Last edited 09/30/2021

Sharmila Chitnis LCSW

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Headshot of Sharmila Chitnis Licensed Clinical Social Worker


In Pacific Time

Learn more about my:

What would be important for someone to know about working with you?

I view engagement in psychotherapy as a courageous choice to learn how to live from a more mindful, less programmed place. Psychotherapy can be a healing and transformative process, which allows us to better understand the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how we can change unhelpful patterns that get in the way of our health and well-being. With an attitude of openness, non-judgment, and compassion, I utilize psychodynamic talk therapy and evidence-based practices to help clients access their inherent wisdom and capacity to heal from challenging life experiences. I do not believe in a one-size fits all approach. We are all individuals with distinct needs, cultures, beliefs, and experiences. We face our challenges in unique ways and have different strengths and coping abilities which I consider when tailoring treatment. Some of my therapeutic goals include helping clients manage their symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief and loss, improving relationships (with self and others), and exploring the ways in which current problems may be linked to unresolved issues from the past.

What is your style/approach to therapy?

My approach to therapy is collaborative, client-centered, and strengths-based. I view mental health from a holistic framework; taking into account the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit, in addition to the many environmental influences that have shaped our development. My ultimate goal is to facilitate positive changes within my clients so that they may feel their full potential in a direct experiential way. I understand that starting therapy can feel scary. It takes strength and courage to be vulnerable, confront the unknown, and explore our innermost thoughts and feelings, and we may feel sensitive about being judged. Creating a safe, empathic, and non-judgmental environment for clients to open up to the therapist and to introspection is the most important aspect of the therapeutic relationship. For this reason, I prioritize building trust and working at a pace that is comfortable for my clients.

What’s the most profound, insightful, or interesting thing you’ve learned as a mental health professional?

Therapists recognize psychological resilience as the human ability to “bounce back” after facing adversity or trauma. We are inspired by how people can survive, and often thrive, despite their negative experiences. The mental health field now understands resilience is an innate human capacity that can be learned and developed in anyone. But it’s more than a skill, it’s an adaptation! Psychotherapy can help us adapt to our life experiences, putting us on the path to resilience and healing.





Life transitions


General Expertise

Work Stress

Relationship Issues


Race & Cultural Identity


Caregiver stress & support

Chronic illness



First Session$150
Individual Therapy$150

Types of Therapy

Individual Therapy


Young Adults (18-24)

Adults (25-65)

Treatment Approaches / Modalities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Strength Based Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Motivational Interviewing

Psychodynamic Therapy

Training / Certifications

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

EMDR Levels I and II completed through EMDR International Association


  • California, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, 73570


MSW, Clinical Social Work, New York University (NYU)

Work History

I have been a social worker for 19 years with the last 10 years focused on the practice of psychotherapy in clinical settings.  I work with people from all walks of life and specialize in trauma recovery, adjustment issues related to life transitions/illness, anxiety/depression, and grief and loss.  Over the course of my lengthy career, I have had the privilege of working with individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds, as noted below.  While I also have experience providing psychotherapy to children, families and groups, I currently offer individual therapy to adults only.Clinical Experience (2010-present):* Private Practice, Fremont CA 2019-present* San Francisco Department of Public Health, Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Services, San Francisco, CA 2015-2020* Native American Health Center, Integrated Behavioral Health Department, Oakland, CA 2012-2015* College of Mount Saint Vincent's Counseling and Psychological Services Center, Bronx, NY 2011-2012* Lawyers for Children, Inc., Manhattan Integrated Domestic Violence Court, New York, NY 2010-2011Social Work/Crisis Counseling Experience (2001-2010):* Family Violence Law Center, Family Violence Intervention Unit, Joint program with Oakland Police Department's Criminal Investigative Unit for Domestic Violence, Oakland CA 2008-2010* New Beginnings, Confidential Emergency Shelter for Domestic Violence Survivors, Seattle, WA 2006-2008* Safe Place, Confidential Emergency Shelter for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors, Olympia, WA 2001-2005

Frequently Asked Questions About Sharmila Chitnis, LCSW

It’s not uncommon to have questions before starting therapy. Sharmila Chitnis, LCSW, has answered a few of the questions they receive most often from new clients.

Is Sharmila Chitnis accepting new clients?

Yes, Sharmila Chitnis is accepting new clients.

Does Sharmila Chitnis accept insurance?

No, Sharmila Chitnis does not accept insurance.

What types of therapy does Sharmila Chitnis offer?

Sharmila Chitnis offers therapy for individuals.

Does Sharmila Chitnis offer in-person appointments?

No, but people in California can book Sharmila Chitnis for virtual appointments (teletherapy).

Does Sharmila Chitnis offer online therapy?

Yes, Sharmila Chitnis offers online therapy to people in California.

How quickly can I see Sharmila Chitnis?

Sharmila Chitnis typically can speak with new clients within 48 hours. You can see their current availability and request an appointment on their profile page.

What languages does Sharmila Chitnis speak?

Sharmila Chitnis conducts therapy sessions in English.

Can I book an appointment with Sharmila Chitnis online?

Yes, you can easily book an appointment with Sharmila Chitnis online using Choosing Therapy’s directory.

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