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San Francisco Heals: The New SF Wellness And Arts Pop-Up
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San Francisco Heals: The New SF Wellness And Arts Pop-Up

Picture of JP McMonagle
Updated: 6 January 2017
On the corner of Van Ness and Market, a bustling intersection charged with the energetic horns of Muni buses and the high-pitched beeps from the crosswalk, something special is brewing above the All Star Café, and it’s not coffee. This September, in the office space above the humble café that’s charmed San Franciscans for years, a non-profiteer social worker and hypnotherapist with a talent for nutrition and massage opened the SF Wellness and Arts Pop-Up.

Envisioned as a center for the healing arts, ranging from talk therapy and hypnosis to murals and massage, The SF Wellness and Arts Pop-Up is a place where clinical treatment is meant to intersect with the creative arts. Like any pop-up, it sprung up quickly and won’t be around forever — at least not at 1500 Market Street.

The building that houses All Star Café and the SF Wellness and Arts is scheduled for tear down sometime within the next six months to two years. Build, Inc., the developers heading the future deconstruction and its replacement with luxury condo buildings, offered the office space at a fair cost to the two women with over fifteen years of experience in the healing arts, in hopes that something supportive of the San Francisco community might be created there.

The two founders, Abbie Zimmerman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and Siri Scull, Certified Hypnotherapist, Nutrition Counselor, and Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage Therapist, have created such a space.

To meet these two women is to not only like them but also to instantly connect with them. Abbie, equal parts confident and authentic, is the type of therapist cool enough to buzz the side of her head and wear large feathered earrings into sessions with her clients. She’s also the kind of person that makes you want to saddle up on the couch across from her and spill about how your girlfriend stopped calling you pretty after you gained seven pounds or about that time your father missed your sixth grade piano recital because he had to be on a conference call to Japan. Abbie currently offers individual psychotherapy and specializes in working with adults using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic approaches, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

If Abbie is easy to talk with, then her partner, Siri, is downright soothing. With the poise of Gwyneth Paltrow, but with none of the elitist undertones, Siri is intelligent and warm. She facilitates the kind of stable trust a person wants from somebody who might access the unconscious mind during a hypnotherapy session. With a large spectrum of expertise, she can use anything from what you eat to where your body aches to what you can do with a blank canvas, oil paints, and a brush to diagnose you. Siri currently offers individual hypnotherapy sessions, nutritional counseling, and abdominal massage. She is also facilitating hypnotic visualization and expressive arts groups.

Over the course of the last three months, the two have transformed what was once a drab office space with pale white walls and stuffy carpeting into a truly inspired healing collective. It’s filled with earth tones and accented with wooden furniture and art, plus tan fabric has been whimsically hung from the ceiling. There’s a chic chandelier that dangles in the heart of the collective over a room filled with comfy pillows, while the large windows showcasing the frenzied city outside juxtapose the serenity of the SF Wellness and Arts space nicely.

Even more perfect is that every so often wafts of the scent of freshly made donuts travel upstairs from the All Star Café and gently take over the collective. So perfect, it’s as if the two founders planned it that way.

‘We’ve created a place,’ Siri explains, ‘for our clients and our community to explore their creative and artistic sides, as well as learn about health and wellness through traditional talk therapy, hypnotherapy and nutrition. We hope to invite other artists and practitioners to our space to hold classes and workshops that align with our mission.’

But just how long they have the space before it gets knocked down is the big question. The two founders don’t seem all that concerned about it.

‘It’s ours until it’s not,’ Abbie noted practically. ‘It could be six months. It could be two years.’

‘Impermanence,’ Siri wisely added, ‘is the nature of life. We don’t really know how long we’ll have anything. Our wellness pop-up is no different.’

The two hope to build a community during the time their SF Wellness and Arts lives at 1500 Market St. and will make plans to transition to another space when that time arrives.

‘We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,’ Abbie said with the calming strength of a therapist. ‘Until then, we’ll work with what we have in the present.’

Siri and Abbie, in a uniquely San Francisco way, are like the Phoenix that rises from the ashes. Only instead of waiting until after it’s burned down to give wings to their dream, these two progressive and modern practitioners have taken flight before there’s even been a fire.

Or a wrecking ball, for that matter.

Those interested in any of the healing modalities offered at The SF Wellness and Arts Pop-Up should e-mail either Abbie Zimmerman at abbiezimmerlcsw@gmail.com or Siri Scull at wellness@siricull.com directly. Please also visit their website at sfwellnessarts.com for the schedule of upcoming classes and events as well as further information on their services.

SF Wellness & Arts Pop-Up, 1500 Market St, San Francisco, CA, USA