Madeline Taylor, LMFT



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January-February 2021

Member Highlight — Julia Zabasky, LMFT

Madeline Taylor, LMFT

I had the pleasure of meeting Madeline Taylor, with the purpose of writing this member highlight. I found her to be wise, knowledgeable, and well-spoken.

Madeline has had a multifaceted career, working with children, K-12, earning her MFCC, and teaching. She taught at Ryokan College for 30 years, offering various classes such as human development, theory, applied techniques, self-psychology and inter-subjectivity theory. She works from a contemporary, relational model, which focuses on such elements as one’s deep-seated beliefs, feelings, relational conflicts, and the discovering of patterns formed early in life. These thoughts and feelings are largely below the level of consciousness but can become conscious, gradually.

The relationship with the therapist from this perspective is intended to be a growth-enhancing relationship, where one’s old beliefs can be illuminated within the non-judgmental medium of the therapist’s empathy. Gradually over time, the grip of the old, repetitive patterns of belief is loosened, and the patient can develop newer beliefs and attitudes toward others.

This work also focuses on past trauma, which affects people’s trust patterns. Since we need to depend on others, this work helps with recognizing and lifting older patterns of relationship into higher degrees of conscious awareness. The felt safety of the therapeutic relationship is considered the healing element.

Madeline attended CSUN and earned a bachelor’s degree in child development. She loved working with young children and had a K-12 teaching credential. As a pre-school and elementary teacher she especially enjoyed the socio-emotional areas of the children’s lives. Madeline attended Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena to earn her Master’s in Human Development and to complete her MFT coursework. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Ryokan College. Madeline has also been trained at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles and continues to participate in workshops, conferences, and regular consultation groups.

Madeline has been in private practice for 40 years. Her patients have come either for short term-treatment or for decades of work on their own development. Her offices are in Santa Monica and Calabasas.

Madeline is using telehealth and is familiar with that format, having taught online for ten years. But it took time to adjust to seeing patients that way. She is making the best of the online format and is working on developing a website.

Madeline has always been interested in child development, what goes awry, causing painful beliefs about ourselves to develop. She sees psychotherapy as one, important way that we can grow from early, traumatizing patterns of interaction and gain a greater sense of self-confidence. We can gradually come to know ourselves better, accept even aspects of ourselves we wish to modify, honor our normal wants and needs and gradually discover how to get them met. The hallmark of development is people gaining a quiet sense of confidence and realizing that what they need is normal and that there is nothing “wrong” with them. Psychotherapy from this perspective helps people to validate themselves.

Madeline has been coming to the San Fernando meetings for two years and finds everyone to be warm and welcoming. Initially, she enjoyed the format of the meeting, as it was short enough to leave the weekend free and long enough to get into the topics presented. She enjoys the socializing and meeting members of our therapeutic community.

Madeline has been doing meeting write-ups for the chapter’s bi-monthly newsletter, Connections!. She really enjoys participating in the publication.

Madeline runs a psychotherapy reading group on and has been doing so for two years. They began by reading Lost Connections, by Johann Hari, an autobiographical search to understand his feelings of depression that the medical model considered the result of a hormone imbalance. In his search for the real cause of his depression he found that it was a need for human connection and a sense of meaning and purpose.

Madeline has a talented and amazing daughter who lives in San Francisco, is a food blogger and lives with her husband and two adorable cats. Madeline herself, has two dogs, a Corgi/Chow mix and an English Bull Terrier/Catahoula mix. She also has two cats who get along great with the dogs! She is happy to have joined the SFV-CAMFT chapter and looks forward to all of our meetings and getting back to seeing each other in person when the pandemic is over.

Julia Zabasky, LMFT, is passionate about working with foster-care youth and assisting them with finding a permanency plan, either returning to their families or placement in transitional housing. Her work includes management of trauma, depression and anxiety. She utilizes the Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model in her work and sees clients in private practice. Julia holds an MBA, and a Master’s in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. She may be contacted at 818.516.2038 or

San Fernando Valley Chapter – California Marriage and Family Therapists