In this article Willow Pearson proposes that desire, as all lines of development, evolves toward greater complexity and is an all-quadrant phenomenon. For this reason, she situates desire and sex (from preconventional to conventional to postconventional and beyond) within an Integral framework. Integral Theory offers a unique view of desire and a possibility to understand all levels of desire as embodied wisdom, however partial each view might be.
Dr. Pearson is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a nationally board-certified music therapist (MT-BC). In summer 2020, Dr. Pearson joined the core faculty in the Clinical Psychology Department at CIIS. Previously, she has taught doctoral students at Alliant International University in San Francisco, undergraduate and graduate students at Naropa University, and graduate students at John F. Kennedy University and Notre Dame de Namur University. Her website is drwillowpearson.com.
Dr. Pearson’s 20 years of licensed clinical work includes experience in private practice, as well as at medical centers and hospitals (serving inpatients and outpatient clients), community clinics, and mental health centers. In these settings, she has worked with adults, children, adolescents, couples and groups. Her clinical background includes training in psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, integral, relational, humanistic, cognitive behavioral, expressive arts, somatic, existential, contemplative and transpersonal therapy, and brief approaches with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and groups.
Across a range of clinical settings, Dr. Pearson has provided crisis intervention, assessment, brief therapy, group therapy, music therapy and depth psychotherapy, from an integral relational perspective. Dr. Pearson’s private psychotherapy practice is in Oakland, on the border of Emeryville, in the East Bay.
Dr. Pearson’s research interests include relational psychodynamic psychotherapy, integral psychology and psychotherapy, dreams, psychological defenses, sexuality, spirituality, and creativity. Beyond her formal training, clinical experience, and teaching in psychology, Dr. Pearson’s work with patients is informed by dedicated personal practice and study in meditation, music, and yoga. She is a singer and songwriter; she has recorded five albums of music, four of which are composed of original songs.
In November 2020, Dr. Pearson’s book, The Spiritual Psyche: Mysticism, Intersubjectivity and Psychoanalysis, co-edited with Dr. Helen Marlo, was published.