My Learning Path

Natalie Masson PhD  Psyychologist in San Diego La Jolla treating anxiety and depressionAlthough my first degree was in electrical engineering, I've always felt that psychology was my natural calling. After a brief stint as an engineer, I embarked upon graduate education in psychology at the University of Southern California. I completed a pre-doctoral internship at Yale University then returned to Los Angeles to complete my PhD at USC in 1999. I have been a licensed clinical psychologist in San Diego since 2001. I spent two years providing counseling for cardiac patients at the Scripps Integrative Medicine Center and since 2002, I have been practicing privately in San Diego, California.

My greatest passion in psychology is understanding interactions between the mind and body. Our breathing an extremely valuable tool for connecting with both body and mind, and as a result, I have extensively explored the nature of breathing both from a physiological and psychological perspectives. I have developed a system for teaching optimal breathing, which I call Restorative Breathing. I incorporate these tools into my psychotherapy work and into classes and workshops. I believe that understanding the mind-body connection and supporting our body's natural functioning is going to be the next significant wave in health and wellness innovation.

My interest in mind-body practices and my entreprenuerial nature led me to a brief stint of owning a small yoga studio across the street from my private practice (Akasha Yoga, July 2008 through July 2010). I oversaw the yoga programs and I offered a variety of classes and workshops on relaxation, breathing and meditation. I occasionally teach at Akasha yoga offering classes and workshops which incorporate many of the techniques that I use in my psychotherapy work.

Outside the field of psychology, my personal interests that influence my work and reflect my personality include performing arts, dance, athletics, meditation, yoga, breathing, and bodywork. I grew up in a mixed-culture family (Vietnamese/American) and enjoy helping clients who are navigating cultural issues in their families.

In August 2011, I began my journey as a new mother and have been embracing the opportunity to immerse myself in motherhood while also maintaining my psychotherapy practice part-time, as I feel passionate about both of these parts of my life. I am discovering that parenting is bringing me new perspectives that are enriching my work as a therapist.