Kiva Michels


Areas of Focus

Kiva has had a Master’s of Social Work since 1986 and received a LCSW in 1990.

Recent experience includes 31 years as a child and family therapist, clinical supervisor, and program director in a psychiatric residential treatment program at Jasper Mountain treating young children who experienced trauma. Before that Kiva worked in the Child Welfare system in California investigating familial sexual abuse as well as working with high-risk families to help them be able to remain together. Kiva also has experience helping people with major mental illness to live independently and navigate life’s complexities.

Kiva’s orientation as a therapist is eclectic with a focus on healing hurt and often hurtful parts of ourselves that came into being to protect us and now may be causing us and those around us some trouble now. Kiva believes in the strength of the human spirit and in our ability to change and improve regardless of our age. Whether someone is dealing with grief & loss that isn’t moving, or self-loathing, or the struggle to allow intimacy (or any human challenge which seems bigger than us) the same principles apply: There is a path forward and we have what we need to heal within us. We just need a little help now and then. Kiva notes attending her own therapy over many years starting in her 20’s and continuing whenever she needs a “tune up.” Due to this experience, Kiva knows what it feels like to be in the other chair and how much courage it takes to start.

Kiva has treated children, teens, adults and families and has treated trauma, attachment issues, relational issues, self-esteem and shame issues, and parenting/family issues and has not yet encountered any issue which she could not wrap her head around. Kiva has found that once the context of the issue is understood it always makes sense.

In spare time Kiva loves to garden, read, jog with a friend, and ride her motorcycle, Zelda, who takes her on some wonderful trips! Kiva notes being married to a wonderful wise woman and has a Chihuahua-Min-Pin who has her wrapped around her paw.