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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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2009 - 2012 Reviews


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who doesn't use ''The Feeling Good Handbook?''

July 2012

Does anyone know of a really good cognitive behavioral therapist who does not use ''The Feeling Good Handbook?'' I tried CBT and the therapist used this book (there was an alternative one, but he didn't recommend it very highly) and I just didn't like using it, consequently I didn't get much out of it. CBT comes highly recommended, so I'd like to give it another try. Would be interested in hearing from anyone who had a good experience with CBT, not using this book. Thanks so much. Willing to give it another go


I have been through my share of therapists and this guy is unbelievable. He has changed my life and my relationship - significantly for the better, for the first time. I like who I am better and have much more clarity when interacting with others, whether there's an altercation, sticky situation or just boundary challenges. I've never felt inept but can now navigate much more skillfully. He's the best that there is: Don Elium, MA MFT 925 256-8282 Don@DonElium.com www.DonElium.com Good luck! Been through my share of therapists
Mark Balabanis in Rockridge, above Market Hall. I went to him for about a year after I saw him recommended on BPN. He never mentioned that book to me, so I don't know if he uses it. I think it is on his bookshelf, tho. He is so wonderful - kind, caring, intelligent. He's not cheap at all, but he's worth every penny. OCD patient
You may want to try the Mood and Sleep clinic at CAL, they use cognitive therapy for depression, but not a workbook. Anon
I'm not sure who you saw previously, but for a long time I was a patient of Dr. Jacqueline Persons at Oakland's Center for Cognitive Therapy and I can honestly say that she saved my life (I was plagued with intense panic and anxiety, on top of the clinical depression I've suffered from since I was a child). I wish you the best of luck finding a treatment routine that works for you. http://www.sfbacct.com/ CKY

San Francisco therapist who practices CBT

June 2011

I'm looking for a good therapist in San Francisco to help with anxiety. I'd prefer someone who practices Cognitive- Behavior therapy. Anonymous


Hello - Blair Wellington, MFT is great and does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in San Francisco. http://counselinginsanfrancisco.com/ good luck, Carleigh
I go to a truly fantastic cognitive behavioral therapist in San Francisco. His name is Cannon Thomas, and he is part of the San Francisco Group for Evidence Based Psychotherapy. http://www.sfpsychology.com/about.php Cannon is very very smart, focused, skilled and caring. His training is impeccable (he did a postdoc at Stanford and has taught at UCSF). He offers great personal guidance and support in handling the personal issues I am working on. He also has taught me so much about how people work (what the research says about various issues). My main focus with him has been on anxiety -- and its been unbelievable how much I have changed. I have grown a great deal with his help and I would highly recommend him. His number and email: 415.771.9999, thomas@sfpsychology.com. Thank heaven for behavioral therapists!
Kathryn Hirt works in downtown San Francisco and is very skilled and competent in cognitive behavioral therapy and ways to work with your thoughts and emotions more ''skillfully''. She seems to understand the workings of the whole mind-body process so intimately, I learn something new every time we meet, and every week I leave with something new to practice, examine, or apply in my life in difficult times. I find this empowering, therapy not being relegated to the 50 minutes we meet once a week. She's in downtown SF and also north Oakland- I meet her in both places. 510-220-3558 is her contact info and www. kathrynhirtmft.com for her website (which I found very informative when first looking) Good luck! anon

Affordable Cognitive Therapy

April 2011

Is there such a thing as Affordable Cognitive therapy in the Bay Area? How about affordable treatment for drug and alcohol addiction? Any resources that aren't so obvious would be most appreciated. The free resources are difficult to access. looking for help


I don't have a comprehensive list, but here are two suggestions for affordable cognitive therapy and affordable drug and alcohol treatment.

The Berkeley Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies Clinic offers affordable cognitive therapy for adults. The fees currently range from $15 to $45 per session for individual or couples therapy and $10 per session for groups. All of the therapists are experienced doctoral students being supervised by licensed psychologists, and they are trained in the most up-to-date, empirically validated cognitive and behavioral treatments. They treat a wide range of disorders using traditional CBT and mindfulness-based therapies (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), but are not currently equipped to help clients whose main problem is substance abuse. There are several groups (depression, anxiety, mindfulness-based stress reduction) which are starting new sessions in May, as well as an ongoing dialectical behavior group (for treatment of borderline personality disorder) which has periodic openings. You can reach the Berkeley CBT Clinic at (510) 486-8998.

For affordable substance abuse treatment, consider Options Recovery Services in downtown Berkeley. It offers a low-fee, year-long program which includes access to therapy. It is an abstinence-based program. Options has a website: http://www.optionsrecovery.org/ where you can find their contact info. Alexis


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in Berkeley/Oakland

Feb 2011

Looking for a great cognitive behavioral therapist in Oakland/Berkeley. I searched the archives and wanted something more current. Has anyone been to the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy recently ? I currently deal with major anxiety and refuse to go the Paxil route again. Have taken the Kaiser anxiety class, but Kaiser really sucks when it comes to mental health. They just want to drug you. Anon


I saw Dr. Weiner at the SF Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, and I cannot recommend him highly enough. He helped me work through my anxiety without medication, and I have been totally anxiety free for 3 years now. He really gave me the tools to keep things in check. Good luck! Anonymous
Heidi Ronfeldt, PhD, in the Rockridge area is really good (510*926-8490) Hope this helps!

2007 - 2008 Reviews


Female cognitive-behavioral therapist?

August 2008

I am looking for a cognitive behavior therapist in the East Bay. Preferably a female practitioner, however, if you have had a stellar experience with a male practitioner I would appreciate the info. Thanks so much East Bay Mom


I would highly recommend Dr. Katherine A. Martinez with the SFBA Center for Cognitive Therapy on College Avenue. She is very effective and very easy to work with. She is young and can really connect with the kids. 510-652-4455x14 anon
I recommend Dr. Katherine Martinez at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Oakland (510/652-4455). She worked with my teenage son and the results were mixed but I think it was because that kind of therapy was not the best fit for my son. She came highly recommended from our pediatrician who is very hooked into the Bay Area therapy scene. Dr. Martinez is very supportive, extremely clear about therapy goals and expectations and she measures progress in a clear, systematic way without being overly clinical. She helped me with some parenting issues and checked in with me regularly about my son's progress. She was generous with her time, having a long phone call and some e-mail exchanges with me and not charging me. I loved that she was so prompt with e-mail responses to my questions. The Center for Cognitive Therapy has an excellent website and you can learn more about her and the other therapists there. C
I don't know a female CBT therapist in the east bay, but I'd like to offer an alternate recommendation, in case you can't find exactly what you're looking for. There's a great CBT course offered at Kaiser Vallejo, both an adult 10-week session and a children's 6-week session. $70-170 for the whole thing. Email phobease@aol.com and they'll probably say it's fine to come to the first class (Sep 11th for adults) before you sign up. http://www.angelnet.com/class3.html

When I was considering going, Vallejo seemed really far. I never would have done the hour-long drive from Berkeley if I hadn't been travelling with a friend. And I definitely would have preferred to learn CBT from a female therapist in a one-on-one setting. But the guy who teaches the course, ''Dr. Fear'', has a real knack for making the CBT tools accessible, and his totally wacky lightheartedness is exactly what many people need when facing issues that require us to seek out CBT. Also, you can be as public or as private as you want during the class when talking about what you're using CBT for.

I would STRONGLY suggest that anyone who thinks they may want CBT go to the first class Sept 11. I use CBT tools all the time, and they've made a real difference in my life, so congrats that you're reaching out to look for a resource, for whatever you're struggling with! Glad I attended


CBT Therapist for help with panic attacks

May 2008

I'm looking for recommendations for a cognitive behavioral therapist in Oakland or Berkeley who takes Pacificare insurance. About 7 years ago, I had a panic attack. I'm starting to feel some panic symptoms (muscle tension, racing heart, shortness of breath) again since I've returned to work after maternity leave. It is already hard enough trying to work as a new mother, but now I am dealing with the fear of having another panic attack. I would like to see a good therapist who can give me tools to handle stress/anxiety and panic feelings. Thanks for your help.


Hello, I've been seeing my therapist, Stacy Taylor, for a couple of years and she's great -- very warm, interactive, experienced. She does a lot of CBT and has worked with both myself and my daughter around anxiety symptoms. I believe she takes insurance, but she also has a sliding scale that is quite generous given the going rates. She's on Solano in Berkeley. Her phone is 234 7224

PS Stacy is very knowledgeable about health issues and she suggested I see my doctor and check for endocrine problems -- and it turns out I have a thyroid problem! Make sure to check this out! But, many of the standard tests (eg TSH test) are not l00% reliable so you sometimes have to push the doctor to run more specialized tests. Kate C.


Seeking Cognitive Behavioral Therapist for panic and agoraphobia

April 2008

I'm seeking a talented Cognitive Behavioral Therapist with experience treating panic disorder and agoraphobia. Preferably in SF or Berkeley. I have MHN (Health Net) insurance. Thanks for your help! Berkeley Filmmaker


If you are able to get to the Fruitvale district of Oakland, I can recommend a wonderful therapist named Renee Miller, LMFT 510-530-3648. I know several people who have had success with her. Feeling Better
I had a very good experience with the Center for Cognitive Therapy on college ave. I had Simon Madan as a Psychologist, this was 7 years ago and to this days I use the techniques learned there and keep my panic/anxiety under control.

Now my 7 years old son is also having anxiety and I am taking him to see Dr. Katherine Martinez she is just great and thinks are working very well for my son. The tel number is 510 652-4455. They do not accept any insurance as far as I know but will give you a receipt to seek reimbursement with your insurance company or to a smaller rate scale I think.


2005 - 2006 Reviews


Need Cognitive Behavioral therapist for teen

Oct 2006

I am looking for a therapist who works with adolescents and uses cognitive behavioral methods for dealing with obsessive/compulsive behaviors. Who has a pracrtice in Berkeley. Can anyone recommend someone-preferably a woman-who works specifically with teenagers and who takes insurance or who has a sliding scale? (The Wright Institute doesn't deal with children.) thanks! anon


The Psychology Clinic at UC-Berkeley offers cognitive behavior therapy for children, adolescents and adults. Our services are sliding scale, and we are located on the North Side of campus. Give us a call at 510-642-2055 for more information or to arrange a consultation Laura

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist for anxiety and depression

September 2006

I'm having problems with anxiety and depression, and my psychiatrist recommended that I see a cognitive behavioral therapist. Can anyone recommend a female cognitive behavioral therapist in the East Bay? Many of my concerns are surrounding parenting issues, so someone who could relate to that would be a plus (if that even matters -- I don't know much about CBT). Also, if anyone could relate their experiences with cognitive behavioral therapy, that would be great, since at the moment it sounds like a scary, intense, high-commitment ordeal to me. anon


Kathryn Hirt is a great therapist who uses CBT methods and also incorporates mindfulness/ awareness practices that are tremendously helpful. She is really great- insightful, compassionate and very real, and warm as well, not afraid to confront gently. 510-220-3558. Good luck to you! (she's in Oakland and also SF) sarah
I saw two male therapists at the SF-BA CCT (check archives) for anxiety (Balbanis) and for help deciding whether to become a parent (Tompkins). Life-changing, effective, amazing. Do it.

You fear that it is a ''scary, intense, high-commitment ordeal to me'' -- not scary or high-committment for me -- usually over in a matter of weeks or months, unlike classic talk therapy, and there's no blaming other people or digging into childhood trauma. Maybe intense, in a good way. Change the way you think in a logical supportive fashion -- it works
A Worrier Myself


I would like to recommend a wonderful female CBT. Her name is Lynn Martin, she prictices in Orinda. She's a lovely woman -- very warm, understanding, easy to talk to and helpful! I'm not sure if she is currently taking new patients, but give her a call. She's wonderful -- I don't know how I would have gotten through many years of severe clinical depression & anxiety without her. Her phone number is 925-377-0410. I'd be glad to share my experiences with you -- I certainly understand what you are going through -- I was nervous about starting therapy too but it proved to extremely worthwhile. Please feel free to email me directly. I'm sorry you are going through this rough time. K.M.

Effective therapist to help me change bad habits

August 2005

Hi, I've been looking for a therapist near Berkeley who isn't too new agey, but who does hypnosis and/or cognitive behavior therapy. I don't want to waste a lot of time going over my background and discussing my problems, family, etc. (I already know about my family and problems.) I just want to change some bad habits and bad ways of looking at situations, myself, gain some insight, etc. I have health insurance, but I'm trying to find recommendations and then seeing if the doctors are covered by my insurance. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks!


Based on my personal experience, I'd like to recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as a quick and effective way to change unproductive thought patterns (without having to delve too deeply into their causes). It really works, and for me it worked fast. I've already posted several times to this list about my success reducing anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and resolving stuck decisions with the help of the therapists at the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy. They're in Rockridge; check the archive for more information. Less Anxious

CBT Therapist for anxiety disorders

January 2005

Hello, I am looking for a good cbt tharapist in the berkeley area who has experience dealing with anxiety disorders any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks


I highly recommend Paul Malkin, he's a cognitive behaviorial therapist in Oakland. I don't know if he has specific expertise in anxiety disorders since that is not my issue but I have found him extremely helpful in working on my distorted thoughts. Paul Malkin, 510-494-0328.

2004 & Earlier


May 2004

Re: Mom's anxiety - Conventional psychiatry hasn't helped I am sorry your mother is struggling with anxiety. Is it more generalized anxiety or is she having acute panic attacks? It would probably be helpful for her to see a new psychiatrist in conjunction with a therapist who specializes in cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT). I know there is a Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Oakland & a psychologist there, Dr. Michael Tompkins, is very good. If acute panic attacks are the problem there is a man named Dr. Liebgold (aka Dr. Fear) [see Howard Liebgold for this review.] Anxiety can be incredibly debilitating & interfere with daily functioning. I would recommend your mom not give up on trying new medications. I am a psychologist in Berkeley. I do not specialize in CBT but do work with anxiety disorders. It is important to find someone who can teach your mother techniques to manage the cognitive distortions which are increasing the anxiety (catastrophic thinking, for example). Feel free to call if you have any questions. My office phone # is (510) 412-0670. Ruth Bard Rampel


Cognitive Behavior Therapy vs. Talk Therapy for Depression

January 2004

i'm writing again on behalf of a dear friend with severe anxiety/depression that is also connected with some other physical and biochemical issues. he is considering cognitive behavioral therapy and is wondering both about the effectiveness of the modality in general and also if someone can recommend an excellent therapist who works in this capacity. one issue we are wondering about is how different this is from ''regular talk therapy.'' thanks in advance and thank you also to everyone who helped the last time. (p.s. i already searched the website) anon


There is a real difference between cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy for depression and anxiety. There is 25 years worth of data from controlled and well designed studies that document the effectiveness of behavioral therapy. Whereas, there is not the same documented well designed studies that demonstrate the effectivness of talk therapy for these disorders. If some one is desperate and looking for immediate relief cognitive therapy is the best way to go. I am speaking based on personal experiencing going through this with family members and professional experience. I am a clinical psychologist with an extensive background in behavioral therapy. I have an ex-co-worker that is in private practice and she is trained in cog beh therapy. In fact, she teaches the depression and anxiety class for Kaiser in Oakland. I worked with her for many years and she is exceptional she not only has training in cognitive behavioral methods she is system center trained and is very rooted in buddhist philosophy and practice. It is a nice integration to meet many peoples needs. She is on solano avenue in berkeley, Alison McCabe MFT 510-496-3490. Linda
I have a different take on cognitive behavioral therapy for depression than the one given, based on my experience with it. I know that it claims a high success rate, but I'm not sure how this is determined.

I have suffered from severe depression over many years, and have done a lot of talk therapy. I got a lot of insight and support from it, and it helped me to grow and to survive. It did not solve the underlying biological problem, which medication finally did. I don't regret at all doing the therapy- I learned a lot- but wasn't able to reap the full benefit of it until medication pulled me out of the paralyzing depths.

While I was beginning medication and trying out different ones to get it just right for me, I took the Beh Cog class at Kaiser. I got a couple of useful tools and reminders from it, but found it overall to be quite superficial. Solving real depression is not mind over matter, which I found the gist of the class to be. When you are deeply depressed, you are simply mentally and physically unable ''snap out of it'', and being given self-help tasks to do can make you feel even more like a hopeless failure.

I observed that people in the class who were mildly depressed, not long term or deeply depressed, benefitted the most. One fellow in the class, who was obviously deeply troubled and in intense pain, appeared more and more distressed over the course of the class. I have no way of knowing if he was also getting psychiatric help, or if the instructor recommended it to him, but he clearly needed it. In terms of how people rated the class at the end, my observation- not just in this particular situation- is that many people say that they haved been helped by a class or therapy so that they don't feel like a failure, and sometimes to be polite.

My class instructor had been doing this work for a long time, so it was not a case of her being inexperienced. But I would have felt that the class was more ''real'' if the instructor had made it through and out of serious depression herself. If this woman had, she didn't say so. It is very very hard for people who have not experienced this crippling disease to understand what it feels like from the inside. Friends and family can expect someone to pull themselves out of it, which only further isolates the depressed person. I have many friends who call me now and ask if they can give my name and number to someone they know who is severely depressed and I always say yes. I can share my experience, give them feedback and suggestions, and give them hope that this too will pass with the right help.

Best wishes, anon


Therapist who practices cognitive-behavioral therapy?

Nov 2003

Can anyone recommend a therapist practicing cognitive- behavioral therapy? Thank you. cliff


Melinda White, on Solano, does cognitive-behavioral therapy. I think she's good. anon
I had great success with Kristin Valus, Psy.D., at the San Francisco Bay Area Center of Cognitive Therapy at 5435 College Ave, Suite 104, in Oakland. They have a website you could check out too - www.sfbacct.com. Good luck.
I recommend the SF/Bay Area Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Their Oakland office is located at 5435 College Ave in the Rockridge district. They also have a SF office. Margaret
Dr. Michael Tompkins at SF Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, on College in Rockridge. My son sees Dr. Tompkins for obsessive- compulsive disorder. He is extremely helpful to my son, and very supportive of the whole family. --knock on wood THREE TIMES
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