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ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTERS IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Although there are very few drug rehab centers in the city of San Francisco, itself, there are quite a few in the surrounding area. For instance, there is the Sequoia Centre, which is located in Redwood City, California. This center is primarily for adults and feature comprehensive treatment programs that combine the 12-step program with principles from both psychodynamic models and cognitive behavior theory. The facility prides itself on compassionate care, for both the client themselves and the family of the client. The residential treatment program at the center ensures a highly structured environment for each person. Clients participate in group therapy in groups such as a young adult group, yoga, relapse prevention group, assignment group, gender group, process group, and others. The residents also must attend local 12-step meetings, for instance AA or NA.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a problem with substance abuse, do not hesitate to contact this or any other drug rehab facility. There is help. You are not alone. Our website offers a wide-ranging directory of all the drug rehab facilities in San Francisco and the state of California. The contact information is included in the list. Do you not think it is time to make the first step towards the rest of your life?
SAN FRANCISCO, CA REHAB CENTERS AND ADDICTION TREATMENT
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco, CA 94110
WHAT THERAPISTS IN SAN FRANCISCO HAVE TO SAY
Abilash Gopal MD
Abilash Gopal MD
San Francisco , CA

1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I'm a board-certified psychiatrist trained at UCSF, where I studied multiple approaches to therapy, including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal theories. In my practice, I offer psychotherapy and/or medications to address a wide range of psychological and emotional difficulties, including mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. 

 

 2. How does one know if therapy is right for them?

Psychotherapy is an essential part of recovery from mental illness, and finding a therapist that you can connect with is the first step. 

 

 3. What can one expect to gain from therapy?

Psychotherapy is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do. I feel privileged to support individuals in their journey towards a better quality of life, and I believe that the safety and intimacy of the therapeutic relationship can foster profound changes in a person's well-being in a matter of months. Longer-term psychotherapy can lead to even deeper growth, such as the development of a more authentic sense of self and the accumulation of personal wisdom.  

 

 4. What is unique about you as a therapist?

Please see my website (www.psychiatristsf.com) for more information on my background and approach. 

 

 5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

Substance abuse causes difficulties in work, relationships, and overall self-esteem, leading to mental health problems. 

 

 

Dr. Gopal is a Certified Psychiatrist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in his services, please contact him at (415) 494-9329

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Abilash Gopal MD Featured
Abilash Gopal MD

San Francisco , CA
Adina Morguelan
Adina Morguelan
San Francisco, CA 94131

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I have a doctoral (PhD) degree in East/West Psychology and am also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 10 years of professional experience providing social services in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I believe that the therapy process is a practice of paying attention to what is actually happening – it sounds simple, but this is actually a deeply profound and challenging stance to maintain towards life. The work we do in therapy involves bringing elements of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, how we relate to ourselves and to others, and how we move through the world, from the darkness of the unconscious into the light of consciousness where we can take a look at them. We do not have to struggle and toil in order to implement change in our lives. When we simply notice what is actually happening, we begin to see more clearly the effect that our patterns of thoughts, feelings, and interactions have on the results we get. It is this shift in consciousness that sets in motion the change process in all areas of our lives.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

My theoretical orientation borrows from the mindfulness traditions of the East, as well as the many psycho-therapeutic approaches of the West. The focus of my clinical work reflects my areas of interest and expertise including provision of treatment in an inspiring, compassionate, accepting, supportive environment utilizing multiple treatment modalities - specific focus on self-esteem, self-care, healthy relationships, coping with chronic illness (such as HIV/AIDS), substance ab/use, gender identity, and sexual orientation. I am especially adept at motivational interviewing (MI), motivation enhancement therapy (MET), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness approaches as well as psychodynamic and systems-based interventions.

When should one seek treatment?

You might consider seeking treatment when you are ready to explore yourself more deeply, to reflect on your patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, to come to know yourself more fully and honestly, and/or to make changes in your life by letting go of old habits that are no longer serving you.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I provide confidential and non-judgmental consultations, referrals, and professional counseling to individuals, couples, and groups; deliver substance ab/use assessment and treatment; and address a broad range of client concerns and multiple diagnoses including: anxiety, depression, isolation, stress, grief, and creative/spiritual blocks. I provide counseling treatment in an inspiring, compassionate, accepting, supportive, and creative environment utilizing multiple treatment modalities.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Often, mental health concerns and substance abuse issues coincide and complicate one another. Under these circumstances, it can be challenging to sort out where to begin in assessing motivation for change, and to tailor the appropriate approach to change that resonates with each individual's situation. Approaches such as motivational interviewing (MI) and motivation enhancement therapy (MET) are a great place to begin this process of self-inquiry. Sometimes substances are utilized as a coping strategy for mental health issues, or a form of self-medication to numb out the pain of past trauma. In these cases, it becomes important to engage a two-pronged approach where mental health concerns are addressed simultaneously to substance abuse issues. Finding new ways to self-soothe and to cope with difficult and painful situations will help to move individuals away from relying on past coping skills that have negative consequences and that no longer work as well.

Adina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on her services please contact her at (415) 820-9626. 

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Adina Morguelan Featured
Adina Morguelan
3150 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
Bill Gardner
Bill Gardner
San Francisco, CA 94111

What types of services do you offer?

I provide individual one on one therapy for adults. I have an office in San Francisco’s financial district.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

I provide individually tailored treatment for people seeking help for anxiety, depression, anger and trauma.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I primarily utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The techniques I use are empirically supported and designed to reduce symptoms and improve overall functioning in a comparatively short period of time.

When should one seek treatment?

One should seek therapy when the issues they are trying to manage become more than they feel they want to tackle alone. Sometimes this is a decision a person comes to on his own, sometimes it is through the prompting from others. In the end though, it is the individual who needs to decide that this is something he or she wants to do.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

A person should choose me if they are truly interested in working and improving aspects of their lives. I work quickly when possible, but will pace your treatment with what you need and are capable of doing. My goal is to help you to reach your goals.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Substances are often used to self medicate. They are used to mask other mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma and anger. Unfortunately, the substances themselves both add to the underlying issue and become an issue unto themselves. Working from either a harm reduction model or an abstinence model, depending on the need, we will work to decrease dependence on the substances and to decrease the symptoms of the underlying issue. I work closely with psychiatry and general practitioners to monitor and safely detox from addictive substances, while providing a safe and reassuring environment in which to work through the issues that are driving the addictions.

Bill is a Clinical Psychologist in San Francisco, California. For more information on his services please contact him at (415) 323-5750. 

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Bill Gardner Featured
Bill Gardner
388 Market Street, Suite 1010
San Francisco, CA 94111
Carolyn Barrington Cooper
Carolyn Barrington Cooper
San Francisco, CA 94104

What types of services do you offer?

Psychotherapy, consultation & clinical supervision

What issues do you specify treatment for?

Trauma, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and relationship issues are the main issues I treat, but I also see people who are struggling with existential dilemmas (what is my purpose in life, and what do I want to do?) and employment-related concerns (peak performance, EAP,

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

Substance Abuse (SAP) Assessments, Somatic Experiencing, CBT, Motivational Interviewing, EMDR, Solution-Focused, Person-Centered & Psychodynamic

When should one seek treatment?

The sooner the better, but any time is a good time to seek professional help to increase self-awareness. From a strengths-based standpoint, we all develop strategies to cope with life from a very early age; the most effective tend to become the ones upon which we heavily rely. This is especially true for people whose families struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma and/or substance abuse. Our greatest strengths tend to become blind spots and weaknesses. Therapy can improve our objectivity, increasing the ability to discern whether we apply existing or new skills. Therapy can also help alleviate crises. People tend to call when overwhelmed or desperate for a solution, and therapy can be useful to support stabilization as well as identify a plan, direction or path to clarity.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

Foremost, my practice is based on a foundation of respect for the individual seeking services. Before any intervention, I establish an understanding of the client's goals, as well as take a thorough history of what's already been tried and worked or not. Thus, treatment is an individually-tailored, collaborative effort toward a clear destination. Secondly, I have a big toolbox. While I have classical psychotherapeutic training, I also immerse myself in evidence-based practices derived from cutting edge research that incorporates the nervous system in psychotherapy. Thus, sessions may involve traditional "top-down" talk therapy or insight-seeking approaches, or newer "bottom-up" somatically-based interventions, or, more often, a combination of the two. Because the "thinking brain" goes offline when we are overwhelmed, people with anxiety, depression, trauma histories or substance abuse issues are less likely to achieve therapeutic goals with traditional approaches alone. Even as they relay histories or current experiences, anxious and depressed people become less engaged intellectually. My brain-based psychotherapy approach takes this into account and supports the use of an integrated nervous system to address and overcome problems.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

Broad question - I'll be as concise as possible here. Substance abuse is often a result of a person suffering from a pre-existing condition (anxiety, depression, physical pain, etc.) finding relief from a substance that initially offers a reprieve, but later becomes a necessity as it gradually ceases to address the symptoms and original problems worsen or multiply because relief did not occur in conjunction with skill development or addressing underlying issues to improve self-regulation (stress or pain-management, trauma reprocessing, etc.). As an individual continues to reach outside him-/herself, brain chemistry and function adapt and become more dependent. At the same time, the nervous system becomes more dysregulated, especially during acute- and post-acute withdrawal - when the substance's effects diminish.

What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

As previously mentioned, my approach is individually-tailored to meet the client's goals, based on identifying strategies and using both top-down and bottom-up interventions. And, of course, I always refer to a higher level of care or alternate provider when it seems more appropriate to a client's needs.

Carolyn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 342-5196. 

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Carolyn Barrington Cooper
582 Market Street, Suite 1604
San Francisco, CA 94104
Daniel Kaplan
Daniel Kaplan
San Francisco, CA 94118

What types of services do you offer?

I offer individual, couples and family therapy. I offer specialized hypnosis services for test taking anxiety with both people taking professional licensing exams, and for high school kids and college kids taking SATs,LSATs ,GREs etc.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

Anxiety, phobias, depression, performance anxiety, couples issues.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

Cognitive Behavioral, Ericksonian (with the utilization of hypnosis).

When should one seek treatment?

When what you’ve tried isn’t working and you know you need help.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

Because of my unique background and life studying both Eastern and Western approaches to psychology and psychotherapy, my integrity, and my extensive training.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

There is often a direct connection between mental health and substance abuse, be it a propensity, a mental habit towards habituation, a wish to repress or deny, a wish to live dangerously etc. I don’t insist someone be clean and sober to work with me. I DO insist they be sober when working with me in session. I use a harm reduction model. I provide counseling, therapy and change work for substance abusing clients as well as mental health clients.

Daniel is a licensed psychotherapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on his services, please contact him at (415) 613-4085. 

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Daniel Kaplan Featured
Daniel Kaplan
3569 Sacramento Street, Suite 2
San Francisco, CA 94118
Dr. David Donovan
Dr. David Donovan
San Francisco , CA 94102

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I specialize in work with men and the range of men’s issues, from fatherhood and relationships, including problems with mood, anxiety, sex, drugs, and alcohol.

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I have an eclectic approach grounded in psychological research, which emphasizes physical health as the foundation for mental health, and cognitive behavioral approaches along with mindfulness practices as the foundation for peace of mind and skillful action. When people have that, own their part, and seek to live life on life’s terms, the intelligent next step becomes obvious.

 

3) When should one seek treatment?

In general, people are often able to solve their problems using their own resources and with the support of family and friends. This is often the best choice. People should seek professional help when that has not been enough, or only partially effective, or the problem seems to recur, or it us continuing to cause significant distress or impairment in work and/or relationships.  Some pain is mandatory in life, but suffering is completely optional.

 

4) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

There are many professionals available, and no one person will be right for everyone. While your childhood matters, your unconscious motivations matters, and your “inner child” matters, that is not what I emphasize – I assess those things but my approach is rational, here-and-now, practical, and action-oriented. If anything I emphasize cultivating your inner parent – a loving but firm, kind but not indulgent parent, whether you actually had one or not.  Your life from here on depends on the choices you make starting now.  While the past matters, you can’t drive forward looking for too long in the rear-view mirror. The men I work with have often seen other therapists they felt only listened to them but did not engage or challenge them or offer practical guidance, or only wanted to delve into the distant past.  I am solution-focused more than problem-focused, and while I am arguably highly educated with a doctorate and internships from top-tier schools, I have also lived a life and worked in this field for many years. What matters more than anything is that you learn from the past, but focus on the present, always staying on your side, and devote yourself to each day as a new opportunity to grow, to act more skillfully, and see things more clearly. So much suffering comes from trying to control what is NOT within our control. All we really can control are the thoughts we entertain [not the thoughts that come unbidden, but the ones we actively churn] the things we say, and the actions we take.  That’s it. I encourage my patients to direct all their energy to those things, challenge their own fears and self-doubt, to live the fullest life they possibly can.

 

5) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

There are many books and articles addressing the complex relationship between mental health and substance abuse.  Short version – people with substance problems are typically self-medicating a mental health problem (e.g. anxiety).  I find that men abusing drugs or alcohol are – as Lincoln once said – people with exceptionally large hearts, caring and kind, but with insufficient ability to set limits with others or properly care for themselves.  I myself do not care if people use drugs or alcohol, what I care about is if their live works. I use a harm-reduction approach, in which abstinence is one of many possible ways to have a life that works. A man needs to be curious about himself and the consequences of his choices, without harsh judgment [hard to learn if you are smacking yourself in the head at the same time]. Each one of us ultimately gets to decide what our relationship with drugs and alcohol and our own self is. It’s your life, you get to choose. Choose wisely, and all will be well.

 

David is a Licensed Psychologist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in his services, please contact him at (415) 731-3264. 

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Dr. David Donovan  Featured
Dr. David Donovan
870 Market Street, Suite 753
San Francisco , CA 94102
Dr. David Lai
Dr. David Lai
San Francisco, CA 94102

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

Life's challenges can often lead us to sadness, anxiety, and stress. Therapy offers the possibility of changing our patterns of reaction to these challenges into positive engagement.

Using a creative synthesis of Western science and Eastern philosophy, I can help you develop a set of tools that enable you to better your life, and truly embrace it. Through insight and mindfulness you can achieve healthy change.

I am a licensed clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience. I work with individuals and couples. I accept some insurance plans.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I tailor the modalities to the client. I draw from mindfulness, cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic models of psychology. In addition, I am a certified EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) therapist.

Humans are creatures of habit. What you learned growing up has helped you grow into adulthood. But often the life skills we learned as children no longer serve us. Indeed, they often hold us back.

Together, we'll explore how the lessons of your past affect your responses to present situations. Your insights will help you live more in the present, instead of reliving the past. And we'll work to identify negative thinking and replace it with positive, healthy healing thoughts.

Your mind and body are connected. Psychological stresses can find their way into your body in the form of headaches, backaches, and even illness. It is easy to allow the pain or illness you experience to be additional stressors, creating a loop of negative feedback. We can break the cycle by using techniques that both relax your body and calm your mind. We will work with techniques such as meditation, diaphragm breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation to help you be more mindful of the present and train your mind to serve you, not hold you captive.

When should one seek treatment?

I recommend seeking treatment when you are in pain from anxiety, depression or substance use. I also believe one can benefit from psychotherapy as a means to be happier (even when one is not suffering).

What relationships exist between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

For many, alcohol and recreational drugs can be just that, recreational. But for others, alcohol and drugs are something over which they have little control. They soon find their lives losing focus and their dreams becoming more and more distant.

But it doesn't have to be that way. You can learn to be in control and enjoy life without alcohol or drugs.

Together, we'll assess your behavior and explore the discrepancy between your situation and your aspirations. You'll learn impulse control techniques, how to identify high-risk situations and how to minimize the negative consequences of relapse. And whether your goal is moderation, sobriety or preventing relapse, we'll work towards developing skills to lead a more fulfilling, balanced life.

Dr. David Lai is a Psychologist in San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Dr. Lai’s, please call (415) 608-7092.

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Dr. David Lai Featured
Dr. David Lai
582 Market Street, Suite 1603
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dr. Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D.
Dr. Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D.
San Francisco, CA

What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

Our therapists are trained in several modalities.  Among them are CBT/ DBT, psychodynamic, Control Mastery, Relational, Acceptance and Commitment therapy.  You can look at our clinicians and learn more about what we do by going to either our website for our Laurel Heights clinic: laurelheightsclinic.wordpress.com, or by going to the website for the APTED clinic, at: aptedsfclinic.wordpress.com/.  For more information about the larger APTED organization, you can go to our main website: AptedSF.org.

We have two sliding-scale clinics under the same roof, staffed by Master's and PhD level clinicians.  The APTED clinic focuses mainly on people diagnosed with eating disorders, however there is frequently a large overlap between those wrestling with eating disorders and those also coming off drugs or alcohol.  Sometimes the substances are very entangled, and one needs help attaining "sanity" and sobriety on both fronts.  Our other clinic accepts patients dealing with other issues aside from eating disorders.  We see people struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, and other issues, often co-occurring with drug or alcohol issues.  Many of our therapists are 12-Step informed; we have at least two 12-Step drop-in groups at our clinic.

How does one know if therapy is right for them?

I think that clients can tell if their therapy feels like a "good fit" if they begin to make changes, feel understood, feel accepted, feel listened to well, and feel able to be themselves and be authentic.  I think that people can tell if their therapy is helping if they incrementally get both more of an understanding of their symptoms, and more of a handle on tools to use to deal with their emotions BESIDES turning to food, or drugs, or alcohol, or other compulsive behaviors.  I think that people who turn to substances need, ultimately, to learn better coping skills than perhaps they were exposed to growing up -- better ways of dealing with situations and with their emotions -- and better connections to those parts of themselves which might be thought of as representative of our Highest Self.

What can one expect to gain from therapy?

One can expect to gain in confidence, gain in clarity, gain in the ability to manage emotions, gain in the ability to refrain from engaging in self-destructive behaviors.  One can gain self-compassion, self-understanding and increased self-assurance of becoming better able to deal with life on life's terms.

What is unique about you as a therapist?

Many of our clinicians are 12-Step informed; many of us integrate 12-Step recovery work with the therapy that we do.  I think that those involved in 12-Step recovery will feel at home, and find that the therapeutic explorations are fully compatible with their program work and spiritual recovery work.  Many of us are in recovery, ourselves.  And while the traditions say "there shall be no professional class of therapists," it is nonetheless valuable, I think, to those of us who are in 12-Step recovery to know that our "language" can be understood, honored, and respected by our therapists.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

In my opinion, as founder and director of the two clinics, I draw equally from 40+ years of 12-Step recovery and from 40+ years of training in psychology and psychotherapy.  I believe that the two approaches are able to be deeply compatible, and that 12-Step recovery enhances deep psychotherapy work and vice versa.  There is a line in the Promises which says: "We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace."   I believe that the two approaches, psychotherapy and 12-Step recovery work in tandem to achieve these ends.

    There is a sentence in Step 8 in the 12 & 12 which says roughly "Deep and painful emotions persist below the level of consciousness; at the time of these occurrences, the events may actually have given or psyches a violent “twist,” which then negatively changed our personalities, or warped our lives and our choices for decades."

    Both psychotherapy and 12-step recovery have, I believe, as their goals a recovery from "these violent twists," so that we can open back out to "right balance," and serenity, no longer operate as if we are "on top of the heap nor below it" and come to be in alignment with our Highest Selves.

Dr. Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Laurel Heights Psychotherapy Associates Clinic and the Director of the Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders Clinic in San Francisco, California.

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Dr. Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D. Featured
Dr. Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D.

San Francisco, CA
Dr. John Amodeo
Dr. John Amodeo
San Francisco, CA

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer a safe place for forward movement in recovery. This includes uncovering and befriending deeper, authentic feelings and needs. I specialize in relationships issues—recognizing our legitimate need for connection and how to create healthy relationships, as well as how to have a more gentle and loving relationship with oneself. We may explore how to connect with others and honoring one’s needs without losing oneself or merging—finding a healthy balance between autonomy and intimacy.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

An eclectic blend developed over 30 years of being a psychotherapist.  Client-centered work, somatic experiencing for trauma, and Focusing as a somatic approach to therapy rather than just intellectualizing. We work toward an integration of body, mind, and spirit.

When should one seek treatment?

When one feels low self-esteem, finding oneself withdrawing from people and life, having grief issues to explore, feeling down, anxious, or disconnected. Taking comfort in addictive behaviors or substances as a way to avoid one’s feelings.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

People may turn to substance abuse when they are having a difficult time dealing with painful feelings. Mental and emotional health require from us a courageous willingness to look at ourselves honestly and develop a loving relationship with ourselves. Such a healing path often begins by accepting ourselves just as we are, identifying areas where we want to grow, and allowing someone “in” to help guide our way forward. Asking for help is a sign of strength.

Dr. John Amodeo is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Rafael and San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Dr. Amodeo’s services, please call (707) 829-8948.

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Dr. John Amodeo Featured
Dr. John Amodeo
San Rafael
San Francisco, CA
Dr. Jonathan Horowitz
Dr. Jonathan Horowitz
San Francisco , CA 94105

1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for? 

I specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders and adult AD/HD, though I also enjoy helping clients with issues around relationships and sexuality. When I am treating anxiety and AD/HD, I primarily use behavioral approaches: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I also tend to incorporate mindfulness meditation in a practical way, when applicable. Together, these approaches help people clarify their goals and values, and overcome obstacles that stand in their way. I use these approaches because they are present-oriented, and because they have been demonstrative to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of issues, including anxiety disorders and substance abuse. 

When working with couples, or with individuals who are trying to improve their relationships, I primarily draw on Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). This approach helps partner identify the ways in which they fall into negative patterns that keep them distanced from one another

 

2. How does on know if therapy is right for them? 

A therapist's approach and credentials are important, but really, you need to feel comfortable with your therapist. If you don't feel like you "click" with them, if you are unwilling to open up, you probably won't develop the trusting relationship necessary to really benefit from therapy. So, trust your gut.

 

3. What can one expect to gain from therapy? 

It really depends on your reason for seeking therapy. But in most cases, you can expect to gain guidance and support through a difficult time, increased clarity about your goals and purpose, and some new tools and skills for dealing with the stress and anxiety that life inevitably throws our way.

 

4. What is unique about you as a therapist? 

I've been told that I have a good balance; I am rational, analytical, and slightly nerdy, but I'm also compassionate and relatable. One of my clients said, "You're not at all like those therapists who have crystals and dream catchers in their office." I took that as a complement.

 

5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? 

The relationship between mental health and substance abuse runs both ways. Anxiety disorders put people at risk for substance abuse--for instance, people often start drinking to deal with anxiety in social situations. Then the consequences of drinking (hangovers, arguments with partners, missed work) lead to more stress and anxiety. It can be a vicious cycle. With other drugs, the cycles look different, but they are there. I try to help people see how they get caught in these cycles, and help them break out.

 
 
 
Jonathan is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the San Francisco Stress and Anxiety Center, which has locations in San Francisco, CA and at 845 Oak Grove Ave. in Menlo Park, CA. If you are interested in his services, or those of the San Francisco Stress and Anxiety Center, please contact (415) 799-3688 
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Dr. Jonathan Horowitz  Featured
Dr. Jonathan Horowitz
55 New Montgomery St., Suite 420
San Francisco , CA 94105
Elizabeth Sullivan of Psyched in San Francisco
Elizabeth Sullivan of Psyched in San Francisco
San Francisco , CA 94104

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

Psyched in San Francisco provides state-of-the-art psychotherapy services with highly trained therapists informed by the latest developments in nueroscience and research. Specialities include couples work, work issues, depth therapy, parenting challenges, and all aspects of human experience and suffering.

If you wish you enjoyed your work more, if your stress level is making you act out, if your addiction is re-emerging, if you can't talk to your partner or teenager, if you are worried all the time or feeling compulsive, the therapists at Psyched in San Francisco are here to help.

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

Research shows, and we believe that the quality of the relationship between client and therapist is the heart of how healing happens. We utilize talk therapy, solution-focussed, body-focussed (or somatic) therapy, and other modalities depending on the needs of the client.
 
 

3) When should one seek treatment?

When stress and worry are overtaking your life, when you are cut-off from your relationships or feel it is hard to talk to your friends and family, when you feel desperate or just confused. We can help you find the way to make life sweet again.
 
 

4) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

We offer state-of-the-art psychotherapy with the technology to make therapy convenient. From online scheduling and billing, to free online resources such as webinars and podcasts on relevant topics, Psyched in San Francisco is committed to psychotherapy for everyone. And whether you come in for sessions or watch a webinar on "dealing with difficult people" or "moms and anger" we hope to offer some comfort and hope when you find yourself in a time in your life where things are tough. (We are conveniently located in downtown San Francisco at Market and 2nd streets.)
 
 

5) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Addiction and substance abuse are forms of emotional suffering that deserve compassion, understanding and practical help. We do not provide patient services for people in full-blown addiction to get into recovery. However, we work with many people dealing with the challenges of life in recovery. We also see substance abuse as another form of addiction (such as an addiction to money, exercise, food, sex or shopping) that is a solution of a kind to the terrible suffering of unmet needs. We are experts at helping people build lives of honesty, meaning and joy.
 
 
 
Elizabeth is a licensed Psychotherapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 508-7086. 
 
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Elizabeth Sullivan of Psyched in San Francisco              Featured
Elizabeth Sullivan of Psyched in San Francisco
582 Market Street Suite 1109
San Francisco , CA 94104
Francis J. Macrae
Francis J. Macrae
San Francisco , CA 94118

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

In my general practice of psychotherapy I offer compassionate intelligent understanding and support for adults addressing issues related to phase of life changes, relationship issues, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, sexual or physical abuse as a child as well as support for recovery resulting from drug and alcohol abuse. 

I also specialize treatment for young children from 3 years of age through middle school who may be suffering from problems related to socialization, regulating emotions, attention deficit, impulse control, aggression, abuse, trauma, encopresis or enuresis. 

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I use talk therapy as a basic modality. I believe that the most fundamental element of psychotherapy is the connection felt within a relationship based on trust. When working with individuals my practice is based on Humanistic and Existential theoretical approaches to psychotherapy. Carl Rodgers first established that the essential conditions of good counseling include authenticity, empathy and an unconditional positive regard for the client. Because we meet one another person to person, I may at times share some of my own experience when it might help to clarify the issues you present.  The humanistic therapist is client centered, authentic, real and engaged - not distant or removed.  I also incorporate elements of an Existential approach to therapy - which places an emphasis on personal responsibility and seeks to clarify the choices one has made and will make in his or her life with an emphasis on meaning.

When trauma is the presenting issue or symptoms point to a traumatic event being the cause I may suggest using the modality of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This approach was developed by Francine Shapiro to resolve the development of trauma-related disorders as resulting from exposure to a traumatic or distressing event, such as rape, accident or military combat. Clinical trials have been conducted to assess EMDR's efficacy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In some studies it has been shown to be equivalent to cognitive behavioral therapy and more effective than other treatments. 

EMDR integrates elements of cognitive therapy, psychodynamic and somatic therapies. It also uses the unique element of bilateral stimulation (e.g. moving the eyes back and forth). According to the theory, when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm the usual ways of coping and the memory of the event is inadequately processed; the memory is dysfunctionally stored in an isolated memory network. When this memory network is activated, the individual may re-experience aspects of the original event, often resulting in inappropriate overreactions. This explains why people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic incident may have recurring sensory flashbacks, thoughts, beliefs, or dreams. An unprocessed memory of a traumatic event can retain high levels of sensory and emotional intensity, even though many years may have passed. Although EMDR was originated using eye movements many therapists find that other means of stimulating both hemispheres of the brain are equally effective.   An apparatus which has small vibrating paddles which can be held in each hand may be used by patients who prefer a tactile stimulator or headphones which produces an alternating tone may be more comfortable for clients who prefer an auditory channel. When the distressing or traumatic event is an isolated incident, the symptoms can often be cleared within three EMDR sessions. But when multiple traumatic events contribute to a health the time to heal may be longer.

 

3) When should one seek treatment?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, and can give you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

 

4) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I believe that the most fundamental element of psychotherapy is the connection felt within a relationship based on trust.  My clients experience me as warm, authentic, and compassionate. I am skilled at creating an atmosphere of comfort and safety as I strive to understand your experience through patient listening.  

 

5) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Often a person’s first experiments with substances occur during adolescence – a time when it is important to grapple with questions of identity and to pass through various developmental crises.  Part of the reason it feels good to be high is the relief, however temporary, of the huge responsibility of becoming a mature adult. A pattern of abuse of drugs or alcohol can delay the process of maturation for many years.  Additionally, if there has been trauma, drugs and alcohol can be used as a false solution to the unresolved emotional pain one carries and a serious dependency can develop. If a person decides to stop drinking or using drugs there is often a psychic journey that is initiated which involves not only abstinence but must address those inner crises previously avoided. Therapy is an excellent vehicle for this process. In AA the development of emotional honestly, willingness and integrity is supported by the 12 Steps and specifically the self-inventory required of sober practice and recovery.

I am very familiar with twelve step programs as my father maintained his sobriety for 45 years through AA – beginning in the year I was born.  In my work with clients I am patient over periods of time as we discuss the level of disturbance in one’s life represented by substance abuse. I am not opposed to harm reduction/moderation management models of treatment if a client wishes to try limiting intake as long as we can establish an ability to report honestly. I am also familiar with secular programs such as Lifering and local residential and outpatient treatment programs.  I may make referrals to AA, NA and Al-a-non as needed knowing that success in remaining sober and support for recovery can rarely be achieved through a weekly hour of therapy and the support of relationships in a community of like-minded individuals has the greatest possibility for success.

 
Francis is a licensed marriage and family therapist with 2 private practices in California. One is in San Francisco, CA and the other is located at 1748 Novato Blvd. Suite 210 in Novato, CA. If you are interested in his services, please contact him at (415) 602-2002. 
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Francis J. Macrae  Featured
Francis J. Macrae
3637 Sacramento St. Suite F
San Francisco , CA 94118
Gloria Saltzman
Gloria Saltzman
San Francisco, CA 94115

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

In my private practice, I offer talk therapy to adult individuals and couples. My office is located in the Fillmore district of San Francisco.

Sessions are once a week or more for 50 minutes.I have a general practice that addresses a variety of issues . Some areas I am especially interested in working with are; relationships, life transitions, cancer or other life threatening diagnosis, neonatal loss, pre-marital and couples counseling, compulsive overeating, depression and anxiety. I also see folks who are in recovery from alcohol and other substance abuse.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

My style is relational which means that I am interactive with my clients and use our relationship to understand some of their experiences outside the therapy session. Some people come to therapy to solve a particular problem and others want to work on a general experience that something is amiss in their lives. We spend time getting to know each other and as the relationship between us develops and it becomes more clear what the client needs, I customize the work accordingly.

When should one seek treatment?

When the right time for someone to be in therapy is very personal. One must be ready to make a commitment to come to regular sessions and be willing to delve into an exploration of themselves. The intention is that well being will increase in the areas of ones life that feel out of balance. Whether it's a repetition of a pattern that produces unsatisfying results, or a chronic distress that seems to follow you as your live your life, when it seems that your life is not going the way you'd like it to, therapy can be helpful.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Substance abuse is complex issue. There are some statistics that state that it takes up to seven attempts to successfully stop using. That means that relapse is expected as the process of change is occurring.For some , harm reduction is an effective solution. That means it is possible to  reduce the amount of drugs or alcohol being used and continue to have a healthy and satisfying life. For others total abstention is necessary. In most cases, the abuse of a substance or a behavior is a coping mechanism to help regulate an intolerable emotional state. That strategy may work temporarily but at some point it may prevent one from having a healthy life, a satisfying career and fulfilling personal relationships. Without addressing addictions, it is usually not probable that issues that may be preventing a balanced in ones mental, emotional and spiritual state can be reached. Whether outpatient, in-patient, 12 step or other rehab options, additional support is useful in keeping one accountable and on track while in recovery.

Gloria Saltzman is a Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Gloria’s services, please call (415) 821-3556. 

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Gloria Saltzman Featured
Gloria Saltzman
2485 Clay Street, Suite 106
San Francisco, CA 94115
Heidi Haddad
Heidi Haddad
San Francisco , CA 94114

 1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

My therapeutic approach is integrative in that I blend elements of various therapies, such as humanistic, cognitive behavioral, narrative, solution focused, and psychodynamic, in order to meet the specific needs of each individual.  Always client centered, I approach all my clients with humor, heart, warmth, interest and compassion.

I provide individual, couple and group therapy to children, adolescents, adults and families. Some of the issues that often arise include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, life transitions, divorce, anger, adoption, foster care, navigation of family changes, grief and loss.  Some of the services I provide include co-parenting counseling, mediation, collaborative practice coach and child specialist, teen girl support groups and adult divorce groups.

 

2. How does one know if therapy is right for them?

I believe that the right therapy could be right for everyone. Imagine if you had a safe, nonjudgmental, open "only for you" space which nurtured your willingness to share your mental and emotional process, while helping you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, or minimally let you breathe freely for a little while...why wouldn't you go?

 

3. What can one expect to gain from therapy?

Finding a healthy and positive match in a therapist, which may mean something different to everyone, is an important first step in the process and can sometimes take a few tries before you are successful. Safety and the freedom to be vulnerable can give you the opportunity to grow.  On the continuum of possibility for therapeutic gains...on one end you could find a safe space to breathe for a time and on the other, you could increase your awareness of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and bloom!

 

4. What is unique about you as a therapist?

I began my social work career in an African village, teaching life skills and facilitating groups for youth and women.  I equally enjoy working with individuals above and below the age of 18 and appreciate the diversity of my clients in all venues of support: therapy, mediation, co-parenting counseling, as well as parent and divorce coaching.

 

5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

If both a mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, and substance abuse exist, then it's important to get support and treatment to address both issues. Symptoms from a mental health issue are made worse with the use of substances and vice-versa.  For example, drinking as a form of self-medication will never address the underlying causes of the depression.  And drinking increases the risk of mental health issues.  It's very difficult to create movement in your life and stand in a conscious state if substance use and abuse are present.

 

 

Heidi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Head and Heart Therapy, located in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact (415) 358-0726

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Heidi Haddad  Featured
Heidi Haddad
2148 Market St
San Francisco , CA 94114
Hillary Dupuis, MFT
Hillary Dupuis, MFT
San Francisco, CA

What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

My academic background is in cognitive behavioral therapy but I've had the opportunity to broaden my skillset over the years with professional training and varied supervisors in other modalities. I meet the needs of my clientele with an eclectic, mindful, educational and humanistic approach. I use play therapy with children; dialectical behavior therapy with clients who struggle with highly charged emotions; strength-based and solution-focused approaches with couples; a trauma-informed, seeking safety curriculum with clients who struggle with trauma and/or PTSD; insight-based therapy with clients who want to do growth work; motivational interviewing with clients who struggle with addiction. I try my best to meet the needs of my clients and if I can't, I own it and make sure to provide appropriate referrals.

How does one know if therapy is right for them?

If a person is open to therapy then therapy is usually right for them. If a person is open to the process of therapy then the second part of that question is, "Is this therapist right for me?" I strongly believe a large part of successful therapy depends on the relationship between therapist and client. I find that clients open up when they feel comfortable and emotionally safe, and strongly suggest clients shop around for that feeling of comfort and safety by interviewing at least 3 therapists.

What can one expect to gain from therapy?

Therapy can have so many uses. It can be a space to celebrate accomplishments, gain insight into your emotional world, learn how to set boundaries and have more fulfilling relationships, teach the brain healthier behavior and how to soothe itself without the dependence on substances, receive validation from an objective person that what you're feeling or thinking is okay or even normal, resources for wellness, suggestions on how to take care of yourself, a place to vent or problem solve, mediate a relationship...the list goes on.

What is unique about you as a therapist?

I think the thing that makes me unique is that I don't view myself as unique. I believe we're all connected on an organic level and I meet clients from that human perspective offering not only empathy but also sympathy when applicable and appropriate. It's a great privilege to help others and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to utilize my clinical training along with my life experience. They seem to compliment each other well. I'm learning that human experience is rarely unique on a macro level.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

Sometimes people use substances to self medicate existing mental health symptoms, like, using meth for more energy because the person may be depressed and not know it. Or drinking alcohol to provide relief from sadness or anxious feelings that feel overwhelming and all consuming. Other times substance abuse can cause mental health symptoms, like, anxiety and paranoia from smoking marijuana that may not have been there when the person first started smoking. Or substances can exacerbate a person's depression or sadness, like, drinking to find relief from difficult feelings but then feeling worse over time. From my understanding, substance abuse is rarely about the substance itself but what's driving the substance abuse behavior. If it was as simple as detoxing the person off a substance, relapse wouldn't exist. Ideally, both the therapist and client get a more authentic picture of the client's mental health if s/he chooses to abstain from their drug(s) of choice during the treatment process. The reality, however, is more challenging because the client is abstaining from their choice in coping while they learn new coping skills. This is why it's so important to treat both at the same time!

Hillary Dupuis, MFT provides psychotherapy for adults, couples, adolescents and children in San Francisco, California. For more information, please call (415) 375-0414.

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Hillary Dupuis, MFT Featured
Hillary Dupuis, MFT

San Francisco, CA
Howard Grossman
Howard Grossman
San Francisco, CA 94118

What types of services do you offer?

I provide counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

Although I work with individuals with many different concerns, I specialize in substance abuse, addictions, anxiety, depression, grief and loss issues, relationship problems, and chronic health conditions.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I utilize different treatment modalities including cognitive behavioral, solution focused, and psychodynamic therapies tailored to the client's specific needs.

When should one seek treatment?

One should seek treatment when they are seeking a change in their life, or have a problem that is preventing them from living the life they truly desire.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I have years of experience practicing as a psychotherapist in private practice, as well as several other clinical settings. I'm caring, empathic, and easy to talk to. My goal is to ensure my client's have a safe, comfortable place to come and explore the problems and challenges they're experiencing.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Mental health and substance abuse are interrelated. I provide counseling and psychotherapy services to people recovering from substance abuse. I incorporate harm reduction practices, as appropriate, as well as abstinence treatments.

Howard is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Psychotherapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on his services, please contact him at (415) 580-1569. 

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Howard Grossman
3354 Sacramento Street, Suite F
San Francisco, CA 94118
Ilene Wolf, MFT
Ilene Wolf, MFT
San Francisco , CA

1) What types of services do you offer? 

Truth is, at some point in life, all people struggle with negative thoughts. Our primary addiction is making ourselves wrong, or making other people wrong. In this way, when we struggle with negative thoughts, we feel badly about ourself and others. We can find ourselves relying on unhealthy habits and addictions as a means to turn off the negative thoughts and the anxiety, I have a simpler and more effective way to do that-so that you don’t have to lose your job or relationships- and I can show you how. I see the best in you. I am here to give you the tools to turn your life around, so you can have a phenomenal and meaningful life. I am a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, who for 30 years has helped people from all walks of life. I am here as your ally, to help you work on -what in the past may have seemed impossibly difficult- any relationship, or work related problem, any habit or addiction that you struggle with; would you like to feel better? I can show you how.

 

2) What issues do you specify treatment for? 

I will help you stand up and defeat problems such as addiction and substance abuse, and anxiety which is fear of conflict, fear of rejection, fear of failure. The nicer we are, the more likely we are to be afraid of conflict. I will help you hold your own, no matter how difficult your relationships, no matter how difficult the conversation. I will show you how to put the addiction behind you, and have more loving conversation, even in the face of anger and disappointment. I show you how to build social courage and stand up to negative thoughts like depression and anxiety. I work with all ages, starting from 3 years old to the end of one’s life, bringing grandparents in from out of town, to hold empathy circles, and have and enjoy crucial conversations. One question you might want to ask: If you leave this website and decide not to call or do anything about this problem, will anything be different in your life 2 years from now? I am here for you, if you are hesitant, and have questions, about what therapy looks like, you can call me, 415.420.3619.

 

3) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

First of all, I show you the tools to build more empathy into your life. I am solution-focused: I use Role Play, Drama Therapy and CBT(Cognitive Therapy). I rely on the evidence-based practices from Stanford Research to go to the source of the problem, to help you defeat reoccurring negative thoughts, overcome anxiety and depression that so often can lead to addiction, to ultimately cultivate and celebrate more loving relationships and hold more loving conversations.  

 

4) When should one seek treatment?

If some part of you knows you could be happier, you could enjoy your kids more, earn more money, be more relaxed at the dinner table, in spite of everything, you can call me to make an appointment. If you are wondering: How can I feel better and enjoy life again? I can show you how.

 

5) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

Within the first few sessions, you will leave the session feeling more appreciative, hopeful and more confident, feeling better, in ways you never knew previously were possible. I am often called the therapists’ therapist- because so many therapists seek treatment from me: they come to either train with me or be my clients. I have offices conveniently located in both San Francisco and Marin County. Safe. Confidential.

 

6) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both? 

I go the extra mile for my clients. 

 
 
Ilene is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA and Marin County, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 263-6744. 
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Ilene Wolf, MFT Featured
Ilene Wolf, MFT

San Francisco , CA
J. Delfina Piretti
J. Delfina Piretti
San Francisco, CA 94118

What types of services do you offer?

The types of services I offer are: somatically oriented psychotherapy, expressive arts therapy, and creativity coaching for adults, teenagers, and couples. I also facilitate workshops, such as: The Art of Aging ( see flyer attached) and Painting Workshops.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

The therapy modalities I use are:

  • somatic approaches that address the physiology of trauma including: EMDR, TFT, and hypnotherapy;

  • psychodynamic psychotherapy that emphasizes attachment theory; mindfulness practices from Buddhist psychology

  • expressive arts therapy and Jungian sandplay therapy for self exploration and growth, processing and containing emotions, contacting and strengthening inner resources;

  • spiritual support to assist clients in defining ones cosmology (assisting in defining the meaning of life and death); hypnotherapy for resourcing

  • holistic approach for people suffering with addictions and those engaged in recovery. I will assist people who are still using substances and who are motivated for recovery for a limited period of time. I have found a person needs recovery which offers inner structure and stability before doing in depth psychological work and trauma work.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

The issues I treat most often are: depression, anxiety and phobia , post traumatic stress (sexual, physical, neglect), life transitions, divorce, grief and loss. I have experience working with people of different ethnicities and genders. I have worked with clients suffering from addiction to alcohol, narcotics, prescription drugs, sex and love addiction and codependency. Often after finding sobriety depression, anxiety and, trauma will surface. Another way to look at it is that through therapy you get to know yourself more intimately and heal unattended psychological wounds. Through this process we can grow and develop a full and meaningful life.

J. Delfina Piretti, MA, MFT is a Psychotherapist in San Francisco, California. For more information, please call (415) 979-6689.

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J. Delfina Piretti Featured
J. Delfina Piretti
312 Third Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Jim Christrup
Jim Christrup
San Francisco, CA 94114

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I help people who are struggling with feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, panic, stress, self-criticism,  shyness, social anxiety, and depressed moods. I also help couples who get stuck in painful and destructive cycles that are damaging the safety and security of their relationships. We offer an adult Mental Health Residential Center.  We treat clients with dual diagnosis as well.  We also have an adult and adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program.  Both programs are 3 hours per day and meet 3 times per week.  Both programs include a family group as a required component of the program.   These are mental health primary programs but we accept clients with dual diagnosis as well.  

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I specialize in mindfulness  based approaches (Hakomi, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), relationship and marriage counseling  (Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples), and  trauma (EMDR and Lifespan Integration)

When should one seek treatment?

Someone might choose to seek treatment if they are struggling with anxiety or depression, if their relationship has become a problem, or if they have a history of  trauma that is impeding their ability to move forward in their life.  Difficult emotional issues can be resolved, it's not necessary to struggle on your own. Therapy can also be useful for personal growth and assistance in moving out of stuck places in your life.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Therapy is  an important element to supporting and sustaining a recovery program. Often drug and alcohol use has an element of 'self medication,' where someone has dealt with difficult life circumstances and emotional problems by turning to the easy fix of feeling better through substances.

There is a clear connection between a history of trauma (physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect) and a higher risk as an adult for substance abuse and mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Helping to resolve emotional problems and developing more emotional resiliency is a huge help in supporting and maintaining sobriety.

I provide many services that are supportive of substance abuse recovery, including mindfulness based therapies and EMDR. I greatly enjoy providing therapy for people who are in recovery.

Jim Christrup is a Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Jim’s services, please call (415) 242-9866.

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Jim Christrup
4326 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Karen Wolfe
Karen Wolfe
San Francisco, CA 94110

What types of services do you offer?

Individual play therapy for children age 3-13, filial therapy (parent-child), family play therapy, coaching for parents, psychotherapy with adults, in-class support for children (e.g. classroom observations, therapeutic support for sensory, attention, and social skills challenges, classroom modifications, consultation with teacher to create behavior and academic plans for child), social skills groups for children ages 5-11

What issues do you specify treatment for?

For children: ADHD, Sensory integration disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism spectrum, Behavior challenges, anxiety, anger management For adults: Transitions, grief, loss, relationships, healing past trauma

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

Child centered play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, Humanistic Therapy, somatic experiencing, drama therapy, Gestalt

When should one seek treatment?

At the first signs of challenges or when experiencing crisis

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

Because I am dedicated to helping people change their lives from the inside out. I don’t just aim to provide techniques and bandaids, but to touch someone’s life by truly understanding them and offering practical tools and how to use them. And because I value and integrate modalities from both a Western analytic problem-solving perspective as well as an Eastern holistic transpersonal perspective.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

There is clearly a strong relationship between mental health and substance abuse, as substance abuse tends to be self-medication for emotional pain from one’s past. I support individuals who are already in recovery by offering a safe space to explore the original wounds that led to the abuse, as well as ones created by its affects and support for practical matters to keep on the path of recovery such as encouragement to go to recovery meetings (e.g. AA, Alanon, etc) and take care of their basic body needs (eating right and exercising, offering referrals for these services). If someone is currently using or relapsed I refer them out to agencies and clinicians who specialize in substance abuse.

Karen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on her services please contact her at (415) 420-9459. 

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Karen Wolfe
3150 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Kasey Varga
Kasey Varga
San Francisco, CA 94131

What types of services do you offer?

I offer weekly, 50 minute counseling sessions to children, adult individuals, couples and families. I lead support groups for parents and mentor them in Parenting by Connection, a connection rather than control-based approach to parenting.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

Sex and love addiction, heartbreak, romantic relationship, parenting, spiritual seeking. As an MFT my general specialty is relationship.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I am a trained expressive arts therapist, using mostly image, movement and dramatic techniques to deepen the therapeutic process. I’m also trained in Sandtray therapy, which involves using miniature figures to create an outer expression of an inner world.

I offer a transpersonal perspective and am largely influenced non-dual teachings and by my personal work with Jeannie Zandi who teaches Living as Love: “Jeannie invites and supports the unfolding of Love through surrendering to the Unknown.” My approach is here-and-now, helping clients access and unload emotional material by noticing what is most alive in their minds and what sensations are occurring in their bodies.

When should one seek treatment?

When she feels open to the support of another and believes (or somewhat believes) that a mental health professional could help her improve her life.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I believe that the client possesses the greatest intelligence with regard to his process for healing. My role is to support his natural movement toward mental and emotional health and to help him offload feelings that interfere with his ability to navigate life thoughtfully and skillfully.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

In my understanding substances serve as a stand in for emotional experiences that we know we are entitled to, but can’t seem to extract from our current lives. Addiction is often the false belief that good feelings are only available via a substance (or in the case of sex and love addiction from another person or through sex or masturbation). I find that clients who are abusing substances or relationships tend to come to me when those behaviors are no longer working for them. I do my best to introduce them to an experience of connection with themselves, with me and in some cases with a higher power or greater reality. With the appropriate amount of support, I believe that all human beings have the potential to feel fundamentally supported and loved in an enduring way.

Kasey is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on her services, please contact her at (415) 379-0103. 

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Kasey Varga
1480 Church Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
Kavitha Goldowitz
Kavitha Goldowitz
San Francisco , CA 94104

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer individual therapy, couples therapy and family therapy. I also provide counseling services to teens and young adults. Clients come to me for a variety of issues, ranging from depression, anxiety and marital problems to addictions and eating disorders. One of my sub-specialites is working with clients from different ethnic backgrounds, especially couples in mixed-race relationships.

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

Since there is no one-size-fits-all in psychotherapy, I draw from various therapeutic modalities to suit the temperament, background, mental and emotional orientation of individual clients. Some of the therapy approaches I use are, Mindfulness based CBT, Narrative therapy, Gottman's method couples therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Family of Origin principles.

 

3) When should one seek treatment?

a. When one finds that their old coping skills are not working for them anymore.

b. When one experiences recurrent negative thoughts and behavior escalating, and they have a general feeling of not being in control.

c. When one resorts to using drugs, alcohol or other unhealthy tools to cope with life.

d. If one has recently experienced a traumatic event in their lives.

 

4) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Mental Health and substance abuse are very closely related. Often times, when people have a mental health issue like depression or anxiety, they try to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol. When the depression is left untreated, it exacerbates the substance abuse problems and the person now has to tackle two significant problems - depression AND substance abuse.

Mental health issues like depression and anxiety occur due to a host of factors, for instance, genetics, neurotransmitter deficiencies in the brain, learned response to stress from family, and other sociological factors. When people abuse drugs and alcohol, though it temporarily reduces the depression symptoms and feels helpful in the short term, it actually worsens the mental disorder in the long run. Substance abuse also prevents some of the anti-depression and anti-anxiety medications from working effectively.

When I work with clients who are struggling with both substance abuse and mental health issues, I help them create short term, medium term and long term goals and build on their strengths, starting with small, measurable and achievable goals. I provide them with some healthy coping tools to manage stress in their lives. I also usually assist clients in formulating a practical, daily schedule in their lives that is well balanced. It is also very important to have a healthy peer support network and I explore ways in which they could build and develop a closer relationship with their families and friends. I also help clients understand and recognize the patterns of their thought processes and mood fluctuations, and the triggers for their substance use. Ultimately, when clients feel strong and mentally healthy to handle what life throws at them, then they don't need the external "quick fixes" of drugs/alcohol anymore.

 

Kavitha is a bi-lingual Marriage and Family Therapist Intern with private practices in San Francisco, CA and at 855 Lakeville Street, Suite 108 in Petaluma, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 857-1669. 

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Kavitha Goldowitz
220 Montgomery Street, Suite 400
San Francisco , CA 94104
Laura Firestone
Laura Firestone
San Francisco , CA 94115

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I work with individuals and couples who want to address a specific concern, change a desired area or further develop themselves for growth.  Specific areas of treatment include anxiety, stress, depression, addiction, life transitions, trauma and grief.  For couples, the focus is on communication issues, reducing conflict, improving intimacy, increasing trust and repairing infidelity.  
 
 

2) When should one seek treatment?

There is always opportunity to start therapy and see what change it may bring into your life. Treatment should definitely be considered if you are feeling stuck, can't seem to make things different for yourself or in your relationships and find this is getting in the way of the life you want to live.  
 
 

3) Why should someone choose to come to your practice? 

I bring my compassion and curiosity alongside a very practical and intelligent approach to help clients improve aspects of life that are interfering with happiness and fulfillment. With over nine years of clinical experience and two years in advanced couples therapy training, I use approaches and evidence based techniques in a thoughtful and dynamic way.   
 
 

4) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? 

From my prior experience working in a substance treatment program and from what research shows, it is clear that there is a direct connection between substance abuse and mental health.  Meaning, often substance abuse stems from some difficult, overwhelming emotional experiences that seem intolerable.  Addressing those underlying struggles can help someone be able to understand and then manage their feelings (even the painful ones) and feel  like they are able to cope with whatever happens in life in the way that is aligned with their values. 
 
 
 
Laura is a Licensed Psychotherapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 343-5047
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Laura Firestone
1732 Fillmore Street Suite 6
San Francisco , CA 94115
Marie Fang
Marie Fang
San Francisco, CA 94114

What types of services do you offer?

Individual therapy with adults and adolescents, couples therapy, and group psychotherapy.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

I have a special interest in working with those struggling with identity, including issues that arise when transitioning into adulthood, immigrating, or tensions that come when you feel like you don't "fit in." I also enjoy working around racial and ethnic tensions. I welcome spirituality in therapy when appropriate. Other specialties: Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Depression, Relationship Issues, Trauma, and Grief

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I have an eclectic approach based on identifying the client’s needs and the corresponding evidence-based treatments for individual issues. I tend to pull from cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic approaches.

When should one seek treatment?

Often people don’t come to treatment until they feel as though they have already tried everything and have no hope remaining. I do suggest that people consider seeking treatment sooner, such as once one has identified that their daily life has been impacted, such as at work, home, or school.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

People typically choose to come to see me based on feeling as though my style and specialty are a “good fit” for their needs. A sense of good fit may come from connecting with my profile, feeling comfortable speaking with me over the phone, or feeling safe with me after an initial meeting in my office. A quality sense of care from the therapist is imperative for a client’s growth. I suggest everyone seeking help from a therapist look for this quality in the therapist- client relationship.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Mental health issues typically run hand in hand with problem substance use. In my experience, people dealing with substance abuse are often turning to this unhealthy behavior as an attempt to cope with things that aren’t working in their life. When these underlying issues are addressed, the substance is no longer needed as a crutch. Without addressing these issues, I typically see relapse in my clients, or a transfer from one addiction to another. Clients must be willing to acknowledge that something in their life is not working in order to overcome substance abuse or addiction. My role is to help clients identify the areas in their life that aren’t working and assisting them in making positive change in regards to the core problem.

Marie is a Psychological Assistant at Christian Psychotherapy Services in San Francisco, California. For more information on her services please contact the office at (415) 764-0252. 

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Marie Fang
1100 Sanchez Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Mary Beth Trail
Mary Beth Trail
San Francisco, CA

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I'm a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, offering psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families. I work with clients suffering from anxiety, depression, substance abuse/dependency, eating disorders, career transitions and relationship issues.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I tailor treatment to the specific needs of each client, and work with the client to collaboratively determine treatment goals and methods. I drawn upon the following modalities:

  • psychodynamic psychotherapy

  • relational psychotherapy

  • existential psychotherapy

  • mindfulness-based psychotherapy

  • Gestalt psychotherapy

  • strengths-based therapy

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

When should one seek treatment?

Often clients seek treatment in response to a crisis situation, when previously-effective coping strategies are no longer adequate and life becomes unmanageable or overwhelming. Other reasons for seeking therapy might be: dissatisfaction in ones' relationships; difficulty managing anger, sadness or fear; using alcohol, drugs or food to cope with stress; inability to break self-defeating patterns; or a desire to live a more fulfilling and engaged life.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Substance abuse is often an indication of an untreated underlying mental health issue, like anxiety, depression, or trauma. When a client is abusing substances, I first work to uncover what role the substance is playing in the client's life, then exploring alternative ways for the client to get that need met. I believe therapy is most effective when a client is able to abstain from substance use -- therapy often brings up difficult material and it can be tempting for clients to use substances to avoid experiencing painful emotions. In the absence of substances, we are able to work together to develop more effective, healthy and sustainable coping strategies. Psychiatric treatment and 12-steps (or other peer-based groups) can be useful adjuncts to therapy. However, if abstinence is not the goal of a client, we can use a harm-reduction approach to improve the client's quality of life.

Mary Beth Trail is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Mary Beth’s services, please call (415) 522-7347.

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Mary Beth Trail
2370 Market Street
San Francisco, CA
Michael Murphy-Loeffler
Michael Murphy-Loeffler
San Francisco, CA

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

What types of services do you offer? Psychotherapy for individuals working in the 12-step model. What issues do you specify treatment for? Cocaine, Alcohol, and Codependents

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices? Depth Psychotherapy, Spirituality, Jungian Therapy

When should one seek treatment?

This is your journey but you don’t need to know where you are going just yet. We can talk about your confusion, hope, doubt, skepticism, and when you are ready to embrace step work.

What relationships exist between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

It’s the most important relationship. Impulse control, underlying dynamics, triggers, and the use / abuse cycle. We can discuss what is the appropriate services. It’s a dialogue that’s personal.

Michael Murphy-Loeffler is a Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Michael’s services, please call (415) 937-0309.

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Michael Murphy-Loeffler
211 Gough, Suite 111 (Hayes Valley)
San Francisco, CA
Natalie Mills
Natalie Mills
San Francisco , CA 94102

1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

In my work with clients, I use EMDR, an Attachment-Based approach, and Relational methods. I specialize in trauma, sex and intimacy, and relationships. 

 

2. How does one know if therapy is right for them?

You know therapy is right for you if you find yourself stuck in some kind of pattern no matter what you do. This can be addiction, dissatisfaction with relationships, work, anything. You don’t have to wait until you feel hopeless, desperate, and isolated to seek therapy. 

 

3. What can one expect to gain from therapy?

Well, with good therapy, you can expect to gain a rich understanding of yourself, an increasingly sustainable ability to trust yourself, and a deeper connection to those around you.

 

4. What is unique about you as a therapist?

I like to bring my whole self to my work. I’m a therapist because I genuinely enjoy connecting with people in a meaningful way and helping them to do the same. I strive to communicate warmth, openness, and empathy.

 

5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

There are a myriad of reasons why people are addicted to substances and why they are addicted to a particular substance over another. Depending on an individual’s biography, chemistry, and emotional tendency (in one direction versus another), each of us is more/less likely to be addicted. We feel pain so we seek to soothe it. Depending on our resources, we might encounter difficulty with our ability to self soothe. We begin to panic. We feel out of control. Operating in this kind of overwhelm continues the momentum (pain, panic, out of control, etc.). We find the comfort for which we have been desperate in a substance and we begin to tell ourselves the story that nothing else works like (fill in the blank). We believe it. Believing we can never withstand that kind of pain again, we stay stuck in the addictive loop.    

 

Natalie is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 794-5243. 

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Natalie Mills
870 Market St. Suite 1055
San Francisco , CA 94102
Nina Raff
Nina Raff
San Francisco , CA 94122

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer psychotherapy for couples and individuals. I also offer mediation, or conflict resolution services.

My areas of expertise are:

-substance abuse disorders and family members of those suffering with addictions,

-mood disorders,

-relationship issues for individuals and couples,

-consultation for parenting issues

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

My primary modality is psychodynamic treatment with an emphasis on developmental and attachment issues. I am also skilled at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is often useful with people struggling with addictions.

For couples, I use a developmental model designed by Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson. I have extensive training in this very effective approach. My modality, because I have been practicing for many years, shifts with the needs of the individual or couple seeking help. I am comfortable working in conjunction with an outside program, such as a treatment program, a 12-step program, or an MD who may provide medication when needed.

 

3) When should one seek treatment?

One should seek treatment when:

-you feel stuck in some area,

-feel the need to change but need support or help with that, or

-need or want support for changes that you are already making

 

4) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

My practice offers an experienced and compassionate view of the problems people suffer with. I have been licensed since 1990, and working in private practice and in a substance abuse treatment program since 1991.  You will not feel judged or pathologized.

 

5) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Some people get sober without psychological help, but most need more help than simply quitting, or using a 12-step program.  My view is that people do not choose to become addicted.  They use substances for many reasons, and then for some people the use spirals out of control.  Sometimes this happens quickly, sometimes after many years of controlled use.  Many people have underlying depression, anxiety, trauma or other problems.  Some develop these types of problems through their addictive behavior.  A great deal changes when people stop using, but many times it is not enough.  In addition, there are those who cannot stop even with treatment without coming to terms with psychological issues.

Family members who may or may not benefit from 12-step programs or other treatment programs also suffer greatly, and can benefit from support, and help in looking at how to create a satisfying life even with a family member(s) with addiction.

 

Nina is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 828-5871.
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Nina Raff
1300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco , CA 94122
Ondina  N. Hatvany, MA, MFT
Ondina N. Hatvany, MA, MFT
San Francisco, CA 94114

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer state of the art counseling for individuals and couples in recovery. I work with food addictions and substance abuse using a harm reduction approach.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I tailor my approach to the needs of my individual clients. I use traditional talk therapy as well as somatic psychotherapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) for rapid and effective trauma resolution.

When should one seek treatment?

One should seek treatment when one is ready and motivated. This timing is different for everyone: Some people aren’t ready until they hit their own personal ground zero: Others realize that with a bit of extra support they could achieve a better quality of life, happier relationships and this motivates them. Motivation to get better is key to recovery.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Often underlying an addiction is untreated depression, anxiety or trauma. . If this trauma is left untreated it can be very hard to maintain sobriety. A person can be attempting to self medicate using the substance. In our work together we can address what might be underlying your addiction so that you can get the proper treatment and start to feel better.

I offer an initial free phone consultation to answer any questions you might have and see if I might be a good fit for you. The therapeutic relationship is an important part of recovery so I want to support you in finding the best therapist for you at this time. After a couple of decades providing therapy in the Bay Area I can also provide excellent referrals.

Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT is a Licensed Psychotherapist, specializing in Individuals in transition and Relationships (Couples, queer, alternative and traditional partners) with offices in Mill Valley and San Francisco, California. For more information, please call (415) 381-1065. Other office locations: 919 West California Ave. Mill Valley, CA 94941 or 220 Montgomery Street, Suite 1019 San Francisco, CA 94104.

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Ondina N. Hatvany, MA, MFT
2120 Market St, Suite 108
San Francisco, CA 94114
Paula Holt
Paula Holt
San Francisco, CA 94117

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I have treated substance abuse, both narcotic and alcohol with good results. I treat depression, with or without medical support. I have worked with obsessions, anxiety, anger problems, and creative blocks in writers and artists. I have worked with the elderly. I have worked with grief. I have worked with end of life issues.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I have a long history working with Jungian Psychology, both with a Jungian Institute and in analysis. I am trained as a psychoanalytically based therapist. I am well steeped in shame issues and in attachment.

When should one seek treatment?

There is no one reason one should seek treatment. Psychotherapy can relieve and improve any chronic psychological syndrome, and can lead to clarity and happier living. It is always an enriching experience both for the long run, or in time limited format.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Substance abuse should be distinguished from addiction. "Substance abuse" indicates a certain amount of conscious use of substance to relieve psychological pain or discomfort. I would work with the underlying problem, and expect the use of substances to decrease. However, if a person is addicted, and finds that he or she cannot stop using, I suggest a treatment facility or AA. This is true: taking an addict to psychotherapy is like taking a jellyfish to an orthopedic surgeon. Change or healing will not happen.

Paula Holt, PhD is a Licensed Therapist in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please call (415) 378-5973.

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Paula Holt
2237 Fulton Street, Suite 103
San Francisco, CA 94117
Peter Forster
Peter Forster
San Francisco, CA 94104

What types of services do you offer?

We offer a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and consultation for people with mood or anxiety disorders. We prescribe and monitor psychiatric medications, provide psychotherapy, refer for dietary evaluations, provide substance abuse counseling and offer transcranial magnetic stimulation for appropriate patients.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

We provide treatment for bipolar disorder, major depression, post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

Interpersonal and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. Psychiatric medication management. Transcranial magnetic stimulation. Substance abuse counseling. Dietary assessment and counseling. Cognitive testing and biofeedback.

When should one seek treatment?

Anyone who has had significant depression or anxiety that is adversely affecting their quality of life.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

We provide specialized, comprehensive, and integrated treatment. We have a group of providers who are able to provide most of the treatment modalities appropriate for a patient with a mood or anxiety disorder. Our approach is to do a comprehensive assessment and then offer evidence based treatment.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Many people with mood or anxiety disorders also have a substance use problem. For that reason we provide substance use counseling, and medication management for all of our patients who have substance use issues.

Dr. Peter, MD, is the Clinical Director of Gaterway Psychiatric Services in San Francisco, California. For more information on his services, please contact him at (415) 551-0524. 

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Peter Forster
548 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phil Boissiere
Phil Boissiere
San Francisco, CA 94123

What types of services do you offer?

I offer individual therapy, couples therapy, group therapy, parent coaching, and substance abuse prevention.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

I specialize in the treatment of Adult ADHD, couples, and behavioral changes in individuals or family systems. I also specialize in training therapists in group therapy and communities in substance abuse prevention.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Skills Training, Relational Life Therapy with couples, and Parent Coaching.

When should one seek treatment?

It is appropriate to seek treatment, whenever someone has a behavioral pattern, relationship, educational, or occupational situation they would like to change.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I work very diligently to make therapy a goal focused process, where clients are empowered to make change and learn skills they can use for a lifetime.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

It is very important for mental health practitioners to understand substance abuse and help those struggling with abuse or addiction address the issues that are driving the substance abuse/addiction.

Phil is a Marriage and Family Therapist and psychotherapist with offices in San Francisco and Menlo Park, California. Fore more information on his services please contact him at (415) 295-1071. 

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Phil Boissiere
1719 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Raya Smail
Raya Smail
San Francisco, CA 94118

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

Individual, couples and family therapy for adults. Obesity and eating addictions (including deciding on bariatric surgery and post surgery counseling), bulimia, sex addictions, relationship addictions. I also speak Russian and Hebrew.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

My therapy modalities are tailored to the individual needs of each clients, including:  psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and family therapy.

When should one seek treatment?

People should seek treatment when their relationship to substance causes them emotional distress, or  impairs their ability to function in the workplace, or in their relationships with others.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

There is a very strong correlation between various psychological conditions and addictive behaviors. Addictions are a "solution" that we devise, often unbeknown to us, to cope with an emotional  stressor or conflict.  In therapy we identify those emotional issues that trigger the addictive behavior, try to resolve them, as well as acquire alternative, healthier coping skills, to replace the addiction.  Addiction is most commonly present with anxiety, depression, psychosomatic problems and personality disorders.

Raya Smail, MFT, provides individual and couples counseling in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please call (415) 831-4339.

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Raya Smail
204 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
Ruth Krumbhaar
Ruth Krumbhaar
San Francisco, CA 94104

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I am a psychotherapist working mostly with professional women (I also see men and families).

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

My approach is rooted in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and incorporates mindfulness and humanistic psychology. I meet the client where they are and tailor the approach to their unique style.

When should one seek treatment?

I believe psychotherapy can be beneficial at any point in life. However, it is most critical to consider treatment when someone’s feelings or behaviors are interfering with the balance and flow of their normal daily life and/or their relationships.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

Substance abuse and mental health issues are completely intertwined – each affecting and triggering the other. I believe it is critical to make treatment and recovery the primary focus of the therapy if there is substance abuse involved.

What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

For clients with substance abuse issues, I address the use and then focus on a separate recovery program as the primary and initial treatment. Once the recovery program is in place, I support the client’s program using a CBT model.

Ruth Krumbhaar MA, MFT, CYT is a Psychotherapist and Coach in San Francisco, California. For more information, please call (415) 999-7277.

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Ruth Krumbhaar
582 Market Street Suite 211
San Francisco, CA 94104
Shana Averbach
Shana Averbach
San Francisco , CA 94122

1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

The issues I most often see are depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and trauma, but I am  definitely not a one-size-fits-all type of therapist. Instead I fine-tune my treatment to each client, depending on the way they think, what they are aiming for, and where they are ready to go emotionally. Overall, I use a relational approach, believing that the therapeutic relationship in and of itself is a vehicle for growth. I use a humanistic approach in that I think of each of my clients as intrinsically good, and driven to move towards growth, but often have obstacles - whether those are present life circumstances or inner beliefs that come from life experiences. I pull from cognitive behavioral and narrative work, as I find great value in learning the stories clients are telling themselves and believing to be true, and an even greater value in finding new, more constructive ways to tell those stories. And finally, I use EMDR, typically with trauma work. 

 

2. How does one know if therapy is right for them?

When one has been struggling with either the same issue or a particularly painful issue across a period of time, and doesn't experience any movement and/or if something is getting in the way of receiving enough support from existing relationships (people often come in saying they feel like they are talking about the same thing to the same family member/friend and it doesn't feel fair), therapy may be indicated. 

 

3. What can one expect to gain from therapy?

People often reflect the benefit of thinking about their issues and their lives from a different perspective - often one that comes with more compassion and less judgment. When we're in our heads, we often loop in circles, and therapy provides a chance to take a different route. People can also expect to gain some clarity around what is "normal." It's amazing what self-judgement melts away when people share personal material and are met with an understanding listener. 

 

4. What is unique about you as a therapist?

I put my human-ness first, period. I am warm and interactive, and use my natural traits - which include humor, thoughtfulness, and compassion - in the room along with my clinical skills and judgment. People often reflect the difficulty they've had feeling comfortable with therapists who use the "blank slate" approach (i.e., allowing the client to project anything they think onto the therapist, without much response or interaction on the therapist's end). Conversely, they report feeling very comfortable with me very quickly, which is a huge honor!

 

5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

I see the two as closely related and both tied to a fundamental system overload. We're all just trying to feel okay - safe, confident, comfortable, connected, and happy. Life - from our chemical predispositions to threats to our safety and security - can interrupt that okay-ness and overwhelm our systems. When our systems are overwhelmed we feel certain things - fear, sadness, disconnection, anxiety, depression. Some cope by reaching for substances, others get addicted to negative thoughts, and still others to work or dependent relationships. No matter what people reach for, it often moves them away from the pain-causing issue, which is temporarily great, but unfortunately also moves them away from resolution (and chemically, can leave people in a position where it's even harder to feel better). Healing comes with increasing tolerance for difficult experiences, so it feels less overwhelming to begin with, and increasing those tools coping tools that have less severe consequences.

 
 
Shana is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 963-3546
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Shana Averbach
919 Irving St. Suite 104
San Francisco , CA 94122
Sharon Valentino
Sharon Valentino
San Francisco, CA 94965

What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

Stress makes life difficult - it even kills sometimes. I help people deal with it and other troubling

issues more successfully and get help to find better outcomes with results oriented support for stress, addictions, stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, relationship problems, grief and loss, adolescent issues, PTSD, spirituality issues, trauma, divorce, overeating, pain, co-occurring disorders, for better coping and interpersonal skills.

These concerns are addressed using which approach is best responded to and is, therefore, highly individual. I am primarily a Solution Focused Therapist, and as such, my goal is to help you lead your happy life - your way, on your terms. Depending on the presenting complaint, the most effective approach might be Solution Focused, Personal Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, or Harm Reduction.

I help individuals, couples and adolescents in Sausalito for San Francisco Bay Area people.

How does one know if therapy is right for them?

Ask yourself if you are you as happy as you want to be? Is your life working out the way you want and expected it to? If not, be kind to yourself and consider if therapy may be right for you at this time. Nearly everyone can benefit from some direct, professional support at various times in their lives when an issue interferes with enjoying a great life and satisfying relationships. Lack of support interferes with clarity, problem solving and achieving what you want your life to be. Clients come to me when they are overwhelmed and need a quiet, safe place to explore issues or when they want something to change and are willing to look at what needs to be adjusted.

All my sessions last up to 1 hour 15 minutes to give clients more time to express what they need to.

Additionally, the first session is always free so we can both assess if we are a good fit.

What can one expect to gain from therapy?

Therapy is an important tool to improve your life, your happiness, relationships, your wellbeing, and self-awareness plus it helps you change habits or establish new healthier ones. Therapy provides a quiet time just for you, with an objective professional to help with gaining perspective, which is easy to lose in crisis or stress. You can express your stress and feelings safely when it may be difficult to do with loved ones or at work, coming to better understand your own feelings, patterns and behaviors. Therapy can provide tools for a better quality of life, understanding or peace with the past, personal growth, understanding of self and others, leading to a happier, healthier, more productive life. Insight into what drives unhealthy behaviors, understanding and tools to deal with difficult emotions and compassion for yourself are what you can expect to gain from therapy.

What is unique about you as a therapist?

I am interactive because your life goals, your time and your money are valuable. You want solutions and progress, not just talk. I don't just listen and empathize because I take a much more active approach to generate the change and improvement that you identified as your goal. Not just talk...together, we look for solutions that suit you.

I have worked in addiction since the beginning of my career, understanding that one approach does not fit all. I use non-judgmental support to help people learn to tolerate their painful feelings and life experiences so they don't have to medicate them.

Additionally, I keep an extensive, updated web with extensive help, education, articles and referral sources and sites. My blogs present valuable information on current issues and the latest research. You can visit my web at www.valentinotherapy.com. My two most popular blogs are: http://valentinotherapy.wordpress.com and http://addictionhurts.wordpress.com

What relationships exist between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

While we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve current challenges in your life. By applying complementary therapy approaches and techniques, we unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back or cause you to withdraw with substances.

Addictions can arise from abusing food, alcohol, the Internet, sex, shopping, or multiple different prescribed or illegal substances.

Addiction can often be mental and physical and it can even have a genetic component that means you must always be more watchful.

Most people I’ve treated use substances to avoid uncomfortable feelings, dampen loneliness, lessen feelings of anxiety or to numb themselves to pain. The tricky part about self-medicating is that it works – for a little while – but then causes far more problems than you were medicating in the first place, plus the original problems are still awaiting attention. Often, you can’t stop on your own and your life can start to fall apart. That’s when an experienced therapist can make a difference for you.

I do not work only from an abstinence model but from harm reduction, when needed, so that dependence is greatly reduced and we can concurrently work on the troubling issues. I enjoy close relationships with physicians and psychiatrists who can assist, some offering anti-craving medications, plus detox, inpatient and outpatient clinics.

When people suffering from addiction regain healthy ways to deal with events and emotions, everything starts to change for the better. Your life becomes your own again.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, MA, ChT, is a Psychotherapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Sausalito, California. For more information, please call (415) 215-5363.
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Sharon Valentino
3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA
San Francisco, CA 94965
Sheila Rubin
Sheila Rubin
San Francisco , CA 94110

1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I do a combination of modalities including somatic work, drama therapy work and attachment work. I work with eating disorders, some addictions, a lot of trauma and relationship distress, anxiety, depression, & ptsd. The therapy I offer is a combination of body-mind somatic work as well as expressive arts, drama therapy, AEDP, EFT and sometimes even cognitive-behavioral work. I work with EFT, Emotionally Focused Therapy of Sue Johnson when working with distressed couples and have had good success working with affairs, eating disorders, healing sexual shame, and building true intimacy. I work with children who are dealing with distress in the family and help them through drama therapy and play, find their joy again and learn to cope with family distress and family addictions. 

 

2. How does one know if therapy is right for them?

If a person is feeling stuck or frustrated in their life, finds themselves making the same mistakes again and again, if they aren't where they want to be in their life or are using coping skills that aren't working anymore, then these are good indicators that therapy might be right for them. My clients are generally intelligent people who come to me with a problem they are not able to solve on their own and I help them figure it out.

Sometimes personal habits or ways of relating that a person used in childhood are not working in their life anymore. So I help them develop healthier coping skills and revise outdated communication patterns. 

 

3. What can one expect to gain from therapy? 

I help people get their life back. Often, clients come when they're at a stuck place in their life, creativity or their forward direction in their life has stopped and they don't know why. I help them work through their shame and current and early attachment issues as well. I help them find access to their true voice. I work with dreams, imagery and symbols as part of my modalities.

 

4. What is unique about you as a therapist? 

I've developed methods and techniques to heal shame and I find that shame is underlying many issues including: addictions, eating disorders, relationship distress, affairs, and many other psychological disorders. I work individually with each client to co-create a safe healing container where they can grow and transform and allow their true self to show up.

 

5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? 

Many people use a substance as a means to coping with relationship or psychological distress. What worked initially stops working and they may find themselves increasing the substance which then becomes the problem. Mental health and substance abuse are considered co-morbid conditions, interrelated and co-created. Both can be addressed through the therapy work.

 

Sheila is a Licensed Psychotherapist with private practices in San Francisco, CA and at 830 Bancroft Way, Suite 102 in Berkeley, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 820-3974 or www.sheilarubin.com 

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Sheila Rubin
1197 Valencia, Suite 5
San Francisco , CA 94110
Tamra Sattler
Tamra Sattler
San Francisco, CA 94115

What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

Integrative approach combining mind (CBT), body (Hakomi), and spirit (mindfulness). Treat mainly relationship issues including love addiction and Borderline Personality Disorder.

How does one know if therapy is right for them?

An individual can only know if they give it a try and experience the results.

What can one expect to gain from therapy?

An internal and external change.

What is unique about you as a therapist?

My western clinical and eastern wisdom prospective to have sustainable change.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

There is a direct link in substance abuse helping to cope, mask, or escape a difficult mental issues.

Tamra is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on her services please contact her at (415) 820-3922. 

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Tamra Sattler
1721 Scott Street 2C
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tasha Jackson Fitzgerald
Tasha Jackson Fitzgerald
San Francisco, CA 94102

What types of services do you offer?

I am a psychotherapist and work with a wide variety of issues as well as a diverse client base in private practice.

What issues do you specify treatment for? 

Currently, I am only treating individuals; although, I have previous worked with couples, groups and families.

When should one seek treatment? 

If they are wanting to work through a long term or short term psychological issue. It could be anything from a traumatic event, relationship issue, depression, anxiety or an array different reasons.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

If clients are new to my practice and have a substance abuse history, I would encourage them to be at least six months of sobriety and before starting psychotherapy with me. Once a client feels stable, then psychotherapy might be the right time for them. Of course, everything depends on the individual. I encourage my clients to have a sponsor and work the steps. Although I am trained in motivational interviewing, I don't see my role as a substance abuse counselor. Rather, see my role as more of a supporter of whatever program they are in. Then at the clients pace, we work together to hash out all "other stuff".

Tasha is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a practice in San Francisco, California. For more information on her services please contact her at (415) 248-1362. 

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Tasha Jackson Fitzgerald
870 Market Street, Suite 341
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tiffany McLain
Tiffany McLain
San Francisco, CA 94102

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I work with adults who are in transitional stages. Maybe you’ve moved from a small-town with little economic opportunity to the fast-paced life of the tech world. Perhaps you’ve pursued higher education, though you’ve come from a working class background. You could be a biracial individual who feels like you’re always balancing confusing cultural experiences!

The various stages that come with moving through adulthood can be tricky to navigate. These transitions often lead to stress, anxiety, depression and just feeling busy and overwhelmed all the time.

I offer 50-minute psychotherapy sessions to help you understand the root of your everyday problems, so that you can step out of a flooded life and begin to have the space to make choices that let you breathe easy again.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I offer once to multiple times per week psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy. This means we don’t simply change the outward behavior that is causing you grief, but we also get down to the roots of your problems.

When you simply try to fix the behavior, your symptoms have a way of sneaking up on you again and again, be this through over-eating, painful relationships, self-sabotage at work or whatever your specific patterns are. One minute you may be flying high and motivated to change…. But the next minute, you’re repeating the same old destructive habits.

By going to the underlying cause, you can achieve long-lasting, thoughtful change that will allow you to finally put an end to these destructive cycles.

When should one seek treatment?

Right now!

Whether you’re feeling like you’re in crisis mode and simply need a place to sort out what is going wrong or you’re feeling great, but you have the sneaking suspicion that trouble is just around the corner, the time to start therapy is now.

Together we’ll create a space where we can move away from impulsive thinking and painful patterns and, instead, begin truly experiencing life – in it’s joys and its troubles – on your own terms.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

We turn to substances for a myriad of reasons. Substances can help us feel connected when we’re otherwise lonely. They can help us cope with feelings or relationships that are too much. They can help us feel alive when our day-to-day life feels dead.

Mental health struggles go hand in hand with substance use.

Though drugs, alcohol, overeating, or whatever your flavor of coping include provide a temporary high, when the high is over, you’re still left with the same anxiety, loss, anger, sadness and emptiness that was there before.

Therapy creates an environment where it is safe to be sober, where we can take a closer look at what it is that is underneath the desire to use and, in this way, help you move towards a connectedness, an aliveness, that is lasting.

Tiffany McLain is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern (MFI #68318) with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please call (415) 349-1652.

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Tiffany McLain
423 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tom Rhodes
Tom Rhodes
San Francisco , CA 94114

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer depth psychotherapy for individuals and couples. I co-specialize in treating issues such as anxiety and panic disorder symptoms, life transition struggles such as break up/divorce crisis, and addiction.

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

With both individuals and couples I work from an attachment-based developmental model, and from a modern psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic perspective, engaging both very much relationally between myself and the client as a way to work through early attachment wounding and stuckness, as well as utilizing the body as a gateway to directly process unprocessed feelings from the past. Finally, I work with core beliefs from both a cognitive and gestalt perspective, using raw awareness and mindfulness techniques.

 

3) When should one seek treatment?

One should seek treatment when they are called from deep within themselves to do so. Often some degree of crisis is necessary, particularly with addiction and 'hitting bottom'. However, I have worked with many addicts and non-addicts alike who have, in their own way, bottomed out much less intensely than one generally associates with bottoming out. For whatever reason, they were able to access that quiet place of knowing inside themselves and surrender to reach out for help in contacting myself, and to a higher power.

 

4) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I offer true, heartfelt authenticity and integrity in being a psychotherapist. I love this work from a deep place inside myself, and have done a lot of work on myself which directly and powerfully informs the work I do as a therapist; It is my heart's desire and life's work to connect with people deeply toward finding out in turn what is always there within themselves as loving presence.

 

5) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

I see most substance abuse as a symptom of, quite simply, disconnection from core or true self. I've noticed that this tends to happen through past abuse and/or neglect, both emotional and/or physical or sexual. Horrific core beliefs get crystallized in one's mind and self-image, and in the body as feelings, that reflect shame and despair, which are the most painful feelings a human being can encounter. Many people find no other way to deal with or bury these feelings and beliefs than through drugs and alcohol, which of course ultimately only makes things worse even though it is an understandable response to overwhelming stress and pain from the traumatized perspective. The ways I help my clients which I've laid out above is the best way I know how to support them in moving through the territory of previously avoided shame and despair, toward a more solid and satisfying, and loving relationship with themselves, and thus their life at large. Along with 12-step among other addiction support networks, this work is very powerful and long-lasting, and deeply satisfying.

 

Tom is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in his services, please contact him at (415) 574-5799. 

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Tom Rhodes Featured
Tom Rhodes
4154 24th Street
San Francisco , CA 94114
Victoria Whisman
Victoria Whisman
San Francisco, CA 94123

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer individual, couples and adolescent therapy. I appreciate working with a variety of issues and welcome each individual to bring their unique struggles to our work. I have experience working with anxiety, depression, relational problems, and trauma.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I use a variety of modalities. I am influenced by psychodynamic, relational, experiential, transpersonal, mindfulness and cognitive therapy. I primarily connect with my clients on a relational level and utilize the modality that best fits them.

When should one seek treatment?

I think someone should seek treatment with they are unable to solve the problems they are dealing with on their own, or would like to improve their relationship with self or others. When someone experiences anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, substance use, difficulties in relationships are all good times to seek help from a professional.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

There is a direct relationship between mental health and substance use. Substance use is often a symptom that something deeper is going on, perhaps there is an underlying depression or anxiety, or a trauma that has never been addressed. I provide client's with education about how substance use negatively impacts mental health symptoms and hinders treatment progress. I utilize a harm-reduction approach and mindfulness practices, in conjunction with 12-step support (when the client is open to it), and psychiatric referrals if necessary.

Victoria Whisman, MFT License # 51335 specializes in working with Adult Children of Alcoholics. For more  information on her services, please contact her at (415) 722-3979 or email at therapy@victoriawhismantherapy.com.

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Victoria Whisman
3253 Steiner Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Yael Melamed
Yael Melamed
San Francisco , CA 94123

1. What therapy approach(es) do you utilize? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I am informed by Depth, Jungian, Somatic, and Spiritual modalities; my approach is warm, collaborative, interactive, and direct.

I treat people in 12-step or harm reduction programs, who are dealing with alcohol, marijuana, food, and sex addiction. Part of this work involves addressing co-dependence, trauma, and self esteem issues.

 

2. How does one know if therapy is right for them?

Therapy is helpful in resolving general concerns about your life path, as well as more specific challenges. If you feel ready to get unstuck--to live life with more ease and connection, and to heal destructive patterns-- therapy is an effective tool.

 

3. What can one expect to gain from therapy?

Therapy offers a supportive relationship in which to explore your struggles, obstacles, wishes and dreams, as well as issues around intimacy, impulse control, rage, anxiety, depression, destructive patterning, and belief systems that hold you back. As you get to know yourself more deeply, your intuition will become clearer, enabling you to make better choices. You can expect improvement in your coping skills, and in your relationship with yourself and others. 

 

4. What is unique about you as a therapist?

I am empathic and warm, but I can also be firm and will hold you accountable. 

 

 5. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse?

Substance abuse is often a response to pain or loneliness that feels intolerable. By healing the underlying issues that catalyzed your substance abuse in the first place, and by working with your impulse control issues that make it hard to stop, it becomes much easier to let go of the substances.

 
 
Yael is a Licensed Depth Psychotherapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at (415) 890-3034. 
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Yael Melamed
1738 Union Street
San Francisco , CA 94123
Aaron Hagaman
Aaron Hagaman
San Francisco , CA 94114

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I see individuals, couples, and adolescents and their families. I work with a range of issues including anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, trauma, substance abuse, and life transitions. I also have many years of experience working with teens in the public high school setting providing therapy, substance abuse counseling, and crisis assessment and management.

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

My approach is drawn from an ongoing practice and study in Formative Psychology, a modality which is based in current understandings and research about how behavior, emotion and perception are organized bodily. In my experience, to be motivated to change we must contact how we limit or expand our aliveness--our emotional-excitatory vibrance--so that we have the energy and emotional resources to sustain the effort of growth. How we organize ourselves bodily to generate and regulate our aliveness is the ground of the change process. I find that insight or cognitive reorienting alone doesn’t teach us how to alter behavior and impulses or regulate how we are overwhelmed or alarmed.  This approach offers a practical methodology for how we can learn to make a volitional influence within our involuntary and habitualized arousal and feeling patterns. 

 

3) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

First and foremost people should choose me if they feel we are a fit. The process of how clients make choices that are in alignment with themselves is central to the healing and growing process. 

Rather than being a person who fixes others’ problems, I see myself as a guide for empowering clients in how they can use themselves in new ways by attending to their own self-feedback process. In this regard I am pretty active, practical and present centered in my approach to helping clients learn to act in accordance with themselves as opposed to a prescribed way.  

 

4) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

In my experience, how people use substances is related to what they are trying to manage and regulate for themselves. Imposing prescribed behaviors or attitudes about substances without an deeper experience of its purpose and value doesn't help us form a congruence with ourselves. New behaviors must be formed through contact with our own process, which helps us be more curious and compassionate with ourselves rather than pathologizing or shaming our reactions and urges. This way our actions and intentions are more in alignment with our experience and feeling.

My work is oriented to trying to help people more deeply contact their experiences and  generate more adaptive patterns for managing themselves.  With practice, this empowers us in how we can generate alternatives to our habits, whether they be deeper emotional patterns or more surface manifestations for how we manage emotional dilemmas, such as substance abuse.  For those with a high level of abuse or dependency, and who are more prone to relapse, I connect them with additional outside programs and/or medical support to help contain them until they have grown new, more adaptive ways of being with themselves. 

 

 

Aaron is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco, CA. If you are interested in his services, please contact him at (415) 255-2540 or visit www.aaronhagaman.com

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Aaron Hagaman
4328 18th St.
San Francisco , CA 94114
Ali Howard
Ali Howard
San Francisco, CA 94102

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I offer psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. I treat individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and relationship issues. I also treat individuals having issues around sexual impulses, patterns, desires, and/or issues with intimacy and closeness. Some of my clients have substance abuse issues; others not. Clients presenting with substance abuse issues present certain unique challenges, but they share many of the same feelings of depression, anxiety, and inadequacy that I see in my general client population. In treating all of my clients, I focus on both physical and emotional trauma and the lasting affects of such trauma on the body and mind.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

My approach is a blend of Psychodynamic Theory, Family Systems Theory, Somatic Experiencing, Therapy based on Attachment Theory, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).

When should one seek treatment?

If something in your life feels like it is not working, then this is the time to consider beginning psychotherapy. Beginning this process is not easy. Examining one’s difficulties requires courage and determination. Therapy is a long-term investment in yourself and in your desire to live a fuller, more satisfying life. With a lot of effort and patience, I believe the therapeutic process pays off.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I am passionate about my work as a therapist. As your therapist, I will listen and strive to have the deepest possible understanding of you and your unique story. I am warm and kind. I am also direct, honest, concrete, and a sharp thinker. I can provide useful insight into what I see happening and help facilitate deeper self-understanding and change.

 What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

People who feel alone, isolated, and unable to cope with the challenges of daily life sometimes turn to substances to try and manage problems that otherwise feel overwhelming. “Recreational” drugs, binge eating, or other forms of substance abuse may be experienced as a quick “fix” when nothing else seems to work. But the abuse of substances inevitably creates an even more desperate situation. The underlying problems remain, now aggravated by the effects of the substance abuse. I believe that psychotherapy can help in addressing the underlying problems. I also believe that my substance abuse clients must identify and participate in programs specifically designed to address the effects of substance abuse, programs such as Twelve Step Programs.

Ali Howard is a Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in San Francisco, California. For more information regarding Ali's services, please visit www.alihowardtherapy.com or call (415) 522-7381. 

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Ali Howard Featured
Ali Howard
295 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Francis
San Francisco , CA 94947

1) What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

In my general practice of psychotherapy I offer compassionate intelligent understanding and support for adults addressing issues related to phase of life changes, relationship issues, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, sexual or physical abuse as a child as well as support for recovery resulting from drug and alcohol abuse.

I also specialize in treatment for young children from 3 years of age through middle school who may be suffering from problems related to socialization, regulating emotions, attention deficit, impulse control, aggression, abuse, trauma, encopresis or enuresis.

 

2) What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

I use talk therapy as a basic modality. I believe that the most fundamental element of psychotherapy is the connection felt within a relationship based on trust. When working with individuals my practice is based on Humanistic and Existential theoretical approaches to psychotherapy. Carl Rodgers first established that the essential conditions of good counseling include authenticity, empathy and an unconditional positive regard for the client. Because we meet one another person to person, I may at times share some of my own experience when it might help to clarify the issues you present.  The humanistic therapist is client centered, authentic, real and engaged - not distant or removed.  I also incorporate elements of an Existential approach to therapy - which places an emphasis on personal responsibility and seeks to clarify the choices one has made and will make in his or her life with an emphasis on meaning.

When trauma is the presenting issue or symptoms point to a traumatic event being the cause I may suggest using the modality of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This approach was developed by Francine Shapiro to resolve the development of trauma-related disorders as resulting from exposure to a traumatic or distressing event, such as rape, accident or military combat. Clinical trials have been conducted to assess EMDR's efficacy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In some studies it has been shown to be equivalent to cognitive behavioral therapy and more effective than other treatments. 

EMDR integrates elements of cognitive therapy, psychodynamic and somatic therapies. It also uses the unique element of bilateral stimulation (e.g. moving the eyes back and forth). According to the theory, when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm the usual ways of coping and the memory of the event is inadequately processed; the memory is dysfunctionally stored in an isolated memory network. When this memory network is activated, the individual may re-experience aspects of the original event, often resulting in inappropriate overreactions. This explains why people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic incident may have recurring sensory flashbacks, thoughts, beliefs, or dreams. An unprocessed memory of a traumatic event can retain high levels of sensory and emotional intensity, even though many years may have passed. Although EMDR was originated using eye movements many therapists find that other means of stimulating both hemispheres of the brain are equally effective.   An apparatus which has small vibrating paddles which can be held in each hand may be used by patients who prefer a tactile stimulator or headphones which produces an alternating tone may be more comfortable for clients who prefer an auditory channel. When the distressing or traumatic event is an isolated incident, the symptoms can often be cleared within three EMDR sessions. But when multiple traumatic events contribute to a health the time to heal may be longer.

 

3) When should one seek treatment?

     Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.  Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, and can give you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

 

4) Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I believe that the most fundamental element of psychotherapy is the connection felt within a relationship based on trust.  My clients experience me as warm, authentic, and compassionate.  I am skilled at creating an atmosphere of comfort and safety as I strive to understand your experience through patient listening.  

 

5) What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

Often a person’s first experiments with substances occur during adolescence – a time when it is important to grapple with questions of identity and to pass through various developmental crises.  Part of the reason it feels good to be high is the relief, however temporary, of the huge responsibility of becoming a mature adult. A pattern of abuse of drugs or alcohol can delay the process of maturation for many years.  Additionally, if there has been trauma, drugs and alcohol can be used as a false solution to the unresolved emotional pain one carries and a serious dependency can develop. If a person decides to stop drinking or using drugs there is often a psychic journey that is initiated which involves not only abstinence but must address those inner crises previously avoided.  Therapy is an excellent vehicle for this process. In AA the development of emotional honestly, willingness and integrity is supported by the 12 Steps and specifically the self-inventory required of sober practice and recovery.

I am very familiar with twelve step programs as my father maintained his sobriety for 45 years through AA – beginning in the year I was born.  In my work with clients I am patient over periods of time as we discuss the level of disturbance in one’s life represented by substance abuse.  I am not opposed to harm reduction/moderation management models of treatment if a client wishes to try limiting intake as long as we can establish an ability to report honestly.   I am also familiar with secular programs such as Lifering and local residential and outpatient treatment programs.  I may make referrals to AA, NA and Al-a-non as needed knowing that success in remaining sober and support for recovery can rarely be achieved through a weekly hour of therapy and the support of relationships in a community of like-minded individuals has the greatest possibility for success

 
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Francis
3637 Sacramento St. Suite 210
San Francisco , CA 94947
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