Palisades News

Jordan Marks: The Therapist Is In

By LAURIE ROSENTHAL, Staff Writer

Reprinted courtesy of Palisades News

When Jordan Marks moved back to Los Angeles, he knew he wanted to live in a family-centered town. “The reason I’m here in Pacific Palisades, specifically, is because it’s community-oriented. That’s what I was focusing on,” he told the Palisades News.

Marks is a psychotherapist who specializes in individual and couples counseling as well as marriage and family therapy. His particular approach to healing incorporates many different modalities, including meditation, biofeedback, somatic therapy and breath work, in addition to standard treatment such as psychoanalysis that he learned while becoming a marriage and family therapist.

Jordan Marks“Adolescents are prime clients,” he said. “Whether they know it or not, adolescents are needing a lot of support while navigating through an immense amount of change.” With kids spending an inordinate amount of time plastered to their various electronic screens, Marks has seen a difference in their behavior. “The problem that I see in the office is that children are losing the skills of being in a relationship with somebody else face-to-face,” he said.

His office on Via de La Paz, which opened over the summer, boasts a small garden in front that Marks proudly created himself. He likes cutting through Palisades High School for his short walk to work from his home in the El Medio Bluffs neighborhood. “I didn’t know it would take a move to L.A. to be able to walk to work,” he said.

The most common reason people come to see Marks is anxiety, followed by relationship issues and depression. “Basically, I like to reverse negative patterns. With people who have anxiety, it often becomes a symptom in the physiological system,” he said.

The offspring of two teachers who taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 25 years, Marks was inspired by his parents’ profession. “Originally, I wanted to be a teacher like my parents. I became a special education teacher at a young age.” But then he realized that he really yearned to have a one-on-one relationship with kids, which meant going back to school to become a certified school counselor.

He began teaching 12 years ago, became a school counselor seven years ago and has been a licensed therapist for five years. He hopes to get into the local schools as a consultant. “I was the lucky benefactor of counsel when I was in [Beverly Hills] high school,” Marks said. He credits that positive experience for helping him decide to attend college.

After graduating from San Francisco State University, Marks entered California Institute of Integral Studies to earn a master’s degree in psychotherapy. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mind-body medicine. While studying to be a therapist, Marks was required to get 100 hours of psychotherapy, but enjoyed the process so much that he kept going—for seven years.

“I equate therapy as a gym for the mind,” he said. “I don’t see therapy as something someone should go to because there’s a problem. I’m waiting to have a client who says,‘Everything is going well. I just want to keep getting better, keep evolving and learn how to grow as a human being,’” Marks said, and added: “Don’t wait until there’s a problem. Come in now.”

Before moving back to Los Angeles, Marks lived in San Francisco for 15 years. He met his wife, Ashley Salomon, via mutual friends when Salomon was visiting. Marks flew up to Seattle for their first date, and followed her to Tucson for her residency. They have been married for two years.

Salomon is now an integrated physician in West Los Angeles, specializing in alternative methods to deal with chronic pain and illnesses such as cancer. Marks, still athletic at 34, played soccer in high school and college, and now leans towards surfing, rock climbing, yoga and lawn bowling at Douglas Park in Santa Monica.

Though new to the Palisades, his connection to the town goes way back. On the Fourth of July, “We would come to Palisades High School just for the fireworks. I must have come 15 times, every year with my parents.”

While most people hope to be employed for a long time, Marks has a different objective. “Essentially my goal is to have my clients fire me, because that means hopefully that they can do the work themselves, and they don’t need me or someone else to help them through it.”

If you would like more information on how you can hire—and eventually fire— Jordan Marks, go to www.mind-bodyhealingcenter.com.