we quickly focused on...
Hank is in his mid-40s, married, with two latency aged children. Hank is bright, articulate, personable and works in a technical profession where he has achieved considerable success. About 12 years prior to this session, Hank, with several co-developers, created a...