PETER ASTON, PSYD
Director of Clinical Services
Dr. Peter Aston is a co-founder of CPC and a licensed psychologist (PSY32050) who provides individual psychotherapy to older adolescents (14+) and adults. He specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders, OCD, depression, stress and trauma.
In addition to his work at CPC, Dr. Aston is a Clinical Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, where he splits his time providing psychotherapy to individuals with mood and anxiety disorders and providing specialty treatments within the OCD clinic and with Stanford Athletics. Dr. Aston currently teaches a course called the Nature and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders to graduate students in the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, and a seminar course on performance psychology to students at Palo Alto University. He is an advanced trainer in Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) for chronic depression, and trains other providers in this evidence-based therapy approach. Dr. Aston also conducts research on depression in retired professional athletes.
Prior to his training in psychology, Dr. Aston worked as a professional hockey player in the American Hockey League after being drafted to the National Hockey League (NHL). Throughout his professional hockey career, he became interested in the mental health of individuals in high-performance and high-pressure careers. He decided to pursue higher education to contribute to helping people take care of themselves in the face of stress, and found this to be the most meaningful job he could possibly have. He draws on his experience working in high-pressure environments to assist clients in navigating such roles, including medical professionals and residents, high-performance athletes, and others living in the Bay Area.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"I absolutely love the work of being a therapist, from beginning to end. Developing a comfortable and safe relationship, exploring how previous experiences connect to current difficulties, and helping people translate their newfound self-understanding to a budding sense of self-compassion all bring me great satisfaction. I love when the individuals I get to work with start to make more sense to themselves-- the fog and confusion begin to clear, and the shame and self-blame can finally take a back seat.
I know that insight is helpful for acceptance, but it doesn’t always result in the change we want, so I also love the next steps of putting insight into action so people can start to live the life they truly want, moving towards their own vision of their best self. My ultimate goal as a therapist is to help my clients become the expert of their own mental health and wellbeing, mastering the moment-to-moment art of living as a human being (which can sometimes feel like a collision sport!). I believe life has tragic, hopeful, and sometimes funny elements, and I often connect with clients through a shared sense of humor, creating a balance that allows us to connect more deeply and genuinely about the harder things."