Ilona Varo, LMFT
Ilona’s journey to becoming a therapist was a rather organic evolution of personal growth, curiosity and a search for balance. All her life, Ilona had a passion and knack for helping others. Her natural tendency to be depth oriented, hopeful, creative, and determined allows her to develop a unique connection and healing relationship with her patients. The work of therapy is based in a deep sense of empathy, compassion, patience, and honoring the mind-body link. It is about continuous learning, introspection, awareness, acceptance and action. Healing is a process that requires support, understanding, and an unceasing willingness to learn. Ilona values personal development with the highest regard, and looks forward to being able to support you in becoming your preferred self. She relentlessly believes in the power of change, growth and possibilities that are hidden within the mind and body.
Being in the entertainment industry for a few years, Ilona realized, that her passion for mindful living began amidst the chaos of being a publicist for high profile celebrities and brands. The constant pressure, urgency, and balance of image and identity fascinated her, but she knew it was not meant long-term for her sensitive and introspective soul. This way of life was then followed by a second career in the healing arts doing energy work and therapeutic massage. While hands on healing was a wonderful modality, her passion for words, stories and meaning making gave her the desire to go back to grad school, and obtain the 3000 hours required for licensure as a psychotherapist. Ilona believes in synchronicity and the flow of life, and is now grateful to draw upon her past careers to inform her current private practice.
Ilona draws on the experiences of her past to inform her work. Being a dancer in her early years, she is very aware of the importance of body posture, breath work, and movement. Emotions and memories are stored in our bodies, affecting how we show up in the world on a daily basis. It is vital to learn about how you express yourself, how you experience your feelings, and how that impacts your behavior/relationships. How can you create change unless you first take a non-judgmental look at yourself, learn about why you do what you do, and then decide what you would rather be/do/have? \
How we show up in our minds, bodies and relationships has a huge impact on our emotional wellbeing.
Phillips Graduate Institute | Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy
University of California, Irvine | B.A. in Psychology & Social Behavior | Minor in Management
Ilona’s individual life experiences and unique areas of interest allow her to create a practice working with people challenged by disordered eating, anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, and questioning self-worth. She loves to work with people who are caught in self-sabotaging behaviors, feel stuck in their lives, feel unable to move forward from past trauma, or struggle with self-actualization. This work breaks the patterns of fear, worry, anxiety and helps individuals re-pattern their ways of being into their healthiest, most vital versions of themselves.
Ilona incorporates Narrative Therapy practices (metaphors, focusing on language, story telling, meaning making), Somatic practices (body based resiliency training – breath work, meditation, mindfulness, emotional self-soothing techniques, EMDR, resourcing, grounding, etc.), as well as concepts of awareness, introspection, acceptance, resiliency, self-compassion, strength based, and other modalities. This work is custom tailored to each individuals needs. She believes the patient is the expert of their own lives, and she is a guide to explore new methods toward the mutual goal of healing.