Background & Philosophy
Erika Clowes, Ph.D.
510 49th St. #209
Oakland, CA 94609
Writing requires a broad range of skills—abstract thinking, planning, memory, expressive language, theory of mind, attention, motor coordination—that need to be engaged at the same time. So, difficulty with writing is extremely common among creative thinkers and people with learning differences, who tend to have concentrated skills in specific areas.
Over time, repeated experiences of failure and frustration can take a toll on the writer’s mood and coping ability. S/he may come up with elaborate and engrained avoidance strategies, and stop practicing all of these critical skill sets.
I bring a unique perspective to this issue, based on an interdisciplinary background in analytic writing instruction, literature, psychoanalytic theory, and professional collaboration with neuropsychologists. I hold a Ph.D. in English from UC Berkeley, and have worked as a writing consultant in the Bay Area for more than 20 years. I focus on the psychological aspects of writing—anxiety management, self-awareness, decision-making—in order to foster the development of critical coping skills and feelings of competency for the long term.
That’s the “clinical” part of the work we do in consultation. What really goes on is a creative collaboration, where we experiment with analytic questions and multisensory techniques, and discourse on the subjects my clients are truly interested in.
I work one-on-one with adults and children; I am also available for consultation with parents, school staff, and service providers.