Clinical Program Faculty

Deanna van Ligten, PsyD
Director, Internal Practica, The Wright Institute Clinical Services

BA Psychology, California State University, 1991
PsyD Clinical Psychology, the Wright Institute, 2005

Dr. Deanna van Ligten's clinical training and experience reflects her broad interest in psychology and has involved working in diverse therapeutic contexts, using multiple therapeutic lenses and theoretical concepts. This has included teaching and training students and clinicians, long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adults, individual and group therapy for forensic and severely mentally ill populations, substance abuse treatment, trauma/abuse, psychological and forensic assessment, and expert witness testimony. She worked for several years in community mental health with individuals who suffer from a wide range of psychotic symptoms. She completed her doctoral internship and a post-doctoral fellowship conducting forensic and disability assessments at Napa State Hospital. Post-doctorally, she also worked at the San Francisco County Jail Psychiatric Services as a staff psychologist.

In addition to her current role as the Director of Internal Practica for The Wright Institute Clinical Services, Dr. van Ligten has been a core faculty member at The Wright Institute where she taught a wide range of topics from Diagnosis and Treatment, Professional Ethics, Professional Development, and Psychological Assessment. She has a private practice in San Francisco and Berkeley doing psychotherapy and assessment. She is particularly interested in expanding the reach of psychoanalytic theory and ideas to create a responsive, thoughtful, and rich atmosphere that anyone can benefit from. Rather than following one psychoanalytic school of thought, she integrates ideas from the whole body of work, as long as the ideas contribute to a helpful and enlivening conversation. She believes deeply in the client's individual freedom and values flexibility, responsiveness, and a deep understanding of the social context in order to help the client achieve their unique goals for treatment.