2084 Union St., San Francisco, California 94123
244 Oakdale Ave., Mill Valley, California 94941
(415) 931-3819

Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT

Psychological Associate

Dan Gaylinn, Ph.D, CHT

Associates maintain independent practices and confidential records in the same office suite.

Top 10 Psychologists in San Francisco
Union Street Health Associates has been recognized as one of the top San Francisco psychology practices by Opencare.com.

Union Street Health Associates focuses on the interaction between mind and body, and the ways in which emotional, mental, and spiritual elements can affect psychological and physical health. It uses the arts, movement and imagery to promote our natural capacity to understand ourselves and improve our health and well-being.

Union Street Health Associates offers an integrated mind/body and spiritual approach to therapy, consulting, training, teaching and supervision. We work with groups, couples, and individuals to help them discover their own unique healing process.

Donate to the Trauma and the Arts project

    The arts have a long history of helping people cope with trauma. The Trauma and the Arts section of the International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA) is dedicated to raising awareness and resources to bring the arts into professional training and public service around trauma. Current projects include working with Syrian refugees in Jordan and Germany.
    Donations to this humanitarian project are tax deductible through IHPA, which is a US 501(c)3 federal nonprofit organization. Please click the button below to submit your donation through PayPal or a credit card.

Donate here

2018 Rollo May Award honoree

Rollo May Heritage Award

Dance Therapy with Syrian Refugees

Dr. Serlin recently presented this talk to the Association of Traumatic Stress Studies in Palo Alto, CA. She also shared her experiences using dance/movement therapy with communities in the United States that have been affected by trauma. Transgenerational Trauma International Conference

Healing Transgenerational Trauma

Dr. Serlin was recently in Amman, Jordan to participate in an international conference on transgenerational trauma and to hold a workshop in Healing Transgenerational Trauma with Dance Movement Therapy. Transgenerational Trauma International Conference

  • 5th Annual International Conference on Trans-generational Trauma:

    Communal Wounds and Victim Identities
    Dr. Ilene Serlin presented, participated, and led a movement choir for the opening ceremony at this conference in Amman, Jordan, October 26-29, 2016. Conference flyer     Conference webpage

  • Healing Transgenerational Trauma with Dance Movement Therapy

    A training by Ilene Serlin in Amman, Jordan.

    Dr. Serlin with staff and Syrian refugees

    The Citadel, a Roman ruin in Amman

  • From Dr. Serlin's "Psychology Today" blog
    The Power of Dance to Work with Trauma

        Some events are too terrible for words.
        This is where dance comes in—an ancient and powerful way of expressing feelings.
        Dance is also universal and universally understood. People can communicate with each other in local communities, and across the globe.
        Dance organizes life in societies and cells in the body. It celebrates weddings, harvests, seasons, and can bring strength and comfort in times of grief.
        In the article, Life, Death and Transformation: Keep Moving, three Turkish therapists talk about learning to use dance to express the affirmation of life in the face of death.
        Recently, I worked with a humanitarian organization in Jordan called Common Bond Institute to put on a conference on intergenerational trauma. I was worried about what I would see there and how I could help. We worked with widows and children who had their basic needs met, but lacked psychosocial support.
        One of the most powerful moments for me was being in a women’s group and belly-dancing with them. They showed such joy and renewed energy, and no words were needed to express and understand powerful primal experiences of being women together.
        Several of them asked for individual sessions in which they were able to tell their stories and express difficult situations and emotions.
        The medical students also understood the power of ritual for community healing. They adapted a now-popular dance called Haka for their group meetings. This was originally a war dance from the Maori people of Australia which has been used recently by soccer teams to psych themselves up for the game.
        The medical students created a less aggressive version of Haka. The leaders of that association and I collaborated on a variation of that dance as part of the opening circle for the conference. In addition, I introduced a simple circle dance step that is universal in many cultures. Amman circle dance
        The situation of the Syrian refugees can bring up strong feelings of helplessness and the desire to do something. Finding a way to help was truly a blessing—and we all felt it.


The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing – published September 2017.
This exciting new book contains a chapter by Ilene Serlin, Nancy Goldov, and Erika Hansen on using dance movement therapy to work with breast cancer.

Read chapter
Order book online

Whole Person Healthcare, Volume 3: The Arts and Health is now available in paperback.

Read reviews
Table of contents
Add your review on Amazon.com.

Compassion Fatigue and Regeneration: Whole Person Psychology Tool Kits in paperback

Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, Second Edition
The second edition of this landmark book features 13 new chapters and 23 new contributors as well as thoroughly updated original chapters. It includes 2 chapters co-authored by Dr. Serlin and Dr. Eleanor Criswell, one on Humanistic Psychology and Women, and the other on Humanistic Psychology, Mind/Body Medicine, and Whole Person Healthcare.

Order online

Grief Kinesthetic Imagining
In B.E. Thompson & R.A. Neimeyer (Eds.), Grief and the expressive arts: Practices for creating meaning. New York: Routledge.

Dr. Serlin's chapter in this newly released book features the poignant story of an Israeli woman who endured war-related losses and challenging personal experiences.

Read chapter
Order online

Wiley-Blackwell Bandbook Expressive and Creative Arts Therapies
In Harris L. Friedman & Glenn Hartclius (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Order online

Whole Person Healthcare
Whole Person Healthcare
"...a glimpse into the future of healing. It is a magnificent effort, bringing together authorities who have made landmark contributions in fashioning a form of healthcare that honors all we are—body, mind, spirit."

Larry Dossey, M.D.

Author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

Book info
Peer review   2nd peer review
Order online


KinAesthetic Imagining: A TED-style talk given by Dr. Serlin to the Society for Humanistic Psychology at San Francisco State University on March 19, 2016

Watch now

Humanistic Psychology for the 21st Century and Beyond — an online introductory course on Humanistic Psychology co-developed by Ilene Serlin, PhD and Sage de Beixedon Breslin, PhD.
4 CE credits.

More info
For a full description and to enroll, visit zurinstitute.com.

Arts and Health & Health Care Reform — an APA Professional Development Program presented by Ilene A. Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT, and James H. Bray, PhD

This program demonstrates the power of the arts for health and shows how it can be a cost-effective, powerful contribution to psychologists' understanding of health and health care reform. 2.5 CE credits.

More info
For a full description and to enroll, visit APA Continuing Education online.

Dr. Serlin talks about her work with trauma with Seda Guney, Dance and Movement Psychotherapist of the Turkish art therapy association, Sanat Psikoterapileri Derneği. (Note that the website is in Turkish but the interview is in English.)
View video

Academy for Optimal Living sponsors a series of on-line class taught by Dr. Serlin:

How to Build Resiliency
How to Gracefully Move Through Your 30's: A Road Map
How to Navigate the Transition into the Third Act of Your Life
How to Bounce Back From Tragic News

What Sustains Me: Simona Aronow and Ilene Serlin discuss how spiritual practice and the practice of movement and body mindfulness can go hand in hand.
Listen online

Download audio


Healing Intergenerational Trauma with Dance Movement Therapy
Dr. Serlin's article about her Dance Movement Therapy training in Amman has been published in the APA Trauma Psychology journal.
Read article

Psychotherapy and the Arts newsletter
Dr. Serlin co-edits this quarterly newsletter for the community of humanistic psychologists interested in psychotherapy and the arts.
Read the winter 2016-7 issue

Psychology Today blog
Dr. Serlin hosts a blog at Psychology Today online.
Psychology Today blog
A few articles:
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump — Time to get involved
Lead by Listening — How humility, openness and listening is better than a sense of knowing
Word Matters — Cultivating kindness in an age of rage
The Power of Dance to Work with Trauma — Some events are too terrible for words
Dancing Away Dementia — New research shows that dancing reduces incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's

Dance, Creative Arts, and Somatic Therapies in the Healing of Trauma
Dr. Serlin reviews the new book by Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Read her review

Review of Whole Person Healthcare Volume 3
Eva Bojner Horowitz reviews the final volume of the series edited by Dr. Serlin, in Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy: An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice.

Read her review

TNS banner Dance and Psyche: How Moving Moves Us
Michael Lerner interviews Dr. Serlin about the expressive arts in therapy for the New School at Commonweal End-of-Life Conversations Series. Listen to the audio recording of that conversation.

Askimo Dr. Serlin on Askimo, the international library of on-line interviews with experts:
Healing Arts
Holistic Care
Dance Therapy
Body Image
Preventative Care
Personal Rituals for Healing

Ilene Serlin: Dance, Movement & Humanistic Therapy
An interview with Dr. Serlin on dance movement therapy from an existential-phenomenological perspective is featured on the Somatic Perspectives on Psychotherapy website. Available in podcast and PDF transcription.

PEC Connect blog PEC Connect blog
Dr. Serlin hosts a blog for subscribers of PEC Connect online. Recent article:
Wellness Fair: A Kick-Off Partnership

Teaching caregivers how to overcome second-hand trauma. Dr. Serlin and her colleague Dr. Eleanor Pardess presented this breakthrough study at the 2011 APA annual convention in Washington, DC. Read article

Hear Dr. Serlin's interview with Serge Prengel from the USABP Somatic Perspectives series: