I love the clinical work that I do.
I began my graduate training in psychology with a major in industrial psychology and a minor in clinical. During my practicum experience, I discovered my love for clinical work and was encouraged by my supervisor to switch to a clinical major. It has been one of the most important decisions of my life.
Another life-changing decision occurred several years later when choosing between several job offers.
I consulted my graduate mentor who said “Paul, you can never go wrong if you go with your heart.” I chose the University of California at Davis over the University of Minnesota. I have been extremely grateful for his advice and feel extraordinarily blessed. I immediately began a small evening private practice upon arriving in Davis. After several years it grew into a full time practice and I left the University. It was here in Davis that I met my wife to be, Nancy.
I was born in rural Michigan. My father, an engineer, was the only extended family member who was not a farmer. I was shaped by mid western values of responsibility, hard work, respect and compassion for others. My mother, an intensely religious woman, filled my childhood with spiritual training. She taught me the value of caring for and serving others.
As my graduate school training unfolded, I embraced the idea of life as a journey–a journey into an evolved authentic self and a journey into one’s soul, i.e., one’s innermost being, essence, depths and wisdom. It is not surprising to me that I was drawn to psychology and psychotherapy. The deep heartfelt connecting that happens for me when doing psychotherapy has been both a powerfully human and sacred experience. I feel honored to touch and be touched by those clients who have put their trust in me.
Paul A. Aikin, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice seeing couples, families and individuals. He has held positions at the University of California, Davis as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Clinical Psychologist and Director of Training at the Counseling Center; and Lecturer, Department of Psychology. He has also been a staff member and workshop leader at Esalen Institute. Paul received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University in 1969.
Through Aikin Associates Seminars, Dr. Aikin has offered continuing education courses on psychotherapy treatment to the greater Sacramento Region for over 30 years. He has been a consultant to hundreds of local therapists.
Paul has worked closely with EFT Trainers Rebecca Jorgensen, Jim Furrow, Lisa Palmer-Olsen and Gail Palmer. He is a certified EFT Trainer, Supervisor and Therapist . He and his wife Nancy are currently collaborating with Sue Johnson, Jim Furrow and Gail Palmer in the creation and development of Hold Me Tight Workshops for Families.
I began my career at UC Davis in 1968, holding positions in the Counseling Center, Department of Psychology and Department of Psychiatry.
I became the first full-time, Ph.D. clinical psychologist in private practice in the Sacramento Valley in 1971. For four decades I have immersed myself in exploring the nature of human suffering and dedicated myself to learning what is necessary for lasting healing.
In my doctoral program, I received training and supervision in Sullivanian Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Rogerian Person Centered Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Training and supervision in Gestalt Therapy, Couples/Family Therapy, Bioenergetic Analysis, Somatic Psychotherapy and Group Psychotherapy followed in the 1970s and early 1980s. With Stephen Mitchell’s 1988 groundbreaking book, “Relational Concepts in Psychoanalysis,” I found a home in the Relational Psychodynamic Psychotherapy model. As my thinking evolved, attachment theory and then in recent years, emotionally focused therapy (EFT) have been integrated and currently predominate my work.
Seven years ago I became interested and then committed myself to the work of Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy with its emphasis on adult attachment issues.
Until Dr. Johnson’s model, the area of adult attachment treatment had not received the emphasis it deserved. The emotionally focused attachment lens now informs my work with couples, families and individuals. I am certified as an EFT Trainer, Supervisor and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist.
My wife Nancy and I are directors of the Greater Sacramento-Davis Center for EFT here in the Sacramento valley. In addition to couples therapy, integrating EFT with family therapy and combining Relational Psychotherapy with healing adult attachment wounds using emotionally focused interventions in individual psychotherapy is a present focus of my thinking and writing. I practice, teach and conduct individual and group consultation in Davis, California. Over the past 35 years, I have served as a clinical consultant to hundreds of private practice psychotherapists here in the Sacramento valley.
Below is a listing of continuing education courses taught by me over the last 30 years:
Hold Me Tight: An Introduction to Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy for Professionals. Six hours of MCEP Continuing Education Credit. Co-presented with Dr. Nancy T. Aikin, Ph.D. September 17, 2011 CAMFT presentation and November 11, 2011.
Treatment Interventions in Healing the Adult Insecure Attachment Wound. Six hours of MCEP credit. March 26, 2011.
Healing the Adult Insecure Attachment Wound in Relational Psychotherapy. Six hours of MCEP credit. November 13, 2010.
The Synergy of Combined Individual and Group Psychotherapy with the Same Therapist. Co-presentation given at the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society Conference with Dr. Orin Borders. Three hours of MCEP credit. June 5, 2010.
The Relational Treatment of the Privation Patient. Six hours of MCEP credit. March 13. 2010.
The Relational Treatment of Aggression, Crushed Aggression and Unconscious Hate. Six hours of MCEP credit. December 5, 2009.
The Treatment of Narcissism from a Relational Psychotherapy Model. Three hours of MCEP credit. September 26, 2009.
A Relational Perspective on Processes of Therapeutic Action: Containing, Projective Identification & Relational Holding. Three hour of MCEP credit. March 20, 2009.
A Relational Perspective on Processes of Therapeutic Action: Reverie, Mirroring and Containing. Three hour of MCEP credit. November 7, 2008.
Legitimate Gratification of Patient and Psychotherapist’s Needs. Three hours of MCEP credit. March 21, 2008.
The Psychodynamic Treatment of Anxiety and Fear. Three hours of MCEP Credit, October, 2007.
Attachment, Regression to dependency and the Therapist’s Vulnerability. Six hours of MCEP Credit, October, 2006 and March, 2007.
A Relational Model’s Views of Anxiety: Theory and Treatment. Anxiety in the Patient, October 2005 and Anxiety in the Therapist, March, 2006. Six hours of MCEP Credit
A Relational Model’s View’s of Masochism, Submission and Surrender: Theory and Treatment. Three hours of MCEP Credit, March, 2005.
A Relational Model’s Views of Need, Merger, Regression and Use: Therory and Treatment. Three hours of MCEP Credit, October, 2004.
The Treatment of Narcissism from a Relational Psychoanalytic Model. Six hours of MCEP Credit, September, 2004.
A Contemporary Relational Psychoanalytic Update on Oedipal and Postoedipal Treatment II: Clinical Application. Three hours of MCEP Credit, March, 2004.
Treatment Interventions of Narcissism from a Contemporary Psychoanalytic Model. Six hours of MCEP Credit, January, 2004.
A Contemporary Relational Psychoanalytic Update on Oedipal and Postoedipal Treatment I: Theory. 3 hours of Continuing Education Credit, October, 2003.
The Treatment of Hate, Anger, Envy & Aggression in Psychotherapy. 6 hours of MCEP credit, April, 2003 and December, 2003.
The Relational Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Unconscious. 3 hours of Continuing Education Credit, March, 2003.
The Treatment of Narcissism from a Relational Psychoanalytic Model: Diagnosis, Difficulties and Psychodynamics. 3 hours of MCEP credit, January, 2003.
Treating the Privation Patient. 6 hours of MCEP credit, November, 2002.
Winnicott’s Theory of Fear of Breakdown and Madness X. 3 hours of Continuing Education Credit, October, 2002.
Contributions of Master Contemporary Psychoanalytic Authors: Winnicott, Ogden, and Mitchell. 9 hours Continuing Education Credit, 2001.
Treating the Primitive Patient: Privation and Deprivation. 6 hours of MCEP credit, April, 2000.
Touch in the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Situation: Potential Therapeutic and Traumatizing Reactions. 9 hours Continuing Education Credit, 2000-01.
The Treatment of Difficult Patients: Privation Patients and Hateful Patients. 12 hours of MCEP Credit, 1999-2000.
The Borderline Patient: An Interpersonal Object Relational Model. 6 hours of MCEP Credit, April, 1999.
An Advance Course on the Operation of Projective Identification in Psychotherapy Relationships II: Recent Updates by Grotstein and Ogden and Specific Applications to the Narcissistic and Borderline Personality Disorder. 12 hours of MCEP Credit, 1998-99.
An Advanced Course in the Treatment of Narcissism: An Interpersonal Psychoanalytic and Object Relations Perspective. 6 hours of MCEP Credit, September, 1998.
An Advanced Course on the Operation of Projective Identification in Psychotherapy Relationships. 6 hours of MCEP Credit, April, 1998.
An Advanced Course in the Therapeutic “Working Space” and Fundamental Processes of Therapeutic Action. 12 hours of MCEP Credit, 1997-98.
An Advanced Course on the Operation of Hatred in Psychotherapy Relationships. 12 hours of MCEP Credit, 1996-97.
D.W. Winnicott: Regression to Dependency; T. Ogden: Depressive Mode of Experience, Paranoid-Schizoid Mode of Experience, Autistic-Contiguous Mode of Experience; P. Giovacchini; Prementational Phase of Development and Fusion States. 12 hours, 1995-96.
Slochower and Winnicott on the Therapeutic Use of the Therapist; The Emerging Therapeutic Paradign; Social Constructivism and Intersubjectivity; Working in the Countertransference; Erotic Transference and Countertransference. 15 hours, 1994-95.
D.W. Winnicott’s Teachings on Separation and Individuation; Projective Identification: Letting It Take, Digesting the Identification, and Framing the Interventions; D.W. Winnicott’s Teaching on Regression. 15 hours, 1993-94.
Contemporary psychoanalytic contributions to the concept of neutrality and of countertransference disclosure; Constructive and dysfunctional aggression; Splitting defense in borderline and narcissistic character disorders. 15 hours, 1992-93.
Borderline character disorder: differential diagnosis and treatment II. 15 hours, 1991-92.
Narcissistic character disorder: differential diagnosis and treatment II. 15 hours, 1990-91.
Borderline character disorder: differential diagnosis and treatment, 15 hours, 1989-90.
Narcissistic character disorder: differential diagnosis and treatment. 15 hours, 1988-89.
Diagnostic overview of character disorder and neurosis. 12 hours, 1987-88.