Dr. Jessica Armstrong is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the San Francisco Bay area. She graduated from Clark University, in Worcester, MA where her research program focused on internalized shame and recovery from substance use disorders (SUD). She completed internship at Yale University, in New Haven, CT, and completed rotations in an outpatient SUD treatment clinic and a recovery-based community mental health treatment facility for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Her postdoctoral studies were completed at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT, where she worked with veterans with co-occurring post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), SUD, and chronic pain, while she continued with her research program on the connection between stress and mental health conditions at Yale University.
Dr. Armstrong began her work in the SUD treatment field in 2007 while she studied forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, NY. It was during her time working in an inpatient SUD treatment facility that the importance of simultaneous treatment of co-occurring chronic conditions became impressed upon her, as the impacts of trauma and stress on SUD were apparent with her clients. She broadened her training and treatment focus to include PTSD and other trauma-related conditions, and eventually co-occurring medical conditions, such as chronic pain and auto-immune conditions. In recent years, Dr. Armstrong has expanded her training and treatment focus to include work with psychedelic medicines, such as ketamine assisted psychotherapy (KAP). She obtained training from Polaris Insight Center in San Francisco, CA in KAP and joined the team at SFPMG in October, 2021.
Her strengths are in working with individuals who are seeking to become “unstuck” in their lives, who feel disconnected from themselves and others. She is committed to helping patients prioritize their values and live their best life. Her specialty is working with people who have experienced trauma/PTSD, grief, and loss, by offering support in processing and integrating these experiences. She also helps people with anxiety, depression, SUD, and other chronic conditions that can contribute to suffering. Throughout the years, her work with a diverse array of individuals and settings has allowed insight into pain, suffering, health, and recovery from multiple angles.
Dr. Armstrong uses evidenced-based treatments and collaborative approaches with other care providers to support healing and improve quality of life for her patients. She collaborates with her clients to find the right fit of interventions from evidence based practices, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and more relational and systemic approaches to meet client needs. She owns and operates her own practice, The Head and The Heart Psychotherapy Center A.P.C., where she sees individuals for therapy. She offers guidance with preparation, intention setting, and integration of ketamine treatment in her KAP work at SFPMG. Together at SFPMG, Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Grieder use an integrative, comprehensive, and holistic team approach to treat chronic and complex medical and mental health conditions.