I am a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy with a private practice located in Miami, Florida.
For over 10 years, I have worked with individuals and couples of all types who are experiencing a variety of challenges in their lives. My experience includes working with individuals who are separating or divorcing, couples who are in communication gridlock, remarried families who feel stuck in building a new foundation, and people who are searching for some kind of change and personal fulfillment. I help couples reprocess their emotional experiences and restructure their relationship dance, always with an attention to safety, trust and connection.
My approach is interactive, strength based and solution oriented. I assist clients in a supportive and safe environment with identifying their concerns, beliefs, and hopes while setting practical and manageable goals. Together we pinpoint unhelpful interactional patterns and find new and creative ways to resolve problems. I provide guidance for clients to better understand their family and relationship histories and how that history may connect to the larger context of their lives. I encourage clients to revisit old perceptions and assumptions to help break destructive patterns, improve communication, and move forward in a meaningful and positive way.
I always work from a place of genuine curiosity about my clients’ lives and their relationships, respecting and honoring each person’s path as unique and different. I strive for a collaborative and compassionate practice with my clients.
Olivia Schläpfer Colmer, Ph.D
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
I am a wife, mother and stepchild in a remarried family. I lost my maternal mother to suicide in my early twenties. I am Swiss-American and was raised in a bilingual home, with fluency in Swiss German, German, Spanish and English. I have an understanding, appreciation and sensitivity to the unique challenges individuals and couples in remarried families often face.
At the beginning of my professional career, I worked at the Nova Southeastern University clinic for four years providing therapy to individuals, couples and families from all walks of life. I interned at various schools in Miami-Dade and Broward County, working with adolescents and their families. I was also part of the anti-bullying program SUPERB, conducting after school programs for children in several middle schools in Broward County. For many years I volunteered at Camp Good Grief, a camp for children who have lost a parent or relative, as a therapist and cabin leader. During my doctoral studies I worked at several community agencies that provided therapeutic services and residential care to at-risk children, offering therapy to teenagers and their families.
I grew up on the countryside in Switzerland with a passion for horses and nature and rode horses for much of my childhood. During the Ph.D program, I became interested in a new innovative and holistic approach to therapy: Equine Assisted Therapy. In collaboration with a professor at my university, I became actively involved in the creation and development of an equine assisted family therapy program (www.stableplace.org). I was trained in the EAGALA model of equine assisted therapy and completed my primary doctoral internship working with individuals, couples, and families doing equine family therapy. I have organized and conducted several workshops and training sessions in South Florida for therapists and students in the community on this specialized therapeutic practice. I was also a teacher assistant to Dr. Shelley Green in the equine family therapy graduate class at Nova Southeastern University for several years. I am currently a staff therapist at the non-profit organization Stable Place where I direct substance abuse groups for individuals in recovery. I also offer equine assisted family therapy to couples and families, and perform consult services in collaboration with other therapists and their clients in this unique setting.
I have a Ph.D in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. I received a Bachelors Degree from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.
I completed my dissertation, titled The Maternal Bond Cut Too Soon: An Exploration of the Lived Experience of Daughters Who Lost Their Mothers to Suicide, and have done extensive research on suicide and suicide survivors experiences.
I’m a clinical member of the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Certifications & Trainings / Workshops:
Certification in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy:
Core Skills Advanced Training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (1-5 completed): Sponsored by ICEEFT.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (4 day Externship): Sponsored by National Marriage Seminars.
Dr. Sue Johnson
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Sponsored by National Marriage Seminars.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy with Traumatized Couples. Sponsored by ICEEFT.
Bill Bumberry, Ph.D
Level 1 Gottman Training: Bridging the Couple Chasm: Sponsored by National Marriage Seminars.
JEFFREY A. MILLER, M.S.W., LCSW & EILEEN B. GOTTLIEB, M.ED. LMFT
Bowen Family Systems Theory and its Application Professional Level Training Program (54 CEU’s): Sponsored by Bowen Theory South Florida.
Equine Assisted Therapy Training: Eagala Training Part 1&2: Sponsored by Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.
Narrative Therapy Workshop: Sponsored by Narrative Therapy Institute and Barry University.
David Epston, MA
A new genre of working with the problems of young people in their families and communities: Sponsored by the BAMFT.
Narrative Therapy: Creative Approaches to Common Dilemmas: Nova Southeastern University.
Narrative Mediation: Loosening the Grip of Conflict: Nova Southeastern University.
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Dr. Olivia Schläpfer Colmer offers individual, couples and family therapy in Miami, FL. Her office is located at 4770 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1440, Miami FL 33137.
Please visit our Motherless Daughters Support Group page for dates, times, and complete information.