Profile image of Jon-David  Settell

Jon-David Settell(He/Him/His)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW
Depression- Anxiety - Life transitions- Relationship issues- LGBTQIA, gender, & sexuality topics-Artists' mental health-
AboutSpecialtiesLocationsInsurance & Fees

Professional statement

Much of philosophy today contends that modern life is damaged life. Some say this life is wrong and cannot be lived rightly, while others observe that, in terms of our structures of feeling and knowing the world, we have become impoverished; others say magic died long ago. Wrong life, poverty of experience, and the death of magic: how then can we live?

This question animates Dr. Settell's approach to care. Trained as a psychotherapist and literary theorist, he works with patients to understand the impact of modernity on the human psyche and nurture damaged life. Dr. Settell attends deeply to language—every word, even the silences and sighs—as he seeks to cultivate the ruptures of the unconscious and make way for what is unsayable and at times unthinkable. Attending to the unconscious and its articulations in language, dreams, slips of the tongue, fantasies, and repetition can reveal long-forgotten hopes and desires, in turn generating deep insight into how you became the person you are. It makes space for articulating a practical philosophy for living damaged life as well as possible, and for thinking and dreaming about who you want to become.

Because even damaged life is beautiful life, Dr. Settell thinks alongside the 13th C. Persian poet, Rumi, who tells us that the wound is the place where the light comes in. Using insights from the Frankfurt School and scholarship into the history of subjectivity, he takes the emotional pain of daily life—sorrow and sadness, anxiety, loneliness, trauma, and the sometimes unbearable heaviness of being—as what Theodor Adorno calls the "splinters in your eye." These splinters can be a magnifying glass for understanding the Self, letting the light come in, and remembering how to find joy in the most mundane experiences and moments of our lives.

Message to clients

I start out by accepting that we cannot live lives worth living if we don’t first remember how to love ourselves and the world. By inviting you to tell me the story of you minute by minute, I seek to cultivate an environment of deep listening adjacent to the nurture and wonderment of early childhood. Unconditionally positive regard and deep, genuine curiosity about you are the fundaments of care. As a form of self-knowing through narration and the free exploration of your internal life, this model of depth work carefully and thoughtfully attends to language and to what escapes, most often into and from the unconscious.

As therapist I aim to cultivate wonder and awe as modes and methods of surviving the pain of damaged life. Together we can stop looking away from emotional pain and instead begin to speak about pain, probing it tenderly, slowly, and always at your pace in the therapy session. We will use what hurts and has hurt you in the past as a lens first for knowing, then for understanding, and finally for imagining a life worth living. As we do the work of knowing, understanding, and re-imagining your Self and your deep history, along the way we will marvel together at the wonder and awe of you, and the poetics of everyday life. We will engage the wonderment of early and middle childhood as you find new ways to survive today's terrors and heartaches and learn to thrive again.

Work and Education

Years of Experience: 20 years

University of California, Irvine, PhD, 2021
Columbia University, MSW, 2004
Pitzer College, BA, 1998


California: 27433


English, Latvian, Spanish


Depression - Providing support and promoting healing of hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life

Anxiety - Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)

Life transitions - Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress

Relationship issues - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating

LGBTQIA, gender, & sexuality topics - Exploring topics of sexuality, gender, and identity; coping with discrimination and oppression; navigating relationship, family, and cultural challenges

Artists' mental health - Understanding of highly creative minds; goal setting related to the artistic and creative process; support finding meaningful balance in one’s life


  • Adults (24+)
  • Seniors (65+)
  • Young adults (18-24)

Locations & Hours


Jon-David Settell is not in-network with any insurances.

Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions:$225 (50min)
  • Sliding scale:$100 - $225

Additional session information

Out-of-network billing options

This provider can support you in getting reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement. Here are the out-of-network billing options they provide:

  • Super billing
Session frequency

Frequency of sessions this provider offers to see clients once you are an established client.

  • Weekly
  • Multiple times a week
  • As needed
Therapist's note

Sliding fee scale available as well as a Superbill for insurance reimbursement.

Book a Free Initial Consultation

The practice will call you for a free 10min phone call to discuss your needs and ensure a match!

This provider has no upcoming call times available.