Lance Tango, M.A.

Marriage Family Therapist – License# 80517

For years I have witnessed how  internal psycho-biological
processes and external  socio-political conditions work in
combination to shape the human experience.  However,
traditional approaches to psychotherapy  have seemed
unwilling to carefully examine the psychological effects of socio-political denigration, discrimination, marginalization, objectification, oppression, subjugation, disenfranchisement and social injustice.

Recognizing how personal experiences of denigration shaped my own childhood, and ultimately shaped my self-concept, much of my adult life has been a lived exploration on how the mind limits itself, compensates for and ultimately overcomes a deficient internalized “single-story.”  These lived experiences in combination with my family’s historical experiences have formed my multi-layered interests in social-justice, psychological health, and societal well-being.

Because my work with clients has consistently revealed the underlying connection between socio-political conditions and personal discord, I eventually began infusing principles of social-justice with traditional forms of psychotherapy. Ultimately, this resulted in Restorative Engagement Therapy, a holistic approach to therapy which is designed to engage both cognitive (rational) and affective (emotional) structures of the mind – restoring the soul’s capacity for self-affirming perception and interoception (internal emotional sensations).

Along with the therapeutic services I offer through my private practice in Pasadena, my professional experiences in the mental health field have included years of providing therapeutic and counseling services at a community counseling center in Mid-City Los Angeles and working at a treatment center in West Los Angeles.  My other professional experiences include working within organizations to foster more empowered employees, improved morale, values-based business approaches and talent-driven business development.

Educational Experience:
Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology
– Antioch University, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Sciences, Biological Sciences
– California State University, Fullerton

restorative engagement therapy

Restorative Engagement Therapy infuses principles of social justice with scientific perspectives to gain a multi-layered understanding of the human condition. Scientifically speaking, the growth and development of any living thing is significantly influenced by environmental factors. This truth also applies to the development of the human mind and soul. Restorative Engagement Therapy explores this relationship between environment-and-development through a broad spectrum of perspectives ranging from the personal to the socio-political.

During any period of development, when a human being is exposed to environmental conditions which are denigrating or devaluing or marginalizing, a concept-of-self begins to crystallize around an incomplete “single story” of worthlessness, fallibility, deficiency, susceptibility, and powerlessness. Restorative Engagement Therapy dismantles this crystallized self-concept by exploring the historical conditions which shaped the “single story,” and instead promotes a restorative testimonial of the client’s resiliency, determination, and emergent heroism.

The aims of Restorative Engagement Therapy are:

  1. restore client’s capacity for healthy interpersonal relationships.
  2. restore the self-regulatory capacity of clients’ neural circuitry.
  3. rightfully restore clients’ life experiences into a proper historical context of resiliency.
  4. restore clients to their dignified-selves by addressing the moral injuries that underlie traumatic experiences.

Developed by Lance Tango, Restorative Engagement Therapy infuses principles of social justice with traditional forms of therapy; restoring self-assuredness, human connection, dignity and soulfulness.  Restorative Engagement Therapy cultivates these changes by engaging both cognitive(rational) and affective (emotional) structures of the mind – restoring the soul’s capacity for self-affirming perception and interoception (internal emotional sensations).

cognitive process

The cognitive processes of Restorative Engagement Therapy thoughtfully review your life experiences from several viewpoints, starting from the personal then moving to the historical and the socio-political. By reflecting on your life experiences from these multiple perspectives, any rigidly held self-concept and simplistic “single-story” gradually falls apart, making space for complexity, nuance and richness. In addition to increased resiliency and multi-dimensionality, a fluid self-concept liberates your soul to experience the following:

  • a more accurate and generous understanding of how your life experiences shape your perception of the world around you
  • a shame-reducing connection between personal experiences and broader socio-political realities and neurological phenomena within your mind and body
  • a multi-dimensional framework to counteract the oppressive side-effects of dominant normative ideologies
  • dignified acknowledgment and recognition of harsh and unjust realities

affective process

The affective processes of Restorative Engagement Therapy are designed to engage and restore the mind-and-soul’s ability to experience a fluid range of emotional states with self-assuredness, dignity and healthy anticipation. This is accomplished by cultivating fine neurological adjustments to the nervous-systems self-regulatory capacities. This type of neural fine-tuning is initiated through processes of affective attunement, whereby the therapist develops a heightened intuitive connection to the client’s moment-to-moment emotional states. This therapeutic attunement cultivates a shared witnessing of emotional states that typically remain unexpressed and unaddressed. By working with unexpressed emotional states various neurological systems within the mind are primed for increased congruency. This, in turn, fosters more self-assuredness and reduces cyclical patterns of self-criticalness, second-guessing, guilt and shame. When self-regulatory capacities are well-conditioned, the human soul is primed to experience the following:

  • deep interpersonal connections brought about through genuine emotional expression
  • reduced concerns that emotions will be a source of confusion, betrayal or unwanted exposure
  • increased ability to experience secure states of vulnerability with loved ones for more healing relationships
  • more frequent experiences of spontaneous compassion, gratitude and emotional wisdom