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About Liv

Liv Estrup has been a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Monica, California since 1971.

Marriage Family Therapist 03496 (1971)
Approved AAMFT Supervisor (2002)


Liv received her BA in Psychology at University of Florida while working as a psychometrist in the University Counseling Center and her MA from California State University, Los Angeles. She was certified in the post-graduate training program at the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles in 1979. Through training, reading, workshops and conferences, Liv has continued to keep abreast of developing issues and concepts in psychotherapy.


Liv became a faculty member with Gestalt Associates Training Los Angeles in 1998 and has done training in the US, Europe, and Asia with psychotherapists from diverse backgrounds. For many years she led women’s groups, the Journey Workshop for Women, women’s sexuality groups and groups for survivors of sexual abuse. In graduate school she worked with a research team to help people quit smoking. She twice served as President of GTILA, was the Conference Coordinator for AAGT’s International Gestalt Conferences (1994 –1999) and is an Associate Editor of the Gestalt Review. Liv is a member of GTILA, CAMFT, AAMFT, and AAGT.


Liv works with diverse populations and is especially interested in the creative process, working with couples and supervision/consultation. ZOOM psychotherapy, coaching, and consultation/supervision sessions can be arranged.

Liv is a Faculty Member with Gestalt Associates Training Los Angeles in their Los Angeles training program, the European Summer Residential Training Program, and the Couples Training Program. She taught Gestalt therapy courses at Loma Linda University for fifteen years and has supervised privately and at a counseling center for over twenty five years.


Art has been a life-long passion, beginning with assisting in her mother’s projects, who said her favorites were creating ‘something’ out of ‘nothing’.  They often went in search of discarded items – designing clothing from feed sacks, boxes into kitchen cabinets, scraps into mosaics, etching aluminum, drawing, painting, carving, bottle art – anything and everything had potential.  Many years of work with pastels, watercolors, and drawing led to several years study of photography at Santa Monica College (and a fascination with reflections). Photography led to film (What’s Behind the Empty ChairFlying Without Wings and the Four-Footed Therapist) and then a return to painting and drawing. Liv studied painting with Barcelona artist Julio Panisello at Artworks Studio in Los Angeles, then continued with Sylvia Cross at Sycamore Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.  For five years she studied with portrait artist Pat Hobaugh at Callanwolde Center for the Arts, Atlanta. Her work has been exhibited in California and Oregon and appears in brochures, videos, web sites and private collections.  Images on this web site are for sale.


Liv Estrup is an independent filmmaker. Her first film, What’s Behind the Empty Chair: Gestalt Therapy Theory and Methodology (©2000) has been distributed worldwide. The 2014 edited version is now available On Demand at Vimeo.com.

Flying Without Wings: Life with Arnold Bessier is her first feature documentary. Dr. Beisser was Liv’s friend and mentor. She began this project in 2007. English – available subtitled in Spanish and Japanese. On Demand at Vimeo.com

 Two special features – interviews with Dr. Beisser – Available free on You Tube

     Loss, Change, Opportunity (20 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBMcu4Z7Alo

     Living With Disability (26 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no6sWzxKO4g

The Four-Footed Therapist, a short film of Rufus, the co-therapist, sharing about self care, can be seen on YouTube.


For many years Liv was a long-distance runner, SCUBA diver, golfer, skier, and hiker (including two pilgrimages to Tiger’s Nest) and she continues to keep fit. For 25 years, her golden retrievers, Rufus and Hickory, worked as her co-therapists. (see The Four-Footed Therapist –on You Tube). Liv studied movement, tai chi, music, mime and at one time performed as a clown. Currently, she is most inspired and delighted by her grandchildren.

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