My mission is to support you in cultivating self-awareness & compassion and identifying your inherent strengths so you can live with more authenticity, connection, and joy.

I am so glad you are here.  Whatever challenges you may bring, I welcome you.  I think of therapy as time we set aside to dedicate ourselves to moving beyond what keeps us stuck.  It is a time of expanding and learning about ourselves.  A time of exploring who we are and how we want to relate to the world around us.  I believe in you and trust that you have what it takes to become more of the person you want to be.  Let's figure this out.

Matthew Shima, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #113018

my story

I am Japanese.  I am American.  I am Japanese American.  I am Hapa.  I am Irish, Danish, Scottish.  I was born in Southern California and feel fortunate to have lived in Hawaii, and on the East Coast as well.  As an adult I immigrated to Japan where I learned Japanese and deeply rooted myself in countryside village life.  The crisp winter air as we pounded brown rice mochi by hand is still natsukashii 懐かしい (nostalgic) for me.     

I have travelled quite a bit, and consider myself a world citizen.  I am well versed in crossing continents, in crossing oceans, in crossing cultures, and in bridging gaps.  As I move through the world I have the experience of both fitting in nowhere and fitting in everywhere.  Living cross-culturally, has only added to my flexibility, my ability to tolerate ambiguity, and feeling comfortable in the space between.  In Japanese we say, aimai 曖昧.  I have grown to understand my identity as ever flowing, dynamic, and emerging out of a tension between poles.  Through this experience my life has come to be about creating a sense of place and belonging, aiding connection and harmony, and cultivating compassion and meaning.

What is your story?


Individual Therapy

It can be really helpful to talk to someone about your worries and concerns.  When we face our struggles alone, sometimes we can feel lost, overwhelmed, and like no one will understand.  Therapy can be a place where we walk together to meet that which feels unbearable or like it's too much to handle on our own.  In therapy, we will collaborate to reinforce your inherent strengths and build on past experiences to face the challenges of today.  

Therapy For Relationships

It is normal for all relationships to have difficulties.  Right now might be a rough patch you're overcoming, or it may be a time for diving deeper into your connection with each other.  The process of therapy can be beneficial for most relationships to foster communication, enhance intimacy, strengthen your bond, and nurture compassion & understanding.  Therapy is a time to grow closer by learning more about oneself and one another, where relational patterns can be identified and updated to fit who you are becoming today.  I welcome all identities, orientations, and relationship styles in my practice.

Family Therapy

Our families are the foundation of society.  They provide the building blocks for our relationships and who we are in the world. In family therapy, we look at the impact that we have on each other and work together to create meaningful and lasting change in the family.


How much does therapy cost?

The fee for therapy is $180 per 50 minute session, payable at the time of each appointment by cash, check, or credit card.

Do you offer a sliding scale?

Sometimes! If the cost of therapy is preventing you from getting started, please inquire with me about a reduced fee. We can look at your budget for mental health and see if we can arrive at a fee that is sustainable for both of us.

Do you take insurance?

I am not currently on any insurance panels.

How often do I need to come to therapy?

It is common to attend therapy sessions once weekly however there is no obligation to come for any set amount of sessions. Over the course of therapy, we will collaborate to find a rhythm and pace that makes sense for your life and circumstances.

How do I start therapy?

Feel free to reach out via phone or email to set up a short phone consultation. This will give us a chance to discuss the reasons for seeking therapy as well as answer any questions that you may have.


awareness     |     compassion     |     connection