Alexandra McGee

Contact: 

alexandrapolyzoidesmcgee@gmail.com 

Phone: 925-639-3163 

Alexandra Polyzoides McGee

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Sex Therapist who lives in a neurodiverse marriage, has five adult children, eight grandchildren, 2 MAs and a BA from UC Berkeley. 

 

Neurodiverse Dual Focus

 

ONE-ON-ONE: Alexandra loves work one-on-one with the Aspie partner of a couple. Being on the spectrum herself allows her to have a deeper understanding of their life journey and their needs.

 

This one-on-one work can significantly help the Aspie partner show up in better ways in the relationship. This work can be closely coordinated with the efforts of one of our other therapists working with the couple. 

COUPLES: She also enjoys working with neurodiverse couples, with a special affinity to those where both partners are on the spectrum or when one or both partners identify as queer, immigrants, and families who want parenting support.

Education and Training


Alexandra (she, her, they, them) is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who graduated with a Master's in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, CA. She has a background in dramatic arts, English Language and Literature, a previous MA in the Humanities and CELTA certification that enabled her to work with high schoolers and adult English language learners in Europe and the Middle East. Alexandra also is studying to become a clinical psychologist, which is a doctorate, back at CIIS where she received her MA.

 

Training in non-violent communication, Internal Family Systems therapy, humanistic sex therapy, neurodiversity education and mindfulness training for brain development and couples therapy are all supplemented by Alexandra’s experience applying these modalities of psychological growth to herself and her marriage. 

Understanding Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is understood as a difference in brain structure, such as increased neurons in the prefrontal cortex, decreased neural connections between the two hemispheres of the brain, a larger amygdala and evidence of variation in sensory perceptions. These brain differences are a cause of a lot of grief in people’s lives as others around them are expecting neurotypical behaviors and responses to stimulus.

In therapy, partners will learn to identify their differences in social awareness, sensory sensitivities and intensity of interests and how they can come to acceptance of difference, self-care that mitigates distress and  therapeutic practices that have proven to increase neural pathways and connections that enable more neurotypical behaviors.

International Experiences and PTSD


Born in Athens Greece, Alexandra immigrated to America with her parents when she was 4 years old. She has also lived in Austria, Spain and Greece for 3 to 12 months at a time growing up and in the Middle East for 16 years as an adult, where she raised her five children.

 

This life experience gives Alexandra great empathy for couples who have moved internationally and are struggling with culture shock or PTSD. Therapy is a great place to safely work through these issues. IFS therapy includes meditative practices that are effective to heal the emotional, mental and physical symptoms of PTSD.

My Neurodiverse Marriage 


2022 marks 34 years of marriage with five adult children and eight grandchildren. While the marriage has gone through an evolution of values, immigration experiences, processing of trauma and therapeutic awareness of neurodiverse differences and traits in both partners, Alexandra and her husband have learned to grow from being reactive, emotionally charged individuals with a difficult marriage to responsive, self-regulated but loving individuals who are looking forward to growing old together.

 

There is an ADHD diagnosis and traits of autism that explain much of the misunderstanding that occurred early in the marriage before kids and in areas of the marriage that needed to be re-examined after becoming empty-nesters. Alexandra enjoys helping couples discover how to have a new marriage with this same person, while the old way of being married needs to be left behind.

Parenting Coaching


It has been said that we should have to pass a test to be allowed to have children. And Alexandra often felt that raising her kids was actually the beginning of finally growing up. The responsibility, love and energy spent on children calls forth from parents what feels like a superhuman strength.

 

While raising five kids, who are now adults with 8 grandchildren, Alexandra got to see her own strengths and weaknesses. She learned what were the parts inside that continued to develop into a thoughtful adult human and which parts were still stuck in an emotional past and have needed therapy to become unstuck. She and her partner, the father of her children, have learned to accept and become the adults in the room. 

There is a way of holding space for our children, while they are children, that will allow them to be adults with fewer emotional parts of them stuck in the past. Recognizing these developmental stages of children and meeting them where they are helps them become full adults emotionally at the same time as they grow up physically. 

In families with neurodiversity, it becomes hugely important to recognize the neurodiversity, whether it is ADHD, Autism or another brain difference in order to understand the behaviors that clash with the parents’ way of being. When these differences are recognized, then they can also be separated from the emotional behaviors that children may have due to the fact that their difference is not acknowledged and accepted. 

Comorbidities that present as emotional dysregulation, aggression, depression or anxiety are more easily healed if they are recognized as natural responses to being misunderstood, pathologized or even criminalized due to brain differences.

Parenting Coaching


It has been said that we should have to pass a test to be allowed to have children. And Alexandra often felt that raising her kids was actually the beginning of finally growing up. The responsibility, love and energy spent on children calls forth from parents what feels like a superhuman strength.

 

While raising five kids, who are now adults with 8 grandchildren, Alexandra got to see her own strengths and weaknesses. She learned what were the parts inside that continued to develop into a thoughtful adult human and which parts were still stuck in an emotional past and have needed therapy to become unstuck. She and her partner, the father of her children, have learned to accept and become the adults in the room. 

There is a way of holding space for our children, while they are children, that will allow them to be adults with fewer emotional parts of them stuck in the past. Recognizing these developmental stages of children and meeting them where they are helps them become full adults emotionally at the same time as they grow up physically. 

What does the Therapy look like?


Alexandra has been trained in couples therapy - IFIO (Intimacy from the Inside Out) - and is a certified sex therapist as well. Her individual therapy training has been in Internal Family Systems. These trainings have highlighted to her the importance of the frame of therapy, where couples are held with deep respect by a fully present therapist. Therapy is a place for couples to allow the different parts of themselves to come forward and be witnessed and accepted by the therapist, their partner and their own authentic Self. 

Without any pathologizing, therapy allows different behaviors to be examined, to help determine obstacles to be overcome, as well as strengths that can facilitate personal growth and healthy bonding in relationships. Therapy is a place to recognize that behaviors come from reactions to trauma, difference in brain function or good intentioned defensive parts and that understanding these roots of behavior go a long way to helping the client grow and mature, as well as receive compassion from partners and family members who join the therapy.

Sex Therapy


Beyond physical practices and exercises, Sex therapy has a lot to do with understanding the unrecognized values, adult fantasies (often unidentified as such), and emotional attachment styles created in childhood. Couples therapy with Alexandra can include some sessions that explore what the relationship’s sexual life means to each partner and how it can be improved through honest, safe communication about desires, intentions and behaviors, and then worked on together in the couple through “homeplay” exercises.

As in all areas, neurodiverse couples will have differences in the way that their brains seek out, process and accept sexual experience. For example, sensory sensitivities can be hugely important in a neurodiverse couple. Foreplay may need to include conversation around special interests. Fantasy may be restricted to certain non-threatening stories, while other more aggressive sexual feelings may need clarifying before both partners can be onboard. Some sessions on sex allow these difference to be teased out and applied to the partners’ sexual relationship.
 

I Serve these Counseling Needs: 

  • Couples Communication and Relationship 

  • Practically Perfect Parenting 

  • Sexual Intimacy 

  • Childhood Wounds 

  • Immigration / Cultural Transitions 

  • Chosen Family Dynamics 

   

Languages: 

Fluent in Spanish and English, Conversational in Turkish, Familiar understanding of French,  Smattering of Russian, Greek and Catalan. 

​ 

​License: 

Registered Associate, AMFT # 126908 

Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452

Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.

  

Contact: 

alexandrapolyzoidesmcgee@gmail.com 

Phone: 925-639-3163