Dharma Spirit


Chophel Logo (c)Kazuaki Tanahashi

Marilynne Chophel

Marilynne Chöphel, MA, is a psychotherapist and consultant with a diverse professional background. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#MFT30442) specializing in depth psychotherapy for individuals and couples. Her areas of focus include managing anxiety, depression, stress-related conditions, PTSD, disability and chronic pain, life transition, authentic self expression, conscious relationship, and transformation of life and relational trauma. Mariliynne's work with couples focuses on mindful presence, attuned connection, conscious communication, and the sacred path of deep intimacy, and she has trained in several approaches to creating loving relationship including the integrated approach of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. For more on my approach with couples, see Conscious Relationship under my clinical Areas of Focus.

She has completed Advanced Training in the Treatment of Trauma through the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, a comprehensive psychotherapy model designed to treat the effects of acute trauma and complex traumatic stress disorder as well as the related attachment, relational, and developmental traumas. She received EMDR certification through the EMDR Institute, and has also trained in Trauma First Aide that has been used by first responders for survivors of natural disasters. She has participated in training for the treatment of PTSD for combat veterans and military families, and is a volunteer psychotherapist for The Coming Home Project, a non-profit organization committed to helping transform the wounds of war for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, their families, and their service providers. She is on the therapist referral list for Marin County 's Victim-Witness Program for survivors of violent crime.

She brings to her work a holistic perspective combining a graduate degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University’s Graduate School for the Study of Human Consciousness, with 25 years experience teaching meditation and yoga.

Marilynne has practiced Tibetan Buddhist, Zen, and Vipassana meditation for over 25 years, and studied through the Shambhala tradition. Her Advanced Studies Yoga Teacher Training was through International Yoga Studies, she graduated from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, and she has been a Registered Yoga Teacher-500 (inactive) through the Yoga Alliance standards for teaching. Her pranayama instruction has been through the Iyengar yoga tradition and with the master pranayama teacher Sri O.P. Tiwari, founder of the Kaivalyadhama Institute for research, training and therapy in yoga in India. Her somatic background has included dance and authentic movement, and being a certified practitioner of Trager Psychophysical Integration body work for over 15 years.

She has taught yoga, meditation, and relationship classes, workshops, and retreats throughout the Bay Area and beyond. For over eight years she taught at Hakone Japanese Gardens in Saratoga, and for over 12 years at Century House for the City of Pleasanton. She has also taught for the Diablo Yoga Center in Danville; for the Cities of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Livermore; has offered workshops throughout the Bay Area; and retreats at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel.

With a B.A. degree in Psychology in 1973, Marilynne has 35 years experience in counseling, teaching, management, and consulting. She served as a Deputy Probation Officer working with high-risk adults and youth, and co-directed a Youth Treatment Program for at-risk youth. She developed and administered a community-wide internship program for average, high risk, special needs, and gifted teens that won an award from the California State Department of Education for excellence in education. She served on the Board of Directors for the National Soiciety for Internships and Experiential Education. She has developed and administered community-wide volunteer programs and business-education partnerships, and was a consultant for program and funding development for non-profit agencies.

Marilynne’s depth work is informed by 30 years of holistic study, practice, and teaching of psychotherapy, relationship, yoga, meditation, breath work, body work, and movement. The teachers who have inspired her include the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödron, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Thich Nhat Hahn, Chödon Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Jack Kornfield, B.K.S. Iyengar, Milton Trager, Bryan Wittine Ph.D., Judith Lasater, Elise Miller, and Donald Moyer.

Marilynne offers private sessions and groups that draw from modern psychology and the ancient practices of meditation, pranayama, and yoga. She is deeply committed to expanding awareness as a personal practice and as her life work.

Continuing Education Units
All classes and workshops are approved for CEUs for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers as authorized by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. (#PCE3734)

Marilynne's Given Name

Chöphel Llamo, meaning “Dharma Increase Goddess” was the Buddhist name given to Marilynne in 1994 by The Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, the eldest son of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who was instrumental in bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West in 1963. He is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, the spiritual director of Shambhala a global network of meditation and retreat centers, and is the lineage holder of Naropa University in Boulder, CO.

For more information or to contact Marilynne:
(415) 492-1042 or email marilynne@dharmaspirit.com.