Chico Center for Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy and Counseling services for Children & Adults | Support for Parents


Chico therapist An Bulkens, LMFT is psychotherapist and counselor in Chico, California.  An Bulkens specializes in psychotherapy and counseling for young children  (toddlers, preschoolers, adolescents) and support for parents, with a special emphasis on  early childhood psychotherapy, and counseling  for preschoolers and Kindergarten aged child.  She also offers parenting skills support. She offers psychoanalytic psychotherapy for adults.  Her approach is grounded in  Lacanian Psychoanalysis. She was also trained as a clinical psychologist in Europe, Belgium.  Her education emphasized developmental psychology and psychoanalytic therapy. 

My Approach

Chico therapist An Bulkens

Chico therapist An Bulkens

If you are familiar with current mainstream approaches like 'cognitive' and 'behavioral' therapies you might find that I work a little differently.

These therapies get rid of symptoms by addressing them head on, using techniques to suppress them. This seems sensible enough.  Symptoms are inconvenient: they are disrupting our lives, troubling our relationships, causing us pain. Unfortunately, these approaches are quite similar to playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole.’  It is not uncommon if you hit one symptom on the head, a different one tends to pop up, sometimes even more stubborn and disrupting than the first...

This happens when a treatment does not take the time to listen to what the symptom has to tell us.  In this way, an opportunity for true change and growth is missed. By taking the time to truly listen to the symptom psychoanalytic psychotherapy can change the nature of the game. It can make the game of life a bit more creatively satisfying than a 'wack-a-mole' game. 

Does this mean that I think current mainstream approaches like psychotropic medications, or 'cognitive-behavioral' interventions do not have a place?

Not necessarily; they have their place and value, determined on a case by case basis. A behavioral approach can be helpful when you have to get rid of symptoms quickly in order to be able to move on with your life -- like overcoming a fear of flying, when you have to travel for business, for example. Psychotropic medication can sometimes be a welcome aid that allows psychotherapeutic work to progress. I have had very fruitful collaborations with psychiatrists.  

However, as each person is unique, it does not make sense to approach each person with a one-size-fits-all approach. A psychoanalytic approach means an approach tailored to the uniqueness of each subject.  Or better, it allows you to create your own fit.  Dressed in your own fit, you will fit even in places where you thought you would never fit before!


An Bulkens    |    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist    |   MFC 52746

Tel. (530) 321- 2970    |   186 E 12th ST,  Chico, CA 95928