Berkeley Parents Network >
Therapists, Counseling , & Support Groups >
Marriage Counselor in Walnut Creek area
Seeking recommendations for a marriage/couples counselor in the Walnut
Creek or Lamorinda area. Thank you.
I highly recommend Aaron J. Feldman, LMFT. He is a super therapist and now
manages therapists who are working toward their degree.
You can google his name or go to his website: www.FormingRelationships.com
Marriage counselor to help us communicate better
I'm looking for someone to help my husband and me communicate better,
learn to nurture each other, and be on the same page with each other.
We've never done counseling before. We are looking for someone affordable
and understanding. We would like to build a loving relationship that
benefits us and is a good model for our daughter. Any recommendations
would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I recommend Dana McMullen 510-558-8475 in El Cerrito. She is
intelligent, kind, professional and very good at marriage counseling.
My husband and I have seen her for years and it has helped
immeasurably. She will listen to both of you and teach you how to
listen to each other and get what you need out of the marriage. She is
actively involved and really compassionate. anon
I can highly recommend our couples therapist, Ashley Kirkman. She is
on Telegraph, 2 blocks north of Ashby. Her approach is friendly,
practical and positive. She taught us fantastic communication skills
during a time that our marriage was under a decent amount of stress.
She helped us practice those skills, while keeping a sense of humor
about all of it. The most important thing was that we never felt like
she took sides, we always felt like we were all on the same team
because even during some tough conversations and conflicts, she was
always grounding us in how we both there because we care about the
marriage (which often gets lost in the heat of an argument or with an
overly analytical approach). She was really compassionate towards us
both and helped us grow our compassion for each other and ability to
nurture one another. I can't say enough about her. The other great
thing - in comparison to other therapists - she's reasonable! Give her
a call at 510-464-4641 and feel free to email me directly with more
questions about her style. Good luck.
I would like to recommend Audrey Martin, MFT here in Rockridge (510 428 1505) to
you. I have experienced her work and greatly benefited from it. Her style is
warm and engaging, she is an excellent listener and a very clear thinker. She
has a good sense of humor and will guide you competently towards achieving the
goal of a loving relationship. You will find her skills and her array of tools
with which to work and practice on your own impressive and helpful. Been there
Couples Therapist Who Takes Anthem Blue Cross?
Can anyone recommend a good couples therapist in close proximity to N. Berkeley who
takes Anthem Blue Cross (PPO)? I see lots of great recommendations on the BPN site,
but none of the recommended therapists take my insurance. Thanks!
I know a fantastic couples therapist that takes all
insurances, I believe. She is in north Oakland. Her name
is Jenifer Dahlstrom and her number is 510-273-9261. We've
had very good results quite early on with seeing
her----after doing couples counseling in the past several
times. She's great! See if it's a good fit for you! She uses a method called
the ''Gottman Method'' and I think
that might be the difference. There are very few Gottman
trained therapists around. Reba Connell at the Center for
Stress Reduction at 510-594-8224 is also a certified Gottman
therapist. You could check with her and see if she accepts
Marriage therapist near campus, weekend hours?
Our marriage may be over but since we have children we'd need to give
therapy a try. Need a marriage therapist in Albany or Berkeley
(biking distance from UC campus). Willing to drive further if
weekend appointments available too. Anon
I really don't think you could find a better therapist than Lisa
Lancaster. I got her name from a colleague and have found her to be so
amazingly kind and effective. My marriage is in a much better spot now
than it was this time last year, that is for sure! She is near the
Claremont hotel in Berkeley.
Go see Heidi Berrin Shonkoff (510-849-4106). Having been referred to
Heidi by several friends who have seen her, my husband and I landed at
her office in what we felt was ''irreparable'' shape. Fighting, bad
(and sometimes non-
existent) sex, turmoil around the kids, etc. We are both amazed at
what has transpired in such a short period of time in our couples
therapy with Heidi. We are repairing and moving forward into a very
different kind of relationship. Heidi is fair, very responsive and
wise. More advice: If things feel this bad for you, don't wait.
SHARON GREGORY 510-540-4870. We saw Sharon every week for 2
years as we hit the rockiest, scariest time of our marriage
(surprise third kid.) She has the perfect blend of
uber-professionalism with deep compassion and un-canny
skill. Many therapists before her would ''hold'' my big scary
revelations with what appeared to me as uncertainty, lots of
heavy sighing and head nodding. But with Sharon, we both
felt super safe and nothing scared her. She would package up
what we had said and reflect back to us in a way that would
amaze us. It was a 2 year course in interpersonal
communication skills and a discovery of personal insight
that I couldn't have imagined. We are doing great now, and
we will always consider Sharon part of our team. I cannot
recommend her enough.
My husband and I saw Deborah Joy Harger who was amazing! Deborah is
insightful, smart and thoughtful, and helped us
with communication and conflict resolution. We can't
recommend her enough. Her number is (510) 524-8284.
Pro-active couples therapist that takes Aetna ins?
Looking for a couples therapist with a take charge, hands on approach
that can assist us with some tangible issues we are facing (i.e.,
whether or not to have a third child). We want someone that can help us
focus on the issues at hand and come up with some step-by-step action
plans to address them. We are not looking for long-term exploration
therapy. Less ''um-hmm'' and more ''I want you to do these three
things.'' We need help from a third party to work through our issues
and walk away with specific, tangible tools to put into place. Ideally
the person would take Aetna insurance and is located in Oakland (or
near to Oakland).
Call Jenifer Dahlstrom. She is a GREAT couple's therapist.
I know she takes many, many different insurances, so I
would imagine she would take yours. Without going into
detail, I will just say that she makes a lot of difference
for couples! Her phone number is: 510-273-9261 or you can
check her website at jeniferdahlstrom.com
Seeking therapist for marriage issues
I am seeking recommendations for a therapist or psychologist who is
oriented toward working through a specific problem in a limited, rather
than open-ended, period of time. I have been struggling in my marriage
for many years, and I need someone who can help me figure out how to
think productively & concretely about what I can do to feel better. I
would like someone smart, interactive, experienced, emotionally grounded,
and located in the east bay. Thank you.
I'd recommend Dr. Barbara Swenson - her website is
couplecenter.com. She's very practical and
results-oriented. She gets to the crux of things very
quickly. I'm sure she'd be happy to have a phone consult to
you to see if it's a fit. She has an office in Rockridge,
and one in Walnut Creek. Best of luck to you!
I have a very good recommendation for a wonderful Marriage and Family
therapist who prefers to help her clients in one or two counseling sessions
(rather than the more conventional long-term, open-ended type of therapy).
She is very smart, interactive, experienced, emotionally grounded and
located in the east bay - just what you're looking for - ISADORA ALMAN, M.A.
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 510-521-2925
I recommend Dan Quinn in Berkeley, 510-290-8297. He is smart, emotionally
tuned in and can draw on vast amounts of knowledge and experience. He uses
a skills-based approach when working with couples which helps keep focus on
the issues and limit the time required. Good luck.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Toni Ayres, MFT..she is also a nurse. She is
calm and compassionate and an expert at couples counseling and sex therapy..
Toni Ayres is in Berkeley 510-
Couples counselor for infidelity and communication issues
I would love to get any recommendations for a therapist to help my
husband and I work through some communication issues and a newly
discovered infidelity. We are willing to try and repair the marriage
and seek a therapist who is honest, open and not afraid to ''tell it
like it is''. We feel the most successful match would be someone
who can help us identify our issues and provide us with the tools to
improve our communication in and out of the session. Someone who
specializes in issues with the infidelity would be especially
helpful. We are in the N. Berkeley area.
Hoping to be happy again
Cindy Blackett is awesome. She's directed, calm, a good listener, and
Not sure if he takes HMO, but check out Dr. Richard Burg in North
Oakland. He uses active release technique and is awesome.
I would recommend Dena Anthony, Ph.D for couples counseling. She has an
office right in Albany near the N. Berkeley border and has years of
experience and a high success rate with couples. She's warm and
compassionate, yet practical and direct, and extremely knowledgeable and
committed to her work. You can learn more about her on her website:
Best of luck finding the right therapist to work with you and your
I would like to recommend Dr. Michael Gray in Albany. His web site is
lifornia_82973 and he can be reached at 510/525-6620. My significant
other and I have been seeing him for several months, and he has been very
helpful. While infidelity is not an issue in our relationship, we
definitely have been working thru communications issues, and really like
him. It is hard work, and he is not cheap, but definitely worth it. If
you have any questions, please get my email address from the moderator.
Glad to help
Call Heidi Berrin Shonkoff (510-849-4106). Heidi--who is an
extraordinarily warm, skilled and experienced therapist--helped my
husband and I repair our connection after some very difficult times. She
works in a no-nonsense, straight forward, deep and balanced manner. Over
the years there have been a lot of recommendations for her on this site
and many couples we know have seen her, some of whom have had to deal
with infidelities. She is busy and sometimes it is hard to get into her
practice but it is well worth the wait.
Run, don't walk, to see Sheila Rubin!! Last year, at this time, my
marriage imploded and we separated, in part due to infidelity and trust
issues. Another reason we decided to separate/divorce was because the
therapist we had refused to hold my husband accountable for the hurtful
activities. Instead, my husband's denials and lame excuses were given as
much weight as my pain. After the separation, our good friend begged us
to see Sheila three times before filing for divorce, and we agreed. It
was the best decision we have ever made! She does Emotionally-
Focused Therapy (EFT), which focuses on rebuilding the trust and
emotional connections. This is not a long drawn-
out process; she gets right into the muck! It's a process that works well
for couples in stress, like infidelity. It was hard for my husband to do
this work at first because it required him to listen to my pain and anger
without making excuses until I felt like I had been heard and could START
to trust him again. Fast forward one year: our relationship has never
been better. We only go to see Sheila every few weeks now, and we
communicate better than ever. Sheila is amazing! She is respectful to
both parties, yet she doesn't let either of us get away with excuses or
games. You can find info for her on her website: www.sheilarubin.com
Big Sheila Fan
I highly recommend Ken Seider. He's located at 2920 Domingo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705-2400. We've been seeing him for the past year,
working on similar issues. He's caring, willing to help you confront
issues, and excellent on helping with communication issues.
I would like to recommend Dan Quinn as an excellent couples counselor,
especially for difficult issues such as infidelity. Dan is warm,
empathic, really smart and has a great sense of humor. I think he could
be of great assistance to you and your partner. Check out his website:
www.DanQuinn.Info. He is in the North Berkeley area.
Looking for French couples therapist
I am looking for a French or bilingual/bicultural American-French therapist
for couples. Know any?
Hello Try Claude Delaubert in north Oakland. Her number is
510-594-6800. She is wonderful and very experienced. Anon
Communicative/Intuitive, Problem-Solving Therapist
For couples' counseling. We need someone who can understand my need for a
secure, communicative, intimate marriage, and how that conflicts with my
husband's tendencies both to avoid intimacy and to feel insecure
generally. He gets angry with me and finds fault with me unnecessarily in
any situation that could lead to more intimacy (or which suggests his
behavior has been less than stellar), and acts out passive-aggressively
as his communications style (why ask me to do something when he could
throw a tantrum instead?). This is so debilitating I've also been able to
help him with things he'd probably appreciate (like fixing up our
home-which he throws his hands up at, and feels like he can't or won't
We've been working on this on and off for years,
but we really need some skillful intervention.
experience, smarts, assertiveness, excellent communications, and the
ability to nail down and work on our issues.
Blue Cross/Blue shield is a plus! Thanks.
I really want to recommend Michael Gray, Ph.D. His web site is here:
http://michaelgrayphd.com/tag/albany-ca/ and his phone number is
6620. We have been seeing him for couples therapy for several months
now, and he has really helped us worked through several serious
problems. We've seen many others over the past ten years, but Dr.
Gray has been the most effective person so far. His focus is on
teaching you tools to solve your disagreements so you don't have to
see him every week. I don't believe he takes insurance, but the cost
is worth it if you want to save your relationship. Ask the moderator
for my email if you'd like to discuss this further.
--Therapy can work wonders
Regarding your question about an excellent therapist
referral as well as other recent similar requests: I highly
recommend Albert Levy, Ph.D. He is a very experienced and
seasoned clinical psychologist, smart, down to earth,
responsive, and helps you get to the bottom of things. He
works with adults individually and couples. He has a
sliding scale and takes many insurance plans. He's located
in the Berkeley/Albany border. 510-527-1455 Best wishes.
Need Couples counselor for infidelity issues
Hello, I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant and
facing some serious infidelity issues with the father of my child. I
am looking for recommendations for a counselor who can help me/us
either move forward with trying to forgive my partner and start a
happy and home for our son or to end the relationship in a way that
it is best for my son.
Time is obviously of the essence and any help would be so so
First of all, I am so sorry this is happening to you.
My husband and I have been seeing Alice Shusterman for a
while now and we both really think she's wonderful. She's
great about getting to the heart of this issue and not
getting caught up in griping and other distractions.. Her
office is on Solano in Berkeley and her number is
510-527-5930. We haven't been dealing with infidelity, but
other really difficult communication issues. She has been a
great mediator and has really helped us see more clearly and
move forward out of destructive behaviors.
I would send you right to Dr. Lancaster. She has helped my
husband and me get through an the fallout from an affair. She is smart, warm, and most important, effective. She is in
Berkeley near the Claremont hotel (510-841-2525)
Marriage counselor 4 older couple with grown kids
I'm looking for names and contact info. for a counselor that
might help me and my husband of two years to find
compromises that work. We are an unusual 'blended' family:
we're both 61 years old, and I have adult children and one
grandson (2 years) with whom I am very close. My hubby has
a step-child and step-grandson from a previous marriage who
he is not close to; his previous wife died, but the
relationship with his step-relatives is strained and he
rarely sees them, though they live only an hour away. I
babysit my grandson at our house once per week and my
husband complains bitterly about it. I feel I should be
allowed to use our house, which is also my house, as a base
for family visits. His family-avoidance and my close-knit
family are not compatible, and are the only strong and
persistent problem between us. We need help. Any advice
from people who've been through it, or suggestions for a
therapist who is good in this area? thank you for sharing
I would highly recommend Alice Shusterman. Her office is on
Solano Ave. in North Berkeley. Her number is 510-527-5930.
We, my husband and I, have spent a lot of time on similar
issues around extended family and she has been really helpful!
Marriage Help - Therapist or Couples Classes ???
My husband and I are in need of some help. We have been
married for 15 years and have 2 beautiful kids; we have been
through a difficult death of a parent & depression.
also has a job which involves him being away from the family
a lot, meaning more often than not I am the primary one
responsible for everything. (This does not bother me as I am
used to it at this point). We do not have much time
together as a family and very little alone time. Here lies
our MAIN problem, we have communication issues and do not
know how to disagree without arguing on different issues
(mostly regarding the kids - discipline, behaviors, etc).
Has anyone ever
been to a (non-religious) weekend retreat that deals with couple related
issues? I am open to any
and all suggestions.
First - your post was most moving. I bet there are lots of
us who read this and thought - 'been there...' Stay strong
and striving during this time. Might I suggest two things:
Gottman - The Art and Science of Love. We went to Seattle
for the initial reasonably priced weekend session and it
changed the downward spiral we were in. There are books and
follow-up program, more local coaches.
http://www.gottman.com/ We drove up once with the kids and
had a local friend watch them. We flew back for the
'graduate' weekend alone. May go back again as it is clear
to us that marriage is a practice and we could use more
support. Really solid instructional design, sound content
and excellent facilitation. Miraculous step-by-step tools
for lots of things including one that we swear by on
resolving fights and 'unfortunate incidents' Even if things
don't work out, the shared approaches will support your
family and life in many ways.
Love Dare - Seeing your note about non-religious, I almost
did not recommend. EXCEPT the day by day, mutual approach to
the marriage basics of respect, honor, acceptance, kindness
and other elements of marriage are basicly superb and should
be handed out to everyone prior to marriage. There is also a
tell-it-like-it-is tone that is refreshing and basically
calls marriage as it is hard and rewarding. IF, IF, IF you
can read around the biblical references and more traditional
Christian doctrine, AND instead read spiritual and higher
source or self, then I suggest this. You may just want to
get this as a reference book for you.
Best wishes for making this happen!
happier in the hills
so sorry to hear that you're suffering...you are not
alone...being married and raising children is challenging,
even in the best of circumstances. learning to communicate,
sorting things out, and changing behavior without support is
often impossible given the nonstop responsibilities of
family life (especially if you're trying to do much of it on
anyway, i don't know of classes in particular but
i'm sure there are many. my husband and i have recently
started working with a counselor and it's been really
wonderful (and hard). she is here in berkeley so may not be
accessible to you (Yvonne Mansel) but, i'm sure you can find
someone who is closer by. basically, i just wanted to send
you some encouragement and hope you find the support you
need. good luck!!! jen
My partner and I were in a similar place and what really
kicked us into gear was coaching. We saw a number of
therapists with no change, and relationship coaching moved
more in two sessions than a year of therapy. Try Natalie
Thiel at intimatelifecoaching.com. She is amazing with
couples with children. And she does one day intensives with
couples. Best of luck to you and your family. anon
Since you are a Kaiser member, you could check with their
health education depeartment about their course offerings.
When I worked at Kaiser in San Rafael, there was a repeating
4-week Couples Communication class that was well- regarded,
and I know the San Francisco Kaiser has a similar class, so
perhaps Richmond or Oakland does too. This would be a good
place to start while you look for a therapist.
You expressed an interest in a weekend workshop, and there
are two upcoming couples workshops in the area, taught by
Gottmann-trained couples therapists, on in Santa Rosa and
one in the south bay. If you look on the Gottmann website
you can find the info. Ilene Diamond, JD, PsyD (415)
I would highly recommend that you go and see Dr. Lisa
Lancaster. She helped my husband and me with some similar
communication issues. She is warm, smart and compassionate.
Better than any book I've found. She is in
Alameda Couples Therapy?
My husband and I are looking for a marriage therapist in
Alameda to deal with some of the mundane issues of marriage
- parenting, having another child, aging parents, anxiety,
income, etc. Any recommendations would be great, thanks.
I highly recommend Elizabeth Dandenell, MFT. My husband and
I have been seeing her as a couple, and individually when
needed, for a year and a half. She has helped our marriage
She is located on Santa Clara between Broadway & Park.
748-0637 is her number.
Best of luck to you and your husband.
Another Alameda Mom
Marriage Counselor - - N. Oakland/Rockridge
We are looking for a couples counselor in the N. Oakland/ Rockridge
area. We would prefer someone who is rather directive, and works with
anger & anxiety issues. It would be a huge plus if they took Blue
Shield. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. anon
I have recommended her before, and I still think she is one
of the best: Carol Jenkins is a top notch marriage counselor
with a welcoming office in Russell House in Rockridge. Her
number is 510-845-5178. Yes, she can be directive, also
fair, intelligent and compassionate.
I would recommend a very compassionate and effective
couples/marriage therapist I know well who is located right
at the Berkeley-Oakland border on Telegraph (close to
Rockridge), who I believe does take Blue Shield. She can be
directive, especially if you ask for that -- she is very
responsive to what works for you:
Laura Goldberger, MFT 510-665-7755
I would send you to Dr. Lisa Lancaster. My husband and I
have had great success with her. She listens, doesn't take
sides, and has really helped us through a very difficult
patch. She has an office on the Berkeley/Oakland boarder.
Her number is 510-841-2525.
Colorado Kagan is an excellent couples therapist in Rockridge. Her number is
Couples Counselor Who ''Says it Like it Is''
My wife and I are looking for a couples counselor who
specializes in dealing with issues of control and helping us
develop better communications skills. Also very important is
that we would be interested in identifying a counselor who
is willing to ''say it like it is.'' We have been to couples
counselors in the past and far too often they are hesitant
to evaluate us as individuals. If I am being unreasonable in
something, I would like to know about it. I would like
validation in whether or not something my wife accuses me of
like whether I'm being selfish, or unappreciative, or not
listening to her, is true, or not. Likewise, it would be
helpful to know if I'm crazy in thinking my wife is
controlling or a hothead, or being selfish herself. Too
often a counselor seems (out of fear of the perception of
taking sides?) to want to not deal with these underlying
issues and would rather create a collaborative environment
without saying directly whether there is a specific
underlying behavior exhibited by one person or the other
that is harmful to the relationship as a whole. I am not
looking for someone to take sides with me. I am looking for
someone who is skilled at navigating these waters so that we
can get some perspective at our individual idiosyncracies
that prove harmful in our relationship. If you have any
recommendations at couples counselors who are able to ''say
it like it is'' in a professional manner that is non-
threatening, I would greatly appreciate it.
It sounds like you want a referee. I thought I did too when
we started counseling. However, I discovered that it became
more important to focus on being emotionally present for our
partners in order to connect with each other. Once we got to
that point, our differences got resolved more comfortably.
We saw Bart Foley who at the time was an intern of Bonnie
MacBride, M.F.T. 510-610-9807 2428 Dwight Way.
My husband and I would both strongly recommend Dr. Anne
Bernstein, right here in Berkeley, for excellent, honest,
caring, wise, and insightful couples work. I called a
psychology professor at UCB whom I know to ask for a strong
recommendation for a couples counselor, and received a
strong endorsement for Anne. Long story short, she got to
know us well, always treated both of us with care, yet
honestly, always had incisive problem solving skills, which
we needed, to get us off of being distraught with the
other's idiosyncracies. In short, Anne was able to help us
work through a veritable thicket of difficult issues, to
find solutions that were good for both of us. We are a much
happier, healthier couple for the time we spent working
things out in her office. I cannot say enough good things
about her. She combines wisdom, intelligence, lots of life
experience, and has a wonderfully caring grandmotherly
quality. Go figure. She's great.
Anne Bernstein, Ph.D.
2955 Shattuck Ave # 12
Berkeley , CA - 94705
grateful for wise counsel
I would recommend Dr. Lisa Lancaster. My partner and I saw
her last year for a number of months and found her very
helpful. She didn't take sides, but she also didn't keep
her ideas and sense of where the problems were coming from
to herself either. She did wonders for us. anon
My husband and I were stuck in a power struggle for some
years after our children were born. We tried a few things
like reading articles about couples therapy and non-violent
communication. But what really helped us was working with a
very direct and experienced therapist who didn't beat around
the bush. Whereas it was hard and painful work (and
sometimes funny) we both felt good because our marriage
became much more the way we had originally envisioned it to
be and we have a much greater understanding of each other
now. So if you are looking for a ''tough love'' approach I can
recommend Dr. Hans Stahlschmidt in North Berkeley. Phone
Number 848 5347. Hope you will work it out with your wife.
I highly recommend Emily Epstein, MFT. She's a great couples
therapist who is both kind and direct. She's very skillful. Emily
practices in Berkeley, her number is 510-595-5565. Good luck.
I highly recommend Diane Donnelly:
We are currently in couples therapy with her and she does tell it
like it is, but in a kind and gentle way. Hard to describe, but
she is compassionate and forthright at the same time. We are very
pleased with her approach.
Strong, Smart Couples Therapist needed
My husband and I no longer love each other but need to stay
together to co-parent our sick child. It's a ridiculous and
frustrating position to be in, but it seems to only solution
right now. We need a good therapist to work with us to make
the situation as civilized as possible. Someone near
Berkeley, preferably but not necessarily who takes Health
I'm completely frustrated with the whole thing, but am
terrified that our child's substantial medical needs would
not be met appropriately if she were to spend time away (ie;
he moved out and had joint custody), and the thought of not
having her with me absolutely breaks my heart.
Something has got to change; I am confident that I can be
civil and pleasant, and have been, but he is so depressed
that he can't see past the misery he has enveloped himself
in, which makes communication and civility very difficult.
So, someone to help with communication, teaching acceptance
of personal responsibility, and help lift the cloud of
hopeless depression would be fantastic; both for our child's
sake and my sanity.
What you are going through sounds so hard. I haven't been
through anything like that, but my husband and I went to a
therapist, Emily Epstein, to work through issues before we were even
planning to get married. He only agreed to go because I was
about to leave the relationship. I only went because I
thought I could then leave with a clear conscience. After
two years of therapy we had completely changed our
relationship - we got married and now have an 8 mo old and
are very happy. We both found Emily to be really wonderful
and can highly recommend her as a couples therapist. I hope
she can help you find something tenable.
Married 14 years, need to work out some issues
Does anyone have current recommendations for Marriage Therapists. We have
been married for 14 years and need to work out allot of long suppressed
issues-intimacy, step children, substance abuse, grief. I need someone who is a
a straight talker, good listener, will help us talk to each other without fear of
Trying to make it work.
Reba Connell is a very good therapist who would be worth
considering. She's a straight talker and a very good
listener. (510) 594-8224
My husband and I have found counseling with Marianne Regan
(510-652-6600) to be tremendously helpful. She is sensitive,
empathetic & intuitive; an excellent facilitator for
exploring communications and connection (& where those are
hampered). I continue to be more and more impressed with her
skill and the positive impact her help is having on our
all the best
I highly recommend Colorado Kagan for marriage counseling.
My husband and I have found much greater intimacy and much
better communication since we have been going to her.
marriage counseling helped me
If you are looking for an excellent MFT, I would recommend Patricia
Patricia has been in practice for 25 years, specializing in solving couple
and family issues. She creates a safe environment, listens carefully, and
is fair. She can be reached at (510)836-4432.
I recommend both Taly Rutenberg (whom I saw for marriage
counseling) and Anne Marshall (whom I saw for personal
counseling, but she also works with couples). They are both
empathetic, understanding, solution-oriented and able to
hold your feet to the fire in a compassionate, supportive way.
Back when I was seeing them (2006) Taly Rutenberg had an
office on Ashby just below the Claremont, and Anne Marshall
had an office on mid-Solano.
Your Mileage May Vary
I highly recommend Cathy Cassel 510-540-0193. She's very
experienced, warm and wise. Friends of mine have gone to her
and swear she saved their relationship. Good luck!
Recommendation for Dr. Phil couples therapist
My wife and I have been in couples therapy for years and have not had
much success. We are oppositional and have different parenting
styles. Can anyone recommend a counselor or family minister who
implements a Dr. Phil approach in being able to set firm limits, is
vocal, and is a strong advocate of family values? Our therapist's
neutrality appears to get us nowhere and I am wondering if having
someone with an opinion can help us progress. We appear to be in a
revolving door with the same arguments. Sessions are draining and
core issues unresolved. Is this a normal process most couples go
through? How long should we expect this course to run? Our therapist
schedules a series of appointments a week comprised of separate
individual sessions for each of us in addition to couples sessions. I
am wondering if this is common practice in couples work? We are in
need of someone who can diffuse anger, frustration and pain (my wife
has emotional abuse in her early history) and give us tools to improve
communication in 1 appointment a week. Is this too much to ask?
If you're looking for a great couple's therapist, you might call Dr. Richard Bush,
in Berkeley. He has helped my husband and me immensely with his wisdom,
good sense, warmth and kindness. We were struck right away by how tuned in
he was to our issues and how thoughtful he was. His number is 845-1845.
I don't know if she does therapy like Dr. Phil, but our
therapist is very straight forward with lots of experience.
Although she doesn't tell us what to do, she is very
interactive and helps us figure out what we need. We didn't
want someone to take months getting to know us and she went
right to what we wanted and not what she thought we should
work on. Her name is Fran Wickner, she's on Solano, 527-4011.
United Behavioral Health therapist?
My husband and I have been married for three years. We had only
known each other for a few months before we got pregnant, and
were married (happily...no shotguns, here) when I was in my third
trimester. We have both seen a lot of unplanned-for change
(career changes, cross-country moves, parenthood) in the last few
years, and have been trying to get to know each other in the
process. It proves to be more and more difficult as time goes on.
We seem to understand each other less now than we did a few years
We tried therapy last year, but didn't love our therapist (a
woman who did Imago therapy). We also felt stressed by the fact
that we had to pay so much money for her services. We are covered
under United Behavioral Health, but I have had a hard time
sifting through the names of providers and trying to match them
up with past recommendations on BPN. I would really appreciate
some suggestions for someone who will call us on our BS, help us
deal with communication, parenting, and sexual issues, and help
us deepen our level of intimacy and connection.
Our therapist is Nancy Oken. She introduced us to the
''Non-Violent Communication'' technique. It's not all she does but
we've found that this technique worked for us the best, as it
improved the way we communicated. I've also noticed that she
doesn't ask that we dig deep into our past to see why we behave
the way we do, but instead try to get us to take concrete steps
to resolve our conflicts. I really like her style.
I love my therapist, Sheryl Coryell. I see her individually,
but I imagine she would be equally great with couples. She's
actually the best therapist I've ever seen, and I've seen many.
She takes UBH.
My husband and I have been seeing Amy Abern (510) 486-0644
through my UBH coverage for years. We have periods where we
see her weekly and periods where we don't see her for months
depending on what we need and where we are. She is very
focussed on solutions and helps you move forward with practical
every day ideas that help partners communicate and relate
better. Since the birth of our daughter 2 years ago, she's
also been great at helping us navigate the tricks of co-
parenting. Honestly there are weeks when I just can't wait to
go see her--would be great if those didn't come around very
often, but when they do, I'm relieved to have her there to
She's located at 1340 Ward Street, Berkeley, CA
Happy to recommend Amy
Experience with Rebecca Epstein?
I am seeking a marriage counselor and was given the names of Dr.
Rebecca Epstein and Dr. Ken Seider, both of Berkeley. If anyone
has information about them, I would appreciate it.
We saw Dr. Rebecca Epstein for several years and she is excellent. She helped us save
our marriage. She is very smart and professional.
Hit a rocky patch in our 10+ year marriage
My spouse and I have hit a rocky patch in our 10+ year marriage. Major issues
are husband's strong sex drive and wife's complete disinterest in sex.
Additional issues are husband's alcoholism, compulsive hoarding, and
procrastination. Seeking a marriage counselor, preferably in Montclair,
Piedmont, or Piedmont Ave. Because of financial considerations, we can only
afford 2 or 3 sessions with a counselor so he or she has got to be very good.
My partner and I went to Rebecca Lueck (www.rebeccalueck.com) in
Rockridge and we found her very sensitive to our issues as
lesbian parents. She helped us look at how we fight and we
found calmer ways to do it. We felt comfortable exploring our
differences in her room which was probably the most important
aspect of how therapy helped us. Some things you just don't feel
comfortable saying without a third person. Either way, remember
that you don't want to enable an alcholic. I watched my mother
do that for her entire life.
I just finished reading your posting and wanted to comment. I'm a
licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and I'm glad that you're
taking the big step to seek therapy...that's not always an easy
thing to do.
My concern is that you're hoping to find a ''great'' therapist so
that you can deal with some very big issues in 2 to 3 sessions.
I would caution you against wasting your money with anyone who
tells you they can do this. The kinds of issues you're talking
about are complex and took a long time to get that way. Good
therapy will take some time and exploration. In that process,
you and your husband can grow closer, feel more supported, and
experience levels of intimacy that you hadn't had in your
relationship before. It's all a very exciting and eye-opening
process, but yes, it takes time.
I know that finances are a concern, which of course makes sense,
but there are therapists out there who offer sliding scales, and
there are MFT interns who are very well qualified to help you, at
low and affordable rates.
My husband and I have seen Bruce Ecker in times of intense difficulty. He helped us
improve our communication tremendously in just a few sessions. His focus is deep
work, in a short amount of time. He is very good. He does not take insurance but
does have somewhat of a sliding scale. His office is in Oakland and he can be reached
Take good care
Moving from dating to the next stage
Looking for a referral for a good couples therapist. I am a single mom who
has been dating someone for the last 4+ years but we need help taking it to
the next stage.
I know of an amazing therapist that I highly recommend you contact. Jill
Lebeau is a true master at relationships. She knows simply how to bring out
the best in people. My wife and I can't say enough good things about her. Ok,
it's true, my wife dragged me in to see her, but today I can say in complete
honesty, I'm so glad she did because without her help we probably would have
gone our own separate ways.
You can call her at 510-849-1010 or her email is email@example.com
I'm relatively new to this listserve and the East Bay, but I
when I moved here I joined Berk.Parents Network and found a
great therapist and wanted to post my recommendation.
Dr. Fran Wickner is practical, down to earth and experienced.
I feel as if I have grown more in the short time working with
her than in all the years of therapy I had before. Her phone
number is 510-527-4011.
east bay mom
Counseling experience with Dan Wile or Billie Warden?
Has anyone had counseling experience with either Dan Wile or Billie
Warden? How did they work for you?
Dan Wile is a masterful, amazing couples therapist. He was called ''a
genius and the greatest living marital therapist'' by John Gottman
(author- Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work quote is in the
I saw him with my husband and I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.
We saw three couples therapists before seeing Dan Wile and the difference
was night and day.
Dan Wile does not takes sides, is kind, dynamic and HE ANSWERS HIS PHONE.
He actually picks up if he is not in session. Unlike many therapists, he
allows open communication on both sides and helps both partners view the
situation in a way that supports the relationship. Somehow both parties
feel heard and understood, yet brought together, not torn apart, by the
My husband and I saw Dan Wile every two weeks, for five sessions total. He
literally saved our marriage. He is probably mid-range in terms of fees,
but overall is economical because positive change can come about so
quickly. (Two of the three we saw before were quacks and charged more than
Dan Wile did.)
He is the creator of collaborative couples therapy, writes books and does
alot of training, so he is not in practice full-time, and is very low key.
I think that makes him more accessible and less likely to try to hold onto
couples for long term work.
He is by far the best and really is the greatest living marital therapist.
Very Satisfied Client
I've been helped by Dan Wile twice -- once about 10 years ago when my
husband and I needed to work out where out relationship was headed, and
more recently I went back to him with my young adult son because our
arguments were getting scarily out of control. If your problem is faulty
communication with someone you love, Dan is your man. He is very smart and
he really knows his stuff - check his website. He does not do talk therapy
-- he is more like a mediator. What he does is basically teach you both
how to talk to each other. But it's not like a class where he teaches and
you listen. He shows you (not tells you) how to resolve conflicts. He is
so skilled that you take away a whole lot from just one session. My son
and I only saw him for two sessions. My husband and I went to him for only
5 weeks. In both cases, we all felt satisfied that he had gotten us past
the obstacle and moved on to a more peaceful co-existence. And we were all
initially pretty doubtful about visiting a
I'll describe what a session is like: Dan asked me to give an
example of something that happened recently where my son exploded and lost
control. Then, he summarized back to me what happened and also why I was
upset, making small changes until I agreed he had it right. Then, sitting
next to me, he spoke to my son as if he were me, speaking in the first
person, explaining my side, but a distilled, neutral, and more thoughtful
version. He then asked my son what he thought about that, and he went
through the same process with him, speaking to me as if he were my son.
Let me tell you, this was eye-opening for me. And for my son. It's
brilliant - both sides are heard, but there is no emotional charge because
you are not addressing each other - he is doing the talking. Both parties
understand that what he is saying really does reflect what is felt,
because both have heard the summarizing and corrections. He's like a
skilled diplomat -- very calm, completely non-judgm
ental, and friendly, but keeps his own opinions to himself. By the way,
his office is in his home, and so is very comfortable and homey yet
private. So, yes, he's excellent and I can recommend him!
Couples therapy to help with resentment about depression
I've been suffering PPD since the birth of our first child in
January 2006. After another baby, and many changes of meds, I
am finally coming out of the depression/negativity (albeit on
Cymbalta and Abilify!).
My husband has been very supportive but has been left with many
feelings of anger, bitterness and disappointment which have
inevitably seeped into our relationship. My pyschiatrist has
recommended that we seek couples therapy (and possibly therapy
for my husband separately also).
Does anyone have a recommendation for a couples counsellor who
is familiar with issues in marriages raised by one partner
suffering depression? We really want to make this work.
Ideally someone with flexible hours, since I work full time in
SF, and in or close to Alameda, where we live.
Run, don't walk, to Alisa Genovese. She helped save our marriage. I
went to see her for PPD shortly after my daughter was born. She is
still my therapist during times of strife. She is fabulous!
Couples counselor for SAHM issues
I'm a stay at home mom. I've tried to explain to my husband how I
feel unappreciated, unvalued, overwhelmed, unrespected. I've
explained how he gets these things from his job via paychecks,
perks, spa days, lunches on the boss etc. I don't get anything
like that. I don't even get a guaranteed bathroom break without
disruption. I have tried to explain how I need my family to act as
my cheerleaders to provide me with a sense of respect. He doesn't
get it at all and I'm at the limit of what I can tolerate. Angry,
frustrated and resentful are not words that any of my friends
would describe me as yet that is now how I would describe myself
now. We decided to see a couple's counselor but I want some
recommendations on a therapist with this focus. We have no other
issues we keep getting stuck on.
Just Doesn't Get It
Before you invest in therapists, try a weekly sitter and
dinner/movie/show datenight. Schedule these datenights
regularly. It is expensive, but not much more than couples
therapy! And it works, you are a couple weekly. Try it you
will like it. We do.
I would recommend Dr. Lisa Lancaster. She has helped me and my
husband so much. We have dealt with some of the issues you
mention. I don't think you could go wrong with her. She is in
My wife and I saw Jennifer Lieberman who is a Marriage and Family
Therapist for some similar issues related to childcare versus work.
Having a family herself, she was very insightful and was a great guide
for improving our communication and cooperation around parenting and
being better partners for each other. Her website is
Couples therapist for different cultural backgrounds
Would like to find a couples therapist to work with us about some
long-term issues with our different cultural backgrounds, some
depression, computer gaming addiction and a general sense of not
being responsible in the home. My husband is a pretty nice guy
but at home expects me to take care of everything as his job pays
our bills. We have a young child and I would like to make this work. Thanks for recommendations.
Needing some real help
I have been very happy with Dr. Lancaster. Her approach is direct
and kind; my wife and I have been able to find much more productive
ways of communicating after seeing her. She is not in Oakland but
in south Berkeley so not too far. Her number is 841-2525.
We have seen Ruth Cohn, MFT in Oakland for both couple's and family
therapy. She is very skilled and also a lovely and warm person. 510
653-6256 - on College Ave near Broadway. My 17 year old daughter
loves her as do we.
My husband and I recommend Rebecca Lueck, LCSW. She is located at
College and Alcatraz in Rockridge. Her number is 415 235-1071.
We've found her to be flexible, insightful, balanced and
compassionate. We felt she didn't take sides. She did a great job
understanding our intimacy issues as well as our parenting
stresses. After we were done she gave us practical activities to
continue our work together at home.
My husband and I have benefited enormously from our sessions with Carol
Jenkins. Her ability to maintain balance while keeping us moving forward
-- and productive -- is nothing short of amazing. We have grown, and,
coincidentally, have stayed together, with her guidance. Most important,
perhaps, is the fact that she makes her office a safe and fair place for
both of us, despite our sometimes deeply seated differences and hurt
feelings. Her number is 510-845-5178.
Melissa Villanueva is an excellent multicultural therapist in the Piedmont
area of Oakland. I believe she's still accepting clients. One of her
specialties is working with multicultural family issues. Her style is
very interactive and she has a strong background in meditation (spiritual)
practice which I found to be particularly helpful. She also has very
reasonable rates. Her contact information is 510-654-5407.
Highly experienced very professional couple therapist?
Can anyone recommend a highly experienced very professional couple therapist in Berkeley or Oakland? We have been married a long time and have worked with two well-recommended couple therapists in the past. Both efforts were disappointing; we did not find the depth of work we had hoped for.
I would send you to Dr. Lisa Lancaster without question. She has offered me a fabulous opportunity for me and my husband to understand each other better and figure out how to finally be happy. Go and see her. She has an office in Berkeley (841-2525)
My husband and I went to see Toni Ayres for about 1 year. She has a MFC license, and also has RN, EdD, and LMFT on her business card. We both thought she was excellent and very down to earth. She was very attentive to details, offered helpful ways for us to break destructive patterns of behavior, acknowledge each others' views, and listen better to each other. I didn't feel she ''favored'' one or the other of us. She spent time raising sensitivity about how each of our personal histories played out in our interactions. I would highly recommend her: 510-841-2553. She's at 2000 Dwight in Berkeley.
I highly recommend Jules Burstein off of Solano Ave. in Albany. My
husband and I have struggled for years over a blended family, saw
many other therapists, and finally Jules was able to break through
and help us solve the problem. Without his help, we would have
surely headed for divorce. His number is 510-527-1152.
I can't speak highly enough about Dr Dan Wile. He is close to Rockridge and is
fabulous! We had tried another therapist and had a disastrous experience. With Dan
Wile, we knew we were in the right place. He is the expert in couple's work. He
literally wrote the book on collaborative couple's therapy. Google his name and
collaborative therapy and you will find he is famous and right here in the Bay Area. He
is warm, caring and gets things fixed and quick! After one session we went frpm
completely estranged to sharing core issues in a healing way. I was pregnant and
estranged from my husband and planning to be a single mom. We went for three sessions
over a period of six weeks and were able to come together and stay together in a loving
and healthy way. Our baby is a beautiful 2 year old and we are happily and solidly
Marriage counselor in Alameda/Oakland area
I'm looking for recommendations of good marriage counselors
and/or individual therapists, preferably in the
Alameda/Oakland area. Since moving to Alameda in June, my
husband & I have had a number of relationship problems
arise, which have been perpetuated by being the parents of a
child with Asperger's Syndrome. Whatever suggestions the BPN
may have would be most welcome.
We've been seeing George Gardner. Since seeing him, I can honestly
say that we are in a better place now than where we were six months
His office is in the Glenview area of Oakland and he can be reached
at 510.482.1002. His rate is within line with others, hours are
extremely flexible, and he will work with you as couple and
individually as well, if needed.
Welcome to the area. I understand the stress you must be under. I
recommend Dr. Marlene Winell for couples counseling. She listens
well and she is also active, with teaching good communication in
particular. She's also a parent. I saw her in Berkeley but she also
has an office in Oakland. She's also flexible with times and fees,
plus it won't take a long time. What else can I say? Call her at
I would recommend Dr. Fran Wickner. She is experienced and has
helped us in the past.
Her style works well with couples, too, as she is interactive and
gave us lots of things to work on between sessions.
Her phone number is 510-527-4011.
Therapist in the Lamorinda area
We are looking for a therapist in the Lamorinda area. My
husband and I are not on the same page and we would like to
get there. Personally I think that a counselor who has
experience with depression issues would be a great help!
I think very highly of Colette Bischer-Choate. She has a practice in
lafayette. I've only seen her personally, but understand her to work
with couples and children as well. She's very down-to-earth and really
seems to be able to both empathize, and work on the hard stuff.
You can find her here:
Jody Bove is excellent! She is warm and insightful and gives you
''techniques'' to apply. Give her a call! She is in Lafayette. (925)
Therapists to work with couple in crisis
We're seeing a great therapist, but not making progress (we probably waited too
long to work on our marital issues.) We have a 14 month old child together and
I'd like to give this marriage a shot. We need a new perspective and approach.
Any recommendations for therapists working with couples in crisis? Our issues
include: different attitudes about finances, different attitudes toward
stepchildren, resentment toward each other, his ADD, and anger management
issues. Since our financial situation is one of the chief causes of our
issues, recommendations for therapists participating in the Blue Shield United
Behavioral Health Network would be highly appreciated!
Trying to make it work
Winifred Reilly is a superbly talented couples therapist. My
husband and I were confronting a very difficult and stubborn sexual
issue, and had been told in the past that there was really very
little hope that it could ever change. With a unique blend of
insight, impartial and careful listening, humor, and persistence,
she has brought us further than we thought was possible--and still
progressing. If you are both ready to work on your problems, and
are both ready to accept responsibility for changing, you should
definitely give her a call. (510-528-0802) She is located in
believing in change
Josh Gressel, PhD is an Imago therapist who has helped a number of
people we know get at the root of the issues in their
relationships. (You know it's not really about the toothpaste cap).
He teaches techniques that will allow you to understand why these
issues are hot spots for you as well as developing a deeper
understanding of why you were drawn to each other initially. He is
compassionate, intelligent and believes in marriage. I don't know
what his insurance setup is, but he can tell you. His e-mail is
My husband and I have benefited hugely from working with Marianne
Regan, 510-652-6600. That you are wanting to make your marriage
work is what's important. Don't worry or be hard on yourself for
waiting to get help. You are reaching out now and that's the
important thing. A year ago I felt really stuck and pretty hopeless
about my relationship; working with Marianne has moved things
around immensely, improving our communication as a couple and
vastly improving our sense of connection and working together as a
team to resolve issues that arise. Best wishes.
glad we found her
Good male couples counselor in Oakland
I want to find a good male couples counselor in Oakland for my
husband and myself. Ideally I would like to find someone who works
on Saturdays, but am open to week day appointments if this is not
possible. I feel like we need a tune up after being together for 9
years. I want to figure out a way to achieve better balance in our
relationship around the responsibilities of managing a household,
taking care of our 5 year old son, working out, spending quality
time with my husband and family, and trying to have more fun when
both of us work FT and I have a pretty demanding job.
If anyone has any recommendations, I would be extremely grateful.
This is not in Oakland, but in Albany, but I highly recommend
Jason Saffer, MFCC or Daniel Lesney, MFCC at the Center for
Creative Growth. The number is (510) 527-2100.
Bill Arigi has offices in SF & Marin. He is AMAZING. He lets you
know up front he does not want to see you more than 6-7 times.
He is not there to solve your problems, he is going to help you
develope tools, so you can solve your own problems. I have had 2
seperate sets of friends see him. One of those couples was on
thier way to divorce. They now have a marriage that is a model
for many friends (they are 6-7 years post therapy)
For couples counseling, I urge you to call Richard Beery, Ph.D.,
921 Solano Ave., Berkeley. Phone: 510-525-4480. Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. I strongly suggest you to speak with him by
phone to decide if he's a terrific match for you. Both of you
need to feel comfortable with him, of course. He works 11 to 7
week-days, tries to be accommodating with times, but doesn't
work Saturdays. If you need a Saturday person,you might try
someone newer to the profession who is building a practice. Dr.
Beery's credentials and experience put him at the top of his
field, so you will not be paying a beginning counselor's low
fees. But if you can afford him, do try him. Again, Richard
Beery, 510-525-4480. He sees many BPN couples.
For couples counseling you might also check under couples
therapy in the archives. (He is listed there, too.)
A believer in marriage counseling
Someone who is good at mediating conflict
For the most part, my husband and I get along great. However (and
this is a big however), we are struggling to communicate over one
key issue. I feel like I'm trying to communicate to him about how
I feel in a calm and non confrontational way, but clearly I'm not,
because he gets defensive and I end up getting more upset and we
both end up angry with each other. I'm really looking for someone
who can serve as more of a mediator between us as we talk about
this issue, because I am getting more and more frustrated and I
really need for us to make a substantive change and we can't seem
to break through this communication block. Any recommendations for
someone who is good at mediating conflict, at getting both people
in the relationship to hear one another, preferably someone
knowledgeable with non-violent communication techniques, would be
I really need to get this resolved.
I have just the guy for you.
His name his Robert Terris and he did wonders for our
relationship. He calls his practice transformative mediation
and after 2 or 3 meetings with him our communication really
transformed. He uses NVC and is really talented in finding
ways for you to use it on a daily basis.
His e-mail is email@example.com
Jacob Ofman, PhD. 510-339-3090; on College Ave near Broadway,
Oakland. Great at calmly helping partners see the other's
point of view.
Couples therapist in San Francisco
Can anyone recommend a competent, affordable therapist in San
Francisco? I am looking for someone who deals with all the
typical issues that couples with young children experience (e.g.
lack of connection and intimacy, parenting challenges, balancing
She's expensive, but my husband and I had a great experience working with Deborah
Caust, both before and after our kiddo arrived. Our insurance company reimburses
us 80%, so we're lucky there. Her number is 415.567.6541 and her office is located
just off Union Street.
I recommend Susan Bernstein, MFT. We've found her to be insightful, creative, and
compassionate. She's very responsive to parents' concerns, and does an excellent
job connecting with children. (She sees adults, too.) Based on what I can tell from
who I've seen going in and out of her office, she works with children and families
from all walks of life. Her office is in Noe Valley, easily accessible by public
transportation. You can reach her at (415) 282-7447.
can't say enough good stuff about this woman - best i can do is to refer you to her
website to see if you're on the same page and go from there. she is incredibly
present and knowledgeable, entirely interactive in her sessions and open in her
Couples therapist who has evening hours
I'd love some updated recommendations for someone who has appointments in the
evenings since I only saw one therapist listed who has evening availability. And if
they take Blue Shield, that would be an even bigger bonus! Our issues are the
standard ''married with children'' issues: lack of communication, loss of closeness
and intimacy, etc. So any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
I know SF may be a hassle, but we worked with Deborah Caust whose office is
near Union Street, and she was terrific. She has background both in couples
therapy and in sex therapy. She has evening appointments and she is out of
network but we had no problems getting reimbursed for a hefty portion of her
fee through Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO. She is expensive, but after seeing her
I was totally satisfied with how much we were paying - and I'm in the mental
health field, so I'm picky about my providers...
We started seeing her to deal with issues that sound similar to yours - you
might also check out David Snarch's The Passionate Marriage (book and
audiobook) or consider jumpstarting things with something from the Gottman
Institute. They are located in Seattle and have weekend workshops but also
books, DVDs, etc. They have terrific exercises that encourage good
communication and helped me and my husband to feel closer and better connected
very quickly. Good luck!
--been there too
I am not sure what insurance either of these woman accept but I can tell you
that they are both excellent. I have seen Maggie Nemirow,PHD (510-524-2082 on
The Alameda @ Solano) for individual counceling for many years and she
specializes in working with couples. I have sent couple friends of mine to her
before as well. My husband and I are seeing Mary Toth Granick, MFT
(415-273-1310 she has an office in SF and one on Solano). Every time we leave
we both feel like she has helped so much. I think either would be a wonderful
choice and worth a call.
My partner and I really liked our psychotherapist in Rockridge. Her name is
Rebecca Lueck and she is honest and compassionate. She encouraged us to take
our relationship to a deeper level of intimacy and trust. And we also learned
strategies for better arguing and conflict resolution. She had evening hours on
Wednesdays but that might have changed. Good luck and stick it out if you can.
We are in a much better place now.
Taryn Thomas is a great therapist for couples. I really like her approach and
she is very insightful.
She is available for evening appointments.
She doesn't take insurance at this time, but she can fill out forms for clients
to submit to their insurance company.
Her phone number is 510-496-6070.
I highly recommend Robert Terris as a couples/family mediator and counsler.
Robert has greatly supported me and my husband in our our new role as parents.
He uses active listening and non-violent communocation approach that truly
transformed the way we communicate with each other. What I really liked about
him is that he can be very insightful and compassionate and at the same time
very practical and offer small gestures that make a huge difference - these are
things that we could do daily and worked immediately to east tensions or
His e-mail is rterris at gmail.com
Couples therapist that is trained in Imago therapy
I am looking for an couples therapist that is trained in Imago
therapy. preferably that is covered by the UC Berkeley
therapist/mental health UHS insurance.
We went to Zona Gregory. She is Imago based and has 2 offices; Berkeley,
by Berkeley Bowl, and San Francisco. She was good and came to us well
Personally, I think the whole re-phraseing for clarification thing is
irritating and instead of paying a fortune to wank in a therapist's
office, we started using our time for an expensive lunch with wine &
immediately started having laughs...after years of not enjoying much
about each other.
The Harvelle Hendricks book: 'Getting the love you want' seems to be the
Imago bible and is again; irritating, in that self help 'let's fill a
book with wordy scenarios' way. However, the point is great and it is
worth a read because rephraseing & checking for comprehension is a good
technique if you have gotten into the terrible habit of blowing each
other off like we had. Still, a nice long lunch or several nice long
lunches with out kids or other friends, goes a long way toward improving
the quality of any long term friendship / marriage...
Wishing you a happy life together!
Couples counselor with weekend hours
My husband and I are in desperate need of couples counseling,
but he's so busy and his work schedule is so unpredictable
that we need to find someone with weekend hours, maybe
Saturday mornings or so. I've called almost a dozen people
listed on the BPN to no avail. Can anyone recommend someone
wonderful who has weekend hours? Thanks so much.
I highly recommend Gaile Roberts Nunez as a couples' counselor.
She does have weekend hours and is very insightful about
couples. My husband and I worked with her for about a year and
both felt that she helped us communicate better overall, as well
as resolve some major issues. She is insightful, smart, and
tough. She works out of her home in Berkeley. 510.841.6303
I know a wonderful therapist that works on Saturdays. She has
really helped me and is super focused on current issues at hand
(vs. talking about childhood stuff). She also helped a friend
of mine with couples counseling -- Her and her husband have
thanked me a thousand times for the referral and credit her for
saving their marriage. Definitely give her a call -- Her name
is Jill Lebeau -- Her number is 849-1010.
Hi, I am seeing a great therapist for individual therapy, but
she also does couples therapy. She does have weekend
appointments available. Her name is Jennifer Lieberman and her
office is in Oakland near Lake Merritt. Her number is
i would highly recommend a couples mediator who has been
extremely helpful in working through issues at therapy. he is
above all a compassionate listener and a very wise facilitator.
robert terris sees clients on weekends. you can reach him at
rterris at gmail.com or 510-6657718
working through it all as well.
Good counselor who works on weekday evenings
My husband has finally agreed to go to counseling but we need a good,
understanding counselor that works on weekday evenings. Anyone out
-Help at last.
Several people have asked for a great couples therapist, so I
decided to share ours. Paul Minsky, PhD 524-0700 in Berkeley.
He really helped us alot. I know he works evenings and takes
insurance, don't know about the weekends though. Good luck!
Seeking Couples therapist in Marin
Hello - I am looking for recommendations for a couples therapist
in Marin. My husband and I have seen two different people and
neither one has been a fit for us. I looked through the
archives and could only find recommendations for 2005. I would
appreciate any recommendations you have for a great couples
therapist in Marin. We have Kaiser and canít commit to the
couples workshop at this time due to my husbandís travel
schedule but are more than willing to go outside Kaiser to find
a good therapist. Thank you!
Check out Paula Love, relationship coach, @ 415-464-1171. I don't think she is
licensed therapist, but she has a deep background in working with couples. We
used her and it was helpful to make some big decisions with a man I am now
married to. I've also been through the somatic coach training program she
into her work and it's very effective. If you want to check out her bio first,
go to http://www.strozziinstitute.com/associates.htm#relationship where you'll
her (and other skillful coaches who do deep work).
A third party is worth it!
A friend of mine is looking for a good marriage counsler in the
east bay (she lives in Oakland near Piedmont).
Richard Beery, Ph.D. is an excellent couples therapist. He is a
brilliant, caring, and very experienced clinical psychologist. His
office is on The Alameda near the corner of Solano Ave. in North
Berkeley. He can be reached at 510-525-1376. His email address is
If one of you is in a technical or computer field, he can speak your
language. But I also know a lawyer and a writer who think he's the best
there is. His fees are commensurate with his expertise and experience,
although I think he's less expensive ($125/hr.) for those who can come
before 4 PM.
Bonnie MacBride is a wonderful MFT (on Dwight Way) who really taught my
husband and I how to communicate with each other. She's interested in
seeing you make progress and teaching you how to develop skills to
become more intimate, honest and communicative with each other, so that
you can ''graduate'' from therapy (my term, not her's). She's amazing
and I actually miss her! Now, my husband and I will say we need
''Bonnie'' time as a way to say, ''I need to talk to you about how I'm
feeling.'' She's had a huge impact on us as a couple and as
individuals. Her contact info:
Bonnie MacBride, M.F.T.
2428 Dwight Way
I would send you to Dr. Lisa Lancaster (841-2525). She is in Berkeley
and is a wonderul therapist who has done much work with couples
(including me and my husband)! She has been extremely helpful to us.
There are many recommendations for counselors but are there any
psychologist at the PhD level? Either they're hard to find or
I'm just not reading all the listings right? Can anyone
recommend one for marriage and individual counseling? I'm
desperate and want someone as qualified as I can get without
going to a psychiatrist and dealing with the urge to prescribe
Valory Mitchell in Berkeley is wonderful. I saw her for
individual therapy, but she does a lot of couple's therapy as
well. I can't recommend her enough.
I would recommend Dr. Lisa Lancaster Ph.D. My work with her has
been extremely valuable. She is smart, kind and effective. She
is in Berkeley (510-841-2525).
Some friends of mine have raved about their therapist, Dr. Jim
Sparks, who has a PhD. I think that he does see both individuals
and couples. His phone is 510-433-7477.
I can recommend a great PhD psychologist - Hans Stahlschmidt. He
has helped to save our marriage. He is warm and tough. The
therapy with him was a total different experience than the one we
had with our former therapist. Our relationship started to change
right away. He has an office in Berkeley on The Alameda. Phone
510-848 5347. Good luck.
Hi: Dr. Geraldine Alpert (PhD Harvard) in San Rafael is awesome!
She helped to save my sister and brother-in-law's marriage and is
great for individual counseling as well. She works in both San
Rafael and SF.
psychologists have the exact same training as therapists in
regard to the counseling services that you are seeking. the only
further education that psychologists receive that MFT's (marriage
and family therapists) do not is in the realm of psychological
furthermore, if you decide that your counselor must have a
doctorate degree, a PhD's education is focused more on research
and a PsyD's educational focus is more on actual counseling.
just so you know
I would recommend Dr. Jill Rodgers-Quaye, Ph.D. She is a
psychologist with a practice on Piedmont Avenue. I have worked
with her and found her to be knowledgable, approachable, warm yet
direct and very much focused on finding solutions to problems
(rather than using therapy as a forum to talk endlessly). She
does both individual and couples therapy and she can be reached
at her website: www.drjillrodgersquaye.com or her phone: 510
282-2197. Good luck!
I believe that people have posted recommendations recently for couples
therapists in Lamorinda, but I can't seem to track them down. My husband
and I have been going through some tough times for about three years now.
I've brought up the idea of therapy to him, and he has already resisted.
But I'm now at the point that if we don't seek some outside help, it may
mean the end of the marriage. I'd appreciate any recommendations of
couples/marriage therapists in Walnut Creek or Lamorinda.
Dianne Donnelly in Lafayette is great. She is objective, reasonable - and
gives good ''techniques''. She can be a little tough love, but she is very
pragmatic too. Good luck!
Lynne Harr in Lafayette was helpful, balanced, and skilled. 3468 Mt. Diablo
Blvd, Lafayette. Tel. (925) 284-2298. Take your time to talk to potential
therapists and see if they are a right fit for both you and your spouse.
Since it's already difficult to bring an unwilling spouse to therapy, you
might want a few sessions one-on-one first. This helps lay the groundwork
for an effective session with your spouse. Good luck.
find the best therapist, don't settle
I've had tremendous success working with Denny Reynolds in
Lafayette, who is fabulous at couples counseling because she
helps improve communications in ways that continue to improve the
relationship outside her office doors. The co-author of wonderful
books, Denny's style embodies the best practices available to
counseling that include a spiritual perspective... so anyone
wishing to learn to listen and be truly heard by their mate will
benefit. She teaches workshops with her husband on the Art of
Relationship which are truly outstanding, and I can't recommend
her work highly enough, having been to many couples counselors in
the past... so I now know the difference between someone who's OK
and someone whose work is truly excpetional, like Denny Reynolds.
Denny can be reached at (925) 283-1719
I'm looking for a therapist for myself, and hopefully my husband with consent to
come. We have a 12 year old, lots of issues are marital, but surely impacted by
our child. I think a man would be the best, in case my husband agrees to therapy,
but I would love your best recommendation (male or female). So far, my insurance
has given me these names: Richard Bush, Charles King, Joseph Saah, Bruce Linton.
I can *really* recommend Priscilla Johnson as a very kind, intelligent, and
intuitive therapist. Her experience with Mindfulness Practice coupled with deep and
compassionate understanding is a boon in working on difficult issues. Her ability
to hold the space, invite curiosity, and facilitate in plumbing the depths with
kindness, sensitivity, and wisdom makes me recommend her for either Couples or
You can reach Priscilla at 510.427.5401
Here is a recommendation for a great couples counselor.
Matthew Van Lokeren, Jungian Analyst
415 203 7293
hope it helps
My husband and I saw a great therapist named April Miller she is a marriage
family therapist and really helped us find new ways to communicate with each
other. Her number is 415 520 9311 and she is terrific!
She also has a practice for eating disorders but we didn't see her for that
Hello, I recommend Marenka Cerny, MFA in San Francisco. Marenka is a
compassionate, highly sensitive and greatly intuitive therapist who works with
couples exclusively at this time. She also has a sliding scale. You can access
her website at www.somatic-psychotherapy.org/
AS a testimonial, I can say personally that Marenka has been very helpful to me
in being able to focus on my own particular family problem areas. She is
considerate and took the time to understand my needs in a specific situation.
for a consultation.
I am nearly 8 months pregnant with our first baby and just learned that my partner has
been unfaithful for the past three months. We need some help and thought this group
could give us some updated recommendations of good counselors/therapists.
Neither of us have family in the area and finding support has been very difficult. He's
determined to earn back my trust and be a part of our new family. I'm honestly not sure
it's possible but despite my pain I'm wanting to give that a fighting chance.
I'm a native English speaker and he's a native Spanish speaker so any recommendations of
someone specializing in cross-cultural couples or who can conduct sessions in either
language would be especially welcome (we're both bi-lingual, but it could help each of
us to be able to express ourselves in our native tongues to be fully understood by each
other and the therapist).
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Please consider trying Mary Ciofalo in San Francisco: she is a fantastic therapist
who specializes in cross cultural communication. She has helped me SO much both in
individual sessions as well as when both my husband and I go together. Two people
I have recommended have both established an ongoing collaboration with her and
have told me how great she is. Her number is 415 929 8200 and she is located in SF
at 1801 Bush St.
Our marriage was in bad shape too when I was pregnant. My husband and I had many
arguments. Luckily we went to see a couples therapist. Friends of ours recommended
Dr. Hans Stahlschmidt. We both liked him very much. He understood the issues very
well and addressed some real painful stuff we didn't want to deal with. He is
direct and challenging but also very supportive and doesn't make you feel like
you're abnormal or crazy. He might also be helpful with your bi-cultural issues
because he is originally from Europe.
I know of a great therapist named April Miller MFT who helped my husband and I
really work through some issues, including infidelity. She is amazing and has a
415 520 9311 is her number
My husband and I would like to start couples counseling. We are trying to
find a therapist that will work for us. We are looking for a therapist who is
familiar with the discourses of EST or The Landmark Forum, and Flores. If you
know of someone who fits this profile, please let us know.
I've been working with Dr. Marlene Winell for a while now and have come to
admire her skills greatly. She has a wealth of knowledge about human
development and communication skills and provides therapy in a proactive,
interactive fashion. She is insightful, intelligent and caring. She consults
in person and over the phone. I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking
help in a relationship!! Feel free to contact her with questions -
Hope this helps!
Have you had a couples therapist who brought you from the brink of splitting up back
to a workable pleasant relationship?? We are pretty desperate with two small kids
and need some help. Ideally I would love maybe an older, motherly type as we are
older and I could use some gentle compassion these days in this process. I think we
also need someone who can help us develop tangible plans and weekly goals so that we
feel we are making some progress, or not!
We have been seeing a wonderful couples therapist, located in Berkeley--although we
were not ''on the brink'', we recognized that there are some things we could
improve. If you are looking for someone who is extremely smart and compassionate,
with a gentle sense of humor but who keeps everyone honest (with themselves and with
each other), then this is the person to call: Winifred Reilly (510
To the couple seeking help in preventing a break up. I can recommend Mary Yabroff in
Berkeley on Woolsey.
I was on the verge of leaving my marriage and basically only stayed because of our
child. After seeing our therapist for a few months, we both learned to listen better
to each other, be more empathetitc with each other, and to take the sting out of
She is excellent in mediating potentially confrontational discussions, and stopping
us when the communication gets inflammatory and getting us back on track. She is
very understanding about outside stress factors affecting family life and shows
compassion for both parties without taking sides.
Our sessions are mostly covered by Blue Shield/HMO, but I will always make sure to
save enough for eventual thereapy sessions to keep our marriage strong and alive.
Learned to love my spouse again
My husband and I are looking for an affordable couples couselor in Alameda
or Oakland (we live in East Oakland). We are dealing with the usual(?!)
stresses of being older new parents with an 18 month old, complete with
financial challenges and having a relatively short history together before
the conception of our daughter. Thanks for any referrals.
There is a counseling center called A Safe Place to Heal in Oakland. You can
check out the therapists there on their website at:Safeplacetoheal.com
Mey Saephan one of the licensed therapists there specializes in couples counseling
and she does have a sliding scale fee.
Or you may call them at 510-628-0740
All the best to you.
A Friend who understands
Dr. Hilde Clark is an incredibly skilled, compassionate and warm clinical
psychologist who has helped us through a major crisis in our marriage. She also
provides counseling for children and adolescents, and should the need arise, I
would not hesitate to work with her again. She is near Piedmont Ave. and her
number is 510 420-1866.
Can anyone recommend a couples' therapist at Kaiser Oakland? Looking for a savvy
therapist with experience helping couples
with post-partum/first baby challenges. Thanks.
New Mom and Dad
i know you were looking for a kaiser rec but i just wanted to let you know
about an upcoming workshop that i think would be perfect for what you
described. the therapist who is facilating this helped me immensely with
postpartum issues and she is a smart and compassionate person with lots of
this workshop is based on research done on what happens to couples'
relationships after a baby is born.
My Husband and I have to recommend our wonderful family/marriage therapist from San
francisco, she just currently opened up an office off of Telegraph. She has been amazing and
instrumental in helping my husband and I get through the pre birth to having a new child and
adjusting to being in new roles, and communicating effectively in our marriage. We can not
say enough good things about her. She is pretty reasonable in price. Her name is Alice
Knutson 6355 Telegraph suite 307 Liscense MFC33030 Number 415.775.4995
I am seeing a male couples counselor who takes Blue SHield HMO or
UBH (a lot of therapists take UBH even if they are not registered
directly with Blue Shield). UBH has a website where they list
their therapists but we would much rather go to someone who is
My husband and I are looking for someone who can help us work on
our communication, someone who can act as an ''interpretor'' for
us. There are some areas in our relationship where we just can't
hear each other. We keep having the same arguments over and over
again and we drive each other a little crazy. I would like to
find someone who can help us hear what the other is REALLY saying
and to get out of this habit of bickering and non-listening. But the
therapist doesn't have to have this ''specialty''. I would
love to get the names of ANY therapists out there with whom
people have had success. Thanks!
My husband and I have been seeing Stephen Flannes in Montclair. I
don't know if he takes UBH, but he has been so helpful to us and
I highly recommend him.
Try Paul Minsky, PhD. He's great and is on UBH panel. He's in Berkeley (510) 524-0700
Alan Stein, MFCC, MPH is a great couples therapist. His office is N. Berkeley on Solano.
He is supportive, understanding and his questions help cut through to the deeper stuff.
His background and counseling technique is varied and practical and informed by his
twenty years of the practice of Aikido. Give him a call @ 925.325.9767.
Has anybody been to Lillie Brum, Karen Rose, or Katrina Hughes for couples
counseling? Any info about any of them would be helpful.
I can't speak to her couples therapy, but I have been seeing
Lillie Brum for over two years. I find her to be very empathetic
and understanding, and very attentive. She remains positive and
never passes judgement (at least not outwardly) on the people in
my life that drove me to see her in the first place (my husband,
primarily!;-)) She offers positive insight and helps me to see
what my and my husband's needs are (based on the info I give her,
as my husband doesn't go with me). She's readily available in
case of emergency therapy as well...
a good therapist is hard to find...
We are in search of a couples counselor to help boost our communication, but due to
long commutes in opposite directions, we are looking for someone compassionate who has
weekend hours, preferably on a Saturday morning. We live in Oakland. Does anyone know
of a good counselor that fits this description, who is skilled at non-judgementally
helping couples talk with and listen to each other? A bonus would be if this counselor
would do the ocasional one-on-one session with each of us, too. Thanks in advance
wants to hear, wants to be heard
I recently posted a recommendation for a couples mediator/counslor. He is open to
meet evenings/weekends, so I am replying to your post. Here is what I wrote,
please write to me if you have any questions.
We are a couple who have been together for over a decade and always considered
ourselves completely open with each other and had very little disagreements
throughout the years. This actually made it harder to deal with big issues that
came about, as our life was taking new directions. With Robertís help, we managed
to deepen our relationship in ways we didnít think were still possible.
We struggled with two major issues: when to get pregnant and how to provide for
the family. We found ourselves colliding frequently and the more we engaged in
discussion, our frustration grew and our attempts to find common grounds were in
vain. After a few painful months we decided to seek professional help. We needed
someone to help us understand how to solve these specific issues and to create a
space where both of us are heard and appreciated.
Applying techniques of active listening and non-violent communication, Robert
helped us understand the core of our individual hurt and how it is manifested in
this specific case. In the mediation process we learned to be better listeners of
ourselves and our own needs and then express our needs and feelings in a way that
gives full legitimization to the otherís needs and feelings. Robert emphasized
the need to apply the new insights to our daily practices as a couple and he
offered concrete ways to do so, and by that preventing further misunderstandings.
After each mediation session we felt uplifted, relieved and happy and this is why
we want to recommend Robert. We think his skill is beyond description Ė you need
to experience it yourself to understand, and we hope you would. He is a
compassionate person and a truly dedicated mediator, with a mission to use his
talent to heal and deepen relationships. Among his credentials are a masters
degree in peace and conflict studies, a law degree, conflict resolution training
and an extensive community mediation experience.
Please contact him directly: rterris[at]gmail.com
I have to let everyone know that I found the most wonderful couples therapist. She is
warm, a great listener, creates a safe environment, and doesn't take sides. Her counsel is
from 25 plus years of experience and she regularly writes and speaks on topics related to
couples all around the country. Here's her contact info:elayne[at]QueenofRejection.com
510-540-6230, 2607 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
I am seeking a recommendation for a counselor for a couple who
have been together a long time (almost 30 years) and like each
other, but have real issues concerning parenting older kids,
constructively dealing with conflict, and overcoming ingrained
bad patterns. Therapist must be practical (please no one full
of jargon or touchy-feely) and smart. Also very discrete, as
one member of couple is in high-profile job.
concerned for a friend
Naomi Baran is an excellent couples counselor and her
communication is very straightforward (maybe a little jargon
occasionally, but not offputting). She has impressed me and my
husband as being extremely smart. Licensed therapists in general
are ethically bound not to discuss or name their patients, but
I'm sure Naomi in particular would be completely discreet. She
is at 652-2618
My husband and I saw Fran Wickner, Ph.D, who is also a licensed
marriage and couples counselor. My husband was very
anti-psychotherapy, so I knew I had to find someone who wasn't
going to make him go into feelings all the time (I've been to a
lot of therapy and didn't care, but I didn't want him to quit).
Fran was great. My husband actually showed up to all the
sessions the whole six months we went and liked that she was
concrete and gave us lots of things to work on during the week.
Fran has been a therapist for a long time and was very helpful.
She's on Solano Avenue, phone number 527-4011
i'm looking for more recent reccomendations for a couples counselor.(the latest one
i could find on BPN dates back to Feb. '05). my husband and i had a 6 years long
wonderful, loving and fulfilling relationship before we had children. though we are
both crazy about our kids, we're also dealing with feeling of loss and longing for
what our relationship used to be. we feel disconnected from eachother, emotionally
and physically and have lost the humor and lightness that used to be so present in
our lives. we used to be able to talk very openly, but don't seem to be able to
find that open space for dialogue anymore. other issues have piled up on top of all
that, one of which is my longing to return to my roots (europe) and raise our
children there. we are both eager to work with someone to help us back on track
and regain some of the magic that used to be our couple. thanx for your advice.
former lovebirds in crisis
My husband and I started seeing Jean Shimozaki, a licensed family
therapist for similar reasons. After having a child, our
communication with one another changed; added to that, we were
both tired and stressed out about finances. Jean was wonderful
in not only helping improve our communication, but infusing fun
and intimacy back into our marriage. She creates a very
comfortable space for open and productive dialogue. She has
offices in Berkeley and Pinole: (510) 547-8830
When my husband and I were trying to decide about
whether or not to have kids we saw a couples therapist
I really liked. Her name is Johanna Murphy, Ph.D.
(510-459-6037). We talked about how fighting about
cleaning (a frequent fight at the time) was often
about deeper resentments that we weren't addressing.
This has been helpful in that we can now spot doing
this more quickly. I also found talking about how
family of origin dynamics affect our relationship
particularly helpful. I now feel I am better about
identifying what may be issues with a parent versus
issues with my partner and this helps diffuse some of
our fights. I think talking about some of our family
history with someone objective also helped us to
really hear the other's experience and to be more
sympathetic to the other as well. I would definetly
suggest couples therapy, we are now a happy family of
Anyone know of a good marriage therapist in east bay, preferably
walnut creek. My husband and I are in our mid thirties, married
less than 2 years and having a lot of problems w/communication.
We have been arguing a lot and is has recently escalated w/alot
of verbal abuse by the both of us. Any advice, suggestions are
If communication is a major issue, I strongly recommend Marlene Winell in Berkeley. She has
worked with couples for many years and can teach you some things that are immediately very
helpful. My husband and I were stuck in a vicious cycle and fighting a lot. Dr. Winell
helped us with some key concepts and actual skills that broke the cycle and basically saved
our marriage. I know you are in Walnut Creek but the travel time would be well worth it. You
can reach her at 510-292-0509
I recommend Cinnamon Daniel. She is a Unitarian Universalist
minister who recently left church ministry (at my church, First
Unitarian in Oakland) to devote herself to her therapy/ pastoral
counseling practice. I know she does couples counseling as well
as individuals. She is smart, funny, wise, and gifted in her
work with people. Her number is 510-910-6941
I'm looking for a therapist in the Martinez/Pleasant
Hill/Walnut Creek area to help with some personal and marriage
issues. I'm going to go alone without my husband. Any
recommendations for someone on ''the other'' side of the tunnel?
I would prefer a female, and they must accept MHN
Need to unload baggage and revive marriage
I highly recommend Marc Berke of the Diablo Counseling Associates.
He is a great guy, a good listener, fun...and very ''real''. He is a
bit expensive at $135 an hour...but...my husband and I were headed
toward divorce a year ago...and he helped us to save our marriage.
I was wondering if anyone could possibly recommend a warm,
friendly therapist for couples' counseling? My fiance and I
have some specific issues that need addressing before we get
I can highly recommend Winifred Reilly as a couple's therapist.
My husband and I saw her for about a year and she really helped
work miracles in our marriage. She works with you for 2 hours
every other week. It's intense, but you get stuff done.
I have no idea if she takes insurance or not. Her number is:528-
0802. Her office is on Milvia in north Bkly.
I would recommend our couples therapist-- Susan Stoeffler. She
is thoughtful and gives us both time to express ourselves while
also asking good questions that prompt us to get into root
causes rather than fixating on the argument du jour. She takes
Blue Cross PPO and has been great working thru the payment
system with us. She's in Berkeley and her number is 510-287-
8715. good for you guys for recognizing the need to
communicate well early!
My husband and I have been seeing Jean Shimozaki (LCSW) in her
Berkeley practice since last Fall, and we couldn't recommend her
more. She's helped us both finally ''hear'' some of the issues
we've been voicing to one another for years, and we feel we've
made great progress with her. She's very warm, creates a
comfortable space, and can definitely help with
cognitive/behavioral work. Unfortunately, not sure what
insurance she accepts. Good luck!
My husband and I neeed a marriage therapist very urgently
otherwise we are going to divorce pretty soon. We live in San
Ramon and someone in the area would be very helpful since we
have a 2 month old son. Please help, I don't know what to do
Try Susana Charm at (925) 934-4744. Her office is in Walnut
Creek. I have never seen her as a therapist. She is my
neighbor. However, I know that she is very qualified, teaches at
JFK, has been in private practice many years and has also worked
as the counselor at The Athenian School for many years. Good luck.
My husband and I need recommendations for a good New Parents
counsiling. We find ourselves arguing all the time about who
is more sleep deprived and so on and we can't seem to find a
solution on our own and my doctor says if I don't get any rest
she will have to put me on Meds and I don't want that because I
don't want to give up nursing our 6 month baby. We are both
feeling really helpless and our communication has gone bye
bye. We can't communicate without arguing anymore. We
despirately need help. We live in El Cerrito so if anyone can
recommend a good counselor it would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, boy - I really feel for you. Having a new baby has got to be
one of the hardest times for a couple. We went through exactly
the same thing of arguing about who was getting more sleep, more
free time, etc, leading to really degenerating communication. We
ended up seeing a couples counselor, and I went to individual
counseling as well. Both were extremely helpful. I credit our
couples counselor with saving our marriage. Her name is Marion
Pastor - I don't have her number handy, sorry. She is very, very
experienced and skillful, and she will not let either partner get
away with laziness in communication.
My individual therapist may also take couples - she was also
great. Her name is Kirsten Miley (415-567-9194), and she works
in the east bay and San Francisco. Her big strength for me was
in recognizing patterns that I couldn't see, and gently pushing
me to figure out why they were there. She really helped me get
through postpartum depression, and helped me communicate more
effectively as well. Pregnant again and hoping it's easier the 2nd time around!
You can call your health plan and ask for referals in your area. After that you just have to call each one and ask a few pointed questions (tell them a little about what's happening with you and ask their approach, etc.), find out if they are available at a convenient time for both you and your husband. In my opinion that's the hard part, sorting through the lists of people. I also have said to myself I'll see someone for 1
-2 visits before I decide if they are a good match for me. You will not always hit it off right away. But you will know if it's right!
If you do get a list of therpists, you can also look up on the Parents Network website to see of anyone else has had an experience with that person. It is VERY personal, so what might be right for someone else might or might not be right for you.
I assume that you have health insurance since you have a UC email. If you don't, however, I wonder if the Tang Center has any referrals to low-cost therapists?
I also think that you shouldn't be scared of being ''put on meds'' by your doctor, that is YOUR choice, not hers. Sounds like you and your husband need some nurturing yourselves! Do you have someone who can watch the baby for a few hours, you could pump some milk and take a nap on a regualr basis? You will also need some chilcare for when you go to counselling.
Good luck! I was there once and am through that hard stage. You will get there too.
I moved to Marin and I can't find a resource there for
recommendations like BPN. Has anyone lived there (or not) who
can recommend a good couple's therapist, preferably in the San
Rafael, Fairfax, Ross area?
My friend is a great therapist, Stephanie Berglund, in San
Raphael. Steph has been a therapist for over 20 years and is a
wonderful, caring and very perceptive gal.
Her number is :415 454-4478. Please tell her that June sent you.
Martha Lawlor, MFT is an excellent couples therapist located in San
Rafael. 415-459-1345. Experienced, fair to each member of the couple,
and depth-oriented. She is also a Jungian analyst. Highly
I recommend Susan Quigley, Marriage and Family Therapist in San
Rafael. Office # 415 455 4998. She has been licensed for
about 14 years and has worked many years with chidren and their
parents. She is also a parent.
I recommend Lou Dangles. I don't have his number on hand, but he
has a wonderful home office in San Anselmo. He sometimes
co-counsels with his wife.
My husband revealed an affair to me three weeks ago and we are
now trying to pick up the pieces. We are both interested in
pursuing individual therapy in addition to the couples
counseling we are doing. We are having a tough time finding
recommendations for therapists who accept our insurance
(Cigna/Blue Cross HMOs), which we really need to make use of.
We'd love to find recommendations for therapists on either Blue
Cross or Cigna HMOs. Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley or Lamorina
areas would work for us.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
hurt but hopeful
I'd like to recommend Erik Grabow as a therapist. He has a gift
for helping couples deal with issues like yours. He is
supportive and yet able to confront the hard issues without
making anyone feel blamed or picked on. I don't know what type
of insurance he accepts, but it would be worth your time to call
I already posted to the advice newsletter; here I am looking for
a specific referral. Here's the situation: Hubby and I have
different discpline approaches with our two young chilren -- his
tends to be authoritarian; mine is more of a ''loving boundaries''
style. On weekends, conflicts about our different styles flare up
into bickering and anger. I want to find a way to agree on
discipline. In my opinion, his ''method'' -- yelling at them and
threatening them -- doesn't work, and makes our home an unhappy
place to be. I want to see a couples counselor to work this issue
out. He says it costs too much and he thinks it wouldn't help,
although he did concede that if counseling does actually help, he
would consider it. But he wants proof before he pays. I am
looking for stories from others who have had sucess with
counseling for this problem, and in particular I would like
referrals to counselors who are particularly good with this
Sheri Glucoft Wong is an amazing family therapist. I have
worked with her as a patient (in family therapy with similar
issues) and as a colleague and she is very skilled and has a
sense of humor.
Can anyone recommend a good marriage counselor/therapist who
will accept MHN?
I'm not sure what insurance he accepts, but I think Erik Grabow
is a wonderful therapit. He is located in south Berkeley. His
number is 549-3797. Good luck!
My husband and I were very happy with Jeanne Menary, who takes
MHN. I don't have her # offhand, but you can find it by
googling her. She made us both feel comfortable and had a
smart, perceptive way of framing our issues.
Can anyone recommend the name and contact information for a
good marriage counselor? We'd prefer someone in Contra Costa or
Alameda County. After many years of marriage, my husband and I
seem to have experienced a major breakdown in communication due
to a lot of pressure on us both. We love each other very much
but have lost the ability to communicate.
Dear Sad Wife,
You might want to try Dr. Joanne Chao in Oakland (near the
Berkeley border). She is warm, fair, and helped our
communication greatly. She is an active therapist who is not
afraid to call us you on your ''stuff,'' but does so in way that
you can hear it.
Her contact information is:
6536 Telegraph Avenue
Sorry to hear you're going through rough times. I'd like to recommend Susan J.
Kahn (she goes by S.J.). She's located on College Ave. in Rockridge. I can't find her
number at the moment, but she's really great.
-been there in Berkeley
I highly recommend Marion Pastor. She helped my husband and I
get through a major communication barrier last year, and I feel
like we're stronger than ever now. She lives and works in the
Berkeley hills. She is a very, very skilled therapist, and not
terribly touchy-feely - i.e., she has no problem cutting through
the bull**** and getting to the feelings behind what you are saying.
My husband and I have been seeing Winifred Reilly (in N. Bkly).
She's really great and has helped us tremendously with our
communication difficulties. One thing I really love is that she
doesn't take sides but really pins us to the wall
appropriately. We've learned a lot from her and our marriage is
getting back on track. Her number is: 528-0802. Good luck.
I am familiar with both Jodie Berke and Gayle Peterson. Both
are highly qualified, nurturing therapists, who have been
working with individuals and couples for many years.
Gayle Peterson for couples counseling back in 1986. She was
very helpful for us-we did split up, but she was able to help us
get the clarity we needed to make the break as pain free as
Jodie Berke, I saw individually, but think she would
also make an excellent couples counselor.
My husband and I have been married for 5 years with virtually no
problems. Since the birth of our son 1.5 year ago we have been
having a very difficult time adjusting and have been fighting
more than the first 5 years combined. We'd like to get the
marriage back on track and are looking for a compassionate,
reasonable counselor in the Rockridge/Montclair area. Thanks.
I wish to recommend an amazing couples therapist who has worked
with both my husband and me since the birth of our daughter. He
has had offices in Emeryville, Albany, and El Cerrito, and his
name is Larry Stone; office number 510 964 1200. He is quite
popular (deservedly so) but his schedule is also somewhat
flexible. Because I have often had a sneaky feeling in past
therapy sessions with others that I was able to outsmart the
therapist, I have really appreciated Larry's humanism,
intelligence, depth of insight, and ability to work really well
with both men and women. This is a deep person who is able to
get right to the core of an issue quite quickly. If something
big is happening in your session, he will sometimes add a few
minutes to your session to make sure you feel complete. I really
thought my husband and I were on the brink of collapse, with so
many issues surfacing after the birth of our daughter, and I was
resistant to working with a man, but Larry far surpasses any
other therapist I have ever encountered. If you are at the end
of your rope, just give him a call. His cell is 510 815 1600,
but it is more for emergency situations. He accepts many forms
of health insurance.
Wanting to Help
Susan Schreier Williams and Sola Williams are married and have
a 4 year old. They have helped my partner and I so much not
only with understanding our relationship, but how our
relationship effects our children (4 & 7). What we like most
about working with Susan and Sola is that they are extremely
direct and humorous and their work includes simple body games
that encourage relaxation. With their help, we have been able
to see, feel and be responsible for our habitual ways of
relating that don't feel good. I'd be happy to talk to you
about them some more if you want or you could call them
directly. Susan Schreier Williams and Sola Williams 482-2276.
They are right off Park Blvd.
We went through a similar face after we had our baby and had a
lot of success after getting therapy with Denise Forte, she's
in Berkeley and is great. I highly recommend her. Her number is
My marriage is in urgent need of counseling about many issues,
including almost inexistent sex life. We would like a counselor
that follows the approach of David Schnarch (author of
''Passionate Marriage'') and is located in the East Bay. Sliding
scale or reasonable fee would be a plus. I have looked through
the archives and I have not seen any therapist that responds to
this description. Any recommendations would be highly appreciated.
Try Heidi Berrin Shonkoff at 849-4106. She had us each read the book and I believe
she studied with David Schnarch as well. All around, we think she is great. Good
Sensitive topic, but here goes:
I am thinking about looking for a new couples counselor and am
wondering if anyone has good or bad feedback on their couples
counseling experience that they would be willing to share with me -
including a particular psychologist who they felt was effective.
Also interested in what to look for when choosing someone, how much
to pay, timeline to anticipate progress etc.
We are a busy family, with lots of things to address. We've been paying
appx. $320 an hour, have done one year plus one intensive and are still
feeling somewhat stuck.
Any feedback would be appreciated, and if you would like to email me
directly, your input would be kept completely private.
Many thanks for whatever anyone is able to share.
I highly recommend Dr. Allen Kanner in Berkeley -- 510-558-
7210. He's experienced, insightful, patient and kind. My
personal opinion is that you're paying way too much currently;
and that you should discontinue if you feel like things aren't
improving. You may just need a fresh approach, and it sounds
like you've given your current therapist a chance. Try someone
new, and after a given amount of sessions, ask yourself if it's
helping. If not, don't be afraid to move on.
My husband and I have been seeing Winifred Reilly and she has
REALLY helped us tremendously. It's been since about Dec. and
our relationship is SOOOO much better. We were in pretty bad
shape, always angry and nattering, not listening, irritated with
each other, no sex in months. We now are communicating,
listening to each other, genuinely enjoying each others company,
working as a team as parents and learning about helpful ways to
communicate and express our feelings and needs.
Winifred is great...she doesn't take sides except to prove a
point. Pins us to the wall at various times (equal opportunity
wall pinner). We have both really benefited and my husband is
not one to readily agree to go for counselling. Her number is
528-0802. She's in north berkeley near Shattuck Commons.
She sees couples only, as far as I know and she sees them every
other week for 2 hours. This is a really effective way to time
it, I think...it can be agony if you're wanting it to end, but
it really is plenty of time to get into things without being
told your 50 minutes is up. We pay her $240.00 for 2 hours.
I am looking for a couples counselor who can address the
possibility that my husband and I may not be able to work
out our marital problems. We have been in couples
counseling for years, but recently as I have become
increasingly unhappy, it seems like our counselor has
difficulty really addressing the fact that we might not be able
to give each other what we both want and need. I am
looking for a smart, straight-shooter who isn't afraid to
challenge each of us, and who doesn't assume that we can
work everything out because we love each other. I hope we
don't have to split, but I'm tired of the difficult stuff being
swept under the carpet for fear it will be too much for us to
manage. Maybe a counselor who has been through a
divorce him/herself? And ideally, $100 or less per session.
Oh, and in your recommendations, please refrain from
advising me about what I should do in my marriage.
ready to face the worst
Hi, I have to applaud your bravery at wanting to really figure
out if your marriage can work or not. My partner and I spent
thousands of dollars going to several different couples
therapists over 3 years, and we both feel that we did more
important and effective work in our first 2 hour meeting with
Heidi Berrin Shonkoff (849-4106) than we had in all those 3
years. She's brilliant at cutting through BS and getting to
the heart of matters quickly. She's challenging and she's
compassionate. She's worth every penny (not cheap!). We saw
her for a year and a half, and have just recently returned to
her for a post-baby overhaul. I don't believe it's easy to get
in to her practice, but worth a wait in my opinion.
Hi - we have the best couples therapist of all time and literally over 9
other couple friends agree. She is concrete, VERY perceptive (intuitive),
pragmatic, goal oriented, to the point and wise. Also, she lets you go
when she thinks you are done - we and others have literally been told
we were done and to come back when we needed a tune-up (which we
periodically do). Two of the nine couples I know who have gone to her
have gotten divorced and she (and her husband Phil who is a great
therapist esp. for men and is in the same building) were very supportive
of the divorce.
Her # is 510-658-6282 - her name is Tobey Hiller and she is Oakland
My husband and I are heading towards a ''good'' divorce with the
excellent and insightful help of Dr. Richard Bush in Berkeley.
He's on the MHN network. We are much better co-parents as a
result and I anticipate we'll even continue to be good friends
when all is said and done. Good luck.
I have a great counselor!! Her name is Margaret Thompson, She
is based in Oakland near Kaiser Hospital. Good Luck!!
I highly recommend Isadora Alman in San Francisco, near Laurel
Village. She is non-judgemental and specializes in Couples
Counseling. 415 386-5090. www.askisadora.com/isadora.asp
A great couples' therapist is Austin Hurst, Ph.D. in Lafayette--
945 Risa Road, Ste. A Lafayette, CA 94549(925) 283-5740.
I know of an excellent psychologist in Rockridge. He is very
straight to the point. He also can help without taking years to
intervene. His name is David Krause, Ph.d. I believe his fee
$130, but will probably slide to $100. His number is
510-287-5898. Good Luck!
We work with Susan Schreier Williams and Sola Williams. One
of the first things they say is that we have to be willing to
let go of the relationship in it's present form. They speak
really directly, sometimes shockingly so, and it's been an
incredible help for my partner and I to be met in places we
have never been met before. Their approach goes well beyond
traditional talk therapy and we have made progress quickly and
profoundly. I love having a man and woman combo, because then
we get both perspectives. They have been married for around 6
years. I highly recommend them. Their sessions are $125 for
an hour and a half, but we go every other week and that's
plenty. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Nancy-Levine Jordano is a counselor who will tell a couple that
their differences are irreconcilable, if that is indeed the
case. She bore this sad but true news to me and my ex-wife, and
there has no never been any doubt to my mind that 1) she did
everything she could as a therapist to bring us together and 2)
that her eventual recommendation that we separate was the
correct one. She has an office in Oakland by Lake Merritt; her
number is (925) 944-5699.
You may want to try Dr. Michael Smith in Oakland. His number
is 510-530-7900. I'm not sure how much he charges. I saw him
individually a few years ago and was paying less than $100.
I can't recommend Leslie Kirby highly enough. She has absolutely
been instrumental in saving our marriage - BUT never once showed
any signs of being afraid to take us wherever we needed to go -
including splitting up - which we came very close to doing. She
is the best therapist I've ever worked with - she is experienced,
articulate, kind and direct, and approachable. In the hardest
times, I felt safe with her and always felt she had my best
interest at heart. The only thing is that she may not be taking
more clients right now, but you should still contact her because
that changes all the time. 510-843-7555. Her office is near
Berkeley Bowl. All the best with your journey.
I highly recommend Dr. Winston Valois (510-849-3211) in
Berkeley. I have been to several couples therapists, most of
whom were not helful and some were even detrimental to my
marriage. He is the very best, right to the point and is
everything you are looking for.
That being said, I would also add that although it is quite a
financial and emotional investment, I have always been happier
with therapists when I have taken the time to shop around, going
to 2-3 before making my final decision.
I am looking for an exceptional marriage & family therapist to
help me heal & help my husband face some issues about his
infidelity in our marriage. We have young kids so I am
committed to trying to make the marriage work, and am looking
for someone who has been successful in making marriages thrive
after an affair. Berkeley or Montclair areas preferable.
Please try Gail Alter in Berkeley. Her number is 510/433-
2972. We saw her for several years, and she was patient,
nurturing and validating. This must be a tough time for you,
and I applaud you for wanting to make your marriage work.
Gail helped us through some difficult times - I hope she is
able to help you as well.
My husband and I went to see Dr. Bruce Cribley in Oakland, off
of Grand Ave. I don't know that this is his area of expertese
(sp?) but my husband had been unfaithful before we got married
and Bruce helped us work through it. We've been very happy now
for 2 and a 1/2 years. If you're interested his number is 510-
530-4112. Good luck.
I think that Cheryl Jones, 510-653-7374, has a good grasp on the
issues surrounding marital stress and families, and what it takes
to maintain a union. She certainly doesn't believe that
relationships are doomed if infidelity has occurred.
Hi Anon 'Trying to Heal'...
I first want to offer you my support and praise your effort to
try and heal your relationship after an affair.
Although I had no children at the time, I experienced a
similar 'violation' of my marriage many years ago.
After picking myself up off the floor from the shock of it, I
underwent individual as well as couples counseling (my husband
had 1:1 counseling, too) to try and save our marriage.
It is a painful road, and much comes out that might take you by
surprise, but if you are both committed to making it work,
chances are it will.
Both my husband and I are eternally grateful to Dr. Mary Herget
who practices in SF. She used to teach grad classes to student
therapists in Berkeley and I believe she used to practice in
Berkeley, but may no longer. Her number is 415-221-9973. To
this day, I send a holiday card to her updating her on our
At one of our last sessions with her all those years ago, she
asked us what she could tell her students that, in our
experience, helped us begin to rebuild our relationship. We
both agreed that we had to take responsibility for our part in
the relationship and that both of us had a role to play in its
Now, 11 years and 3 children later, I still believe that.
Lastly, there's a couple of very important things I want to
tell you; Don't offer your forgiveness to your husband until
you are ready and really feel it...no matter how much he needs
to hear it. Secondly, heal in your own time, not in the
timeframe that your husband, therapist, friends, parents or
siblings wants you to. You can't force yourself to close the
wound. It can only happen over time.
I rarely think about what happened all those years ago--I
thought at the time not a day would go by without my crying
about it. But time does heal; and odd as it may sound, you
will be stronger for this experience in some way, some day.
I am sending you a hug and support from...
Someone who's been there
Can anyone recommend a smart and insightful marriage counselor? Thank you for any leads.
My partner and I had a great experience with Lor Fjerkenstad.
She is definetly a smart, insightful couples therapist. She
really helped us with some difficult communication issues.
What we liked about her was that she was very warm and down-to-
earth. I do believe that she offers a sliding fee, but you'd
have to check with her as to the fee range. Her office is
located in Rockridge , about a 3 minute walk from BART.
My husband and I have gone to see Gene Kennedy in Oakland. I
don't have his number on me right now, but he is in the yellow
pages. His office is on Telegraph near Alcatraz. He really helps
us to communicate with each other, and he's funny, too!
Dr Bruce Linton in Berkeley has helped make my marriage
positively enjoyable! Plus, he takes our insurance. I don't have
his number offhand, because my husband does the appointment
duties (a testament to Dr Linton's therapy in itself), but he's
in the phonebook.
happily married again
We can't recommend Mary Ann Regan highly enough. She is in
Berkeley, 510-652-6600. She is amazingly talanted, able to
navigate the most sensitive, charged, seemingly unsolvable
situations with candor, humor and grace. My husband and I both
think the world of her and credit her for our happy marriage.
We still go back occassionaly with a problem we aren't able to
solve alone, and we are always impressed and see results.
to recommend Dr. Marlene Winell in Berkeley. I gave a general
reference for her a while back but I haven't seen it on the website and I forgot to
mention the work she does with couples. She is great at teaching communication
skills. My partner and I did a 10-week program with her which was a huge benefit
to us. She also works with individual couples to help you get clear on what the real
issues are and take some steps to make changes. I don't think she takes Kaiser but
she will work with you on finances, plus she works fast, especially if you do the
I found Dr. Winell to be a fantastic therapist. She is empathetic and deeply
interested in her clients--when you work with Marlene, you are working with an
understanding ally. Beyond that, she brings an impressive assortment of
therapeutic tools to the session--she is NOT a one-size-fits-all therapist--different
people and different challenges require different strategies, and Marlene's skill and
creativity match her empathy. I found her use of clinical guided imagery to be
especially helpful and in some instances, transforming. Her goals are both
practical--she shares problem-solving methods with her clients--and profound--
her ultimate emphasis is on personal integrity and building the awareness and
strength that we need to reflect who we are in the world. Marlene helped me
discover new ways of seeing the world that have served me well and that I expect
will support me for the rest of my life. I recommend her without reservation--and
with gratitude and enthusiasm! marlenewinell.net
Apart from the fact that this has been a specially stressful
year (new baby, and some financial problems), I do feel that
I'm having problems in my marriage. But we're willing to fight
for it. Anyone out there knows a good and compassionate
counselor? (affordable too!) It is very important for us that
he or she is open to other cultures. Both my husband and I are
not from the U.S. and were raised by non-American parents.
Thank you for any insight you may have.
New mommy in trouble
Dr. Marlene Winell in Berkeley (510-649-1256) - she is understanding, and great
with couples and is a parent herself; she has also lived around the world and
sensitive to cultural differences. See my unsolicited review of her below. Financially, I believe she has a sliding scale but just call her - she'll discuss your
situation with you at no obligation. Also keep in mind, she helps people pretty
quickly so it doesn't take long and it's worth it. marlenewinell.net
I have an excellent recommendation for help with adjusting to
the many changes of becoming new parents, particularly the
stresses placed on the marriage, (including familiarity with
different cultures): Donna Rothert, Ph.D. She has offices in
both Albany and Oakland. Her number is 510-273-9548.
Susan Schreier Williams and her husband, Sola Williams,
specialize in working with new parents. They have a three year
old, and know the ins and outs of relating when it comes to new
parenting. They are a very conscious couple and speak directly
to the truth in a simple and relieving way. My partner and I
are a lesbian couple, with two children, and Susan and Sola
have been a godsend in helping us relate more happily and
easefully with each other and the children. Sola is from
Jamaica and Susan is from the US. I think they would be
sensitive to your cultures, as well. Their number is 510-482-
2276 and you can email bodywisdom at lmi.net. Feel free to contact
me if you want more info.
Looking for a good therapist in SF to help explore what separation/divorce might
look like for us and our 3 year old. We've been to 3 different couples' therapists and
have not been able to get 'unstuck' in our 5 year marriage. My husband can talk
rings around me, so a sharp, assertive therapist might be our best bet. Any ideas?
We've been given the following names: Alzak Amlan, Shira Shore, and Sheri
Raley...anyone had any experience with either of them? Thanks.
Stuck and Scared in SF
I would highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin. She is a very warm
therapist, but also very practical and has an office in San
Francisco. Best of luck.
My husband and I went to Peter Howard in SF in Pacific Heights.
He is a behavioral guy, and really good. I wish I had his
contact info, but don't right now. He was very insightful, and
good at forcing ''balance'' between us (in our relationship, I am
actually the faster talker, etc. Peter was ON me, and didn't
let me zip around things). He is a *very* smart guy (not to
sound like a jerk, but my husband is an attorney and I am a PhD
and we have had therapists who just didn't keep up).
Only downside is that he is pretty expensive (which I guess
comes with the territory of being really good).
Need a smart therapist to keep me in line!
Marcia Rafinski is an excellent couples therapist. She's really effective,
everyone feels understood, and your ability to communicate and work
through blocks is greatly facilitated. She has moved to Marin but still
sees lots of clients in SF. 415-485-6722
It's not easy after a baby! My husband and I are looking for a
great couples therapist. Probably would prefer an MFT in or
close to our area - Lincoln Heights near Mormon Temple - and
someone who had Blue Shield as a provider.
I would like to recommend Kellie Carbone, MFT at 510-594-8262.
She does individual, couples, and group therapy. I have only
had experience with her as an individual therapist but I am
absolutely sure she would be great as a couples therapist as
well. She is extremely kind, dedicated, and insightful. I have
had experiences with other therapists and have never found
someone so caring and committed to her clients' growth. Good
I would recommend Carl Eggers, MFT for couples counseling. He
has a website at www.lovingrelationships.com that describes his
approach, including some out of the (sand) box ways of helping
people begin to express themselves when words fail. He's in the
North Bay, but I believe he also sees clients in the East Bay.
I highly recommend Matthew Marzell for couples counseling and
couples communications issues. He is going to be doing some
couples workshops and he also has expertise working with entire
families and individuals. My husband and I were recommended to
him by a trusted friend who has had many experiences with
various therapists over the years. My friend said that Matthew
was the most effective counselor he had ever come across and
that with Matthew's tools he and his wife had been able to deal
with issues faster than he ever had with other therapists. I
found my friend's comments to be completely true. Matthew is
aggressive, but in a really good way. He helps you identify
commitments that you want to make in your life and helps you
stick to them. My husband and I went to him when our
relationship was truly falling apart and infidelity had become
an issue. Matthew has an approach that worked wonders for us.
He's a fantastic relationship coach and if it wasn't for him, I
don't know if I'd still be married. Matthew is not a licensed
therapist; he's a counselor with many years of experience. I was
a little hesitant about going to someone who isn't licensed, but
he's completely professional and I think he whipped us into
shape faster than months and months of slow therapy ever would.
He's great! Both my husband and I were both doing our own
individual therapy when we started seeing Matthew (because we
were in such crisis), but we actually stopped seeing our
individual therapists because we thought Matthew was so
effective. He's in Martinez - an easy drive from Berkeley. You
can give Matthew a call at 925-229-3260. I'm also happy to talk
to anyone and give more detail about him.
Related page: Therapists for depression
Can anyone recommend a couples counselor with experience and/or
expertise in working with couples where one partner suffers from
depression? My husband & I have been seeing a counselor for a
while, but it just doesn't seem to be working. He suffers from
sometimes serious depression (and is in treatment), but our
current counselor seems uncomfortable addressing the effect of
his depression on our relationship (she doesn't think it's
about ''us''). I believe that the depression is the REASON we've
been having problems, not a side issue. I'm trying to find a
new person who is willing to tackle this issue head-on.
I've looked at previous recommendations, but no one seems to
mention depression as a particular issue for couples
counselors. Since I've been burned once, I don't want to take
the chance that any ''good'' counselor will intuitively know how
to handle a depressive partner situation.
East Bay or SF is fine. Someone in Kaiser would be great, but
went through the same exact issue with my husband. Joyce
Lindenbaum was our savior. on college near Diesel Books. Ph:
Dana Locke is a thoughtful, warm, insightful individual and
couples'psychotherapist with an interactive style. She will
definitely address the impact of your husband's depression on
the marriage. She leaves no stones unturned. Her office is
conveniently located at the corner of Claremont and College.
Her number is 510-655-2823.
My husband and I are considering couples therapy with Jay
Earley and Bonnie Weiss. While there is a favorable
recommendation in the archives regarding life coaching, I was
wondering if anyone has had any experience with them in couples
I have been working with Bonnie Weiss as my coach/therapist for
over a year and a half and think she is super. While I do not
have direct experience with her and Jay as a couples therapist,
we have certainly covered a number of relationship issues. I
think her background in gestalt therapy, coaching, and more
recently family sytems theories would make her an excellent
choice for a couples therapist. I also think Jay is highly
(Editor note: Contact info as of Sept 2007: Bonnie Weiss LCSW 415 924-5200 firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't know about the therapists you mentioned, but we have been to several
different ones and can say that we have never found anyone close to the
effectiveness of Denah Joseph. She doesn't beat around the bush, is fair, and
pushes both members of the couple to grow individually and as a couple. She is
located in Oakland on Peidmont
I am looking for updated
recommendations on a good marriage counselor. No touchy feely
stuff, but rather someone who can help my husband and me
communicate effectively, help us articulate difficult feelings
in a safe place, and really hear each other. We have a 2 year
old and have been trying unsuccessfully for the past 9 months to
have a second child. Now my husband is having second thoughts
about expanding our family. Our marriage really went south after
we had our first child and it was a tremendously stressful time
for both of us. (I ended up in therapy, he ended up in anger
management counseling). We pulled our marriage back together
without marriage counseling and things are better now, but we
are both scarred from the experience and he, especially, is
afraid that the stress of a second child will cause things to
fall apart again and that we won't be able to survive it. I
think we never really tackled the underlying issues that led to
the bad times and they are resurfacing again in this dilemma.
Recommendations for therapists who have dealt with this kind of
thing would be helpful.
Trying to find our way
My recommendation for someone to help with communication between
two people would be Winifred Reilly. She works out of her home
in Berkeley. I don't have her phone number any more, but if you
can find her, and she has time for you, she's great. She has a
good sense of humor, too.
A Poor Communicator
My husband & I are seeing Howard Hamburger (653-6393) He's in
Oakland off Piedmont Ave. We had seen two other couples
counselors before (from the ucb recommendations) and while they
were nice their approach didn't work for us. We are dealing
with many issues - children (yes the relationship went downhill
after our child was born), depression and financial stress in
our life. We view life completely differently and can hardly
have a conversation without arguing. With Howard's help we are
slowly getting through this. He's very intuitive, does not get
emotionally involved (which the others did) and knows how to
keep you on track. Feel free to email me with any questions.
Good luck. Until seeing Howard I had lost faith in couples
I'd recommend Dr. Deborah Joy (phone: 524-8284, practice is on
Solano in Albany). She's very smart and compassionate, and
good at helping couples work on practical communication skills
and reestablishing loving feelings. The emphasis is building
the positive in your relationship, and working through problems
without getting mired in blame-throwing and anger. She's
helped us with some of the exact issues you mention: making a
decision about a second child when the first (though deeply
loved) stressed our marriage, dealing with a period of
infertility (which she herself struggled with, having a child
fairly late in life), and anger management. We were in bad
shape when we started with her, and are on much more solid
ground now...and happily expecting our second child. Good luck
any recommendations for a good, affordable couples counselor in
Dr. Beth Ferree in Lafayette (925-284-3665) has helped us a lot.
She is a great listener but quickly helps you get to the root of
the problem (in a gentle, supportive way) and then gives you
easy suggestions (make some time to talk, go out more as a
couple, etc.) for improving your everyday relationship. She was
not covered by my insurance but was worth every out-of-pocket
My husband and I have been seeing Naomi Baran in Rockridge for
about two years and we love her. I'm a new mom as well and
though we are in couples therapy, I think she'd be great on an
individual basis as well, especially for dealing with coping
with parenthood. She's not a PhD but is an excellent therapist
and has helped us tremendously. She's in the offices over Market
I would like to recommend Eileen Crean, MFT. We are currently
seeing her right now for marriage counseling and we both like
her! She accepts UCB's PacifiCare insurance. She is in Berkeley
at 2340 Ward Street, Suite 204. Her phone number is 549-3404.
My marriage is on the brink and we need help. My doctor
recommended Dr. Rebecca Epstein for marriage counseling. Has
anyone been treated by her? Did you like her? Was it effective?
Dr. Rebecca Epstein is fabulous! She is so smart and a
wonderful resource. Our marriage was on the brink too and she
helped us find a different, better path. Our marriage is now
better than it ever was. Good luck to you.
I went through a hard time with my marriage recently. I went
to several therapists and was sorely disappointed... and then I
found Rebecca. She is wonderful and I can not say enough great
things about her services. My husband and I went to her and I
have continued to work with her. Everytime I leave her office
I have greater clarity. I highly recommend her to anyone with
marital concerns and / or personal concerns. She is a true
We had a somewhat disappointing experience with Rebecca Epstein a few years ago. It seemed to us that she was not as careful or thoughtful a listener as we had hoped for. We ended up going to Barbara Vivino, also in Berkeley, and found her to be attentive and caring, and she helped us through a difficult period.
I am in need of a recommendation for a couples therapist who
specializes in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in the Bay Area.
Thank you for any responses.
I can strongly recommend Mary Bradford, PhD. Her office is in
central Berkeley. She works with couples from the EFT
perspective. Very experienced, very knowledgeable, very good
therapist. Her office number is: 510-843-5508.
We are looking for a marriage counselor in the Lamorinda area.
We may be considering Cindy Hill-Ford or Colette Bischer-Choate.
Any thoughts about these or other therapists in this area?
Collette Bischer-Choate is a friend and collegue of mine. She is very good
with couples and families, fair, professional, and practical. I suggest
meeting with her a few times and then deciding if she's a good match for you.
Can anyone recommend an affordable couples counselor that's very
well versed in cross-cultural relationships (american woman with
a latino man. i've looked in web site and find nothing for
Mai Le is a fantastic couples counselor, although I don't know
if she has specifically addressed Latina/American issues.
However, she is Vietnamese, and her husband American, so I am
sure she is familiar with cross-cultural issues. I cannot say
enough good things about Mai, I adore her! She has 2 offices,
one in SF, and one in Berkeley. Here is her number: (415) 928-
6736. Good luck!
Regarding Kaiser couples counseling in the most recent
newsletter. I can understand your frustration if this is your
first baby. I wish I had gone to counseling for my first one
too. However, we did not start couple counseling until our
second baby. My counselor is great. Her name is Vicky Marlow
in Lafayette and her phone # is (925) 254-4807. If you or your
husband are working, ask your personnel office if you qualify
for the Employee Assistance Program. This is a program that
allows you to seek counseling for your kids, marriage or
individual for free. It is completly confidential. Vicky
accepts this program. ESP bills her and I do not pay anything
or deal with any paperwork. IT'S GREAT!!! My husband and I work
at the same place so we each get 6 session every 6 month. That
means we have 12 free counseling sections every 6 months. I
strongly recommend this program because you do not want to add
any more financial burden to your problems. Hang in there. It
gets easier with time. Good Luck!!!
I am looking for recommendations for a couples counselor who is
down to earth. Pref near campus. Thanks.
I highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin, LMFT 510/652-0990. Her
office is in Berkeley. She helped my husband and I get through
some tough times, and she is down to earth and pragmatic.
I highly recommend Anthony Carpentieri (M.A., MFC). My husband
and I have found him very ''down to earth,'' sensitive yet
non-judgmental, sensible and balanced, available. Both of us
feel we have benefited from his gentle but focused interventions.
His office is 2315 Price Street in Berkeley; phone is 849-1626.
Jeremy Gordon with the Berkeley Therapy Institute (BTI) is the
most amazing wise and wonderful therapist. There is another
woman there as well and her name is Karen McLellan who is equally
wise and wonderful. You can't go wrong with either! The
practice is close to campus on MLK. The number is : (510)
841-8484. Good luck
My husband and I loved our couples counselor. She is down to
earth and close to campus (Carlton and Telegraph). Her name is
Gail Lindsay and her number is 433-9785.
My spouse and I have gone to see Dr. David Miller on
Fruitvale ave. (up in the hills) in Oakland for several years.
We first went with some real issues but lately only go as
sort of insurance. He is good, solid in his analysis and has
young children so can really relate to some of the ''family''
issues. Tel: 530.4195
I highly recommend Michael Simon, MFT. He is a wise, down to
earth therapist who sees things very clearly and is really
kind. He brought our own marriage back from the ''brink'' so to
speak and we both thought he was fantastic. I've referred
several friends to him but the down side is that his practice is
often full and can be difficult to get an appointment. Try
anyway, though--it's worth it. You can reach him at 510 433-2959.
I know of an excellent Marriage and Family Therapist not far
from Campus on Piedmont near 51st. Julie Tenenberg at 654-7017
is down-to-earth, wise, and practices with integrity. I
regularly refer people to her and get glowing reports back.
Sara Wood-Kraft, PhD. is a great down to earth couple's
counselor. She is located near the Rockridge BART station. Her
number is 510/652-6572. I highly recommend he
Has anyone had any experience with Imago Relationship Therapy,
know any therapists and would you recommend them?
Not getting the love I want
I don't know any of the therapists you listed, but our couples
therapist, Sam Tabachnik, is wonderful. I don't think he is
trained in Imago therapy officially, but he is the one who
recommended the book to us (Getting the Love you Want), so it is
at least a part of his philosophy. I think the book is really
great too, and I can't say enough good things about Sam. He is
on Shattuck in Berkeley (just past Ashby) and his # is 845-3525.
My husband and I have been having the same couple of fights over
and over for the last year or so, and are thinking that a
counselor would help us work them out. Also, since we had kids
our relationship is seriously lacking in intimacy, affection,
and romance. I've looked through the counseling postings, but
I'm having a hard time figuring out how to find a counselor.
The counselors near us, in Montclair, aren't mentioned. Can
anyone recommend someone in or near Montclair that has helped
with similar problems? We are looking for a shorter-term,
solution-oriented counselor rather than on-going therapy as we
are not in crisis or considering divorce.
We have been very happy with Marjorie Cusick, MFT. She is warm
and straightforward, communicative and both of us felt heard and
understood by her. Her office is not in Montclair but pretty
close...on College and Alcatraz.She may also have a second
office. She can be reached at 510.428.2309.
Jacob Ofman is very good - very active, smart, good ideas.
339-3090. Amazing how helpful someone good can be. Good luck
Virginia VandenBergh isn't in Montclair, but a short ride to
College Avenue near Rockridge Bart. Her # is 654-6096. I work as
a family therpist and would be happy to give other
recommendations in the surrounding area.
Not Montclair but just a short drive away: Dan Wile is in Upper
Rockridge/ Hiller Highlands and I recommend him. We only went to
him 4-5 times and he got us back on track. He is not therapy,
more like mediation. In our case, we both were motivated to get
things going but neither of us could figure out how to move
forward. He helped us pinpoint what the main ''issues'' were and
then focus our discussion on solving those rather than the
free-form go-nowhere bickering/talking that we had been doing. He
is mild-mannered, somewhat reticent, which I liked.
I am wondering if anyone could recommend a good couples therapist in the
East Bay Area (Walnut Creek/Lafayette)? Unfortunately, due to work, we
can only meet on the weekends, so if anyone knows a someone that has
weekend/Saturday hours, that would be helpful. Thanks very much for any
recommendations you can give.
Ellen Case has an office in Concord. If she doesnt work
on the weekends, perhaps she could refer you to somebody
who does. Her telephone # is 510-530-5797
We use Dr. Elizabeth Ferree in Lafayette, (925) 284-3665.
She has made my husband comfortable with the idea of
therapy, no small task! No idea if she has openings,
but you may want to give her a call.
I know an excellent couple's therapist that I saw with
my then partner and have many friends who also went to
him. His name is Andrew Michaels and he has an office
in Lafayette. I can't say enough good things about him.
I have been to a few therapists and he is by far the
best couple's therapist I have ever seen. Give him a
call and I'm not sure if he sees clients on Saturdays,
but he might. Good luck.
There is an excellent couples therapist in Orinda named
Barbara Mintzer-McMahon. I saw her a few years ago and
she was absolutely great. I am pretty sure she works
weekends. Her number is 925-254-8510. Email me if you
have any specific questions.
As for couples therapists I want to recommend Sarah
Ashton. Her number is 433-7984 and is located next to Oliveto's on
College Ave. in Oakland. I know her because I am also a
psychotherapist (I'd recommend myself except I guess that would be a
conflict of interests). I highly respect her as a therapist. She is
very smart, very compassionate but not squishy.
Here's one from friends who went to this guy before they had kids to get
help with communicating - they liked him - they have a pretty ideal
marriage as far as I can tell so it must have helped:
3120 Telegraph Ave.
I would like to suggest Sheri Glucoft Wong on Solano Ave. Last I checked,
her number was 526-5085, but that was from a while ago. She is very smart,
pragmatic and sensible and was quite helpful for both me and my husband.
She specializes in family issues and is well worth making an appointment
with and seeing if she is the right person for you and yours.
I realize that you are looking for someone in the South Bay,
however, if for any reason South Berkeley would work out for you
I would like to recommend Adria Blum. I cannot praise her highly
enough. She just simply has a wonderful way of communicating and
dealing with both persons in the situation, and is highly
compassionate about the problems you are discussing with her. You can
reach her at: (510) 486-8146.
My husband and I have a wonderful couple counselor to recommend. We have
been seeing Judith Cohen, LCSW, for 2 years and she is one of the most
impressive therapists I have ever met. I mention this here because she is
building her practice and it occurred to me that someone (family, couples)
might be grateful for the recommendation! Judith is warm, intuitive,
empathic and generally a life saver. She charges $95 an hour but reduces
her fee for those in need. Her offices are near the corner of San Pablo &
Marin in Albany and she can be reached at 510-527-3132.
I can strongly recommend Howard Hamburger, MFCC, as a marriage counsellor.
I believe he's been at it for 20+ years and he brings a wealth of caring and
insights. I don't know if he has any openings, but I expect my partner & I
will be wrapping up our own sessions in the not too distant future.
Unfortunately, he's neither inexpensive nor particularly close to UC: Our
sessions are $90. His office is at 19 Gleneden Ave in Oakland, which is just
off Piedmont Ave. near Pleasant Valley Ave. His work number is 653-6393.
I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend Deborah Joy, PhD, in North Berkeley, at
524-8284. She helped put my 15 year relationship and 9 year marriage
back together so that we're much better together than we had ever been
before. One less divorce, one more in-tact family, and one more
satisfying and hope-filled love affair later, I don't think we could have
done it without her. Deborah is highly intelligent, highly intuitive, and I
can't recommend her enough. Best of luck.
We love our counselor, Dean Lobovits. He has an office at 5th and Cedar.
Great guy, very perceptive. He might be a bit too much of a SNAG
(Sensitive New Age Guy) for you, though. I'd schedule a trial
visit/interview, and see what you think.
Dean has rehabilitated the whole species of couple's
counselors for me! I can't recommend him highly enough.
Regarding coverage, Dean is NOT on Health Net, but he does take Blue Cross
Prudent Buyer, and many other PPO's. Usually, HMO's provide very limited
Mental Health benefits. Often, it's something like 5 to 20 visits per
year, with a co-pay of $20 to $30, and you have to use THEIR therapists
(which are very few in number). And you have to have your Personal Care
Physician recommend that you do it. Very complex, and almost never worth
it, in my opinion.
David Max is an excellent couples counselor. He has this canny ability to
teach you how to hear what the other person is saying and at the same time
to feel that he has supported both of you. I believe his telephone number
is (510) 428-1671.
I understand your situation and can greatly empathize. My husband
and I have had a long, rocky road. We started seeing a therapist together
about 2 years ago before we were even married. I highly recommend our
therapist, Dr. Donald McKillop. He is an excellant, compassionate
therapist and a wonderful human being. And, he practices here in Berkeley
on Channing so he's walking distance to the campus.
mean time, hang in there. I know what its like to be pregnant and
contemplating a divorce. I was there not too long ago. There are
services around to help. It just might take a little research to find
more info about them.
Dr. Gilbert Neuman, PhD. He is excellent, active listener, remembers
details and provides very candid feedback. Not at all just a chat session.
He can be reached at 841-9230.
My husband and I have the most amazing couple's counselor. Her
name is Heidi Berrin-Shankoff (849-4106), and I swear, if anyone
can rehabilitate your marriage, she can. We've been seeing her
for going on three years now, and it's a rare session that doesn't
leave me impressed with her insight and skill. She cuts through
the crap in no time, and is good at making each person feel heard
and supported. I couldn't recommend her higher - if you go to her
and stick it out for a while, either your relationship will heal
or together you'll decide to part with a sense of resolution.
This is in response to the couple seeking a marriage counselor. There's a
very wise, down-to-earth therapist on Park Blvd. in Oakland (she may also
have an office in Albany area.) Her name is Sandra Stark (482-1003.) She
does individual and couples counseling. I can't say enough nice things
about her. I've known several people who have seen her over the years and
everybody seems to value her advice. She is definitely not a touchy feely
Judith Tabb, 527-9645. She lives in Berkeley and has an office in her
home. I believe she also has an office in Marin, but we saw her in the
evening at her Berkeley location. Best of luck.
Try Dan Wile, 510 654 7390. He has been tremendously helpful -
very smart, very perceptive. He's a PhD in upper Rockridge.
On the high end, at $100/hr, but worth it if you can afford it.
re Therapist for abusive husband/possible divorce ...
I recommend Dr. William Smith (Oakland) from personal experience of
this nature. He was terrific and had ways of reaching both of us via
metaphors targeted at each that were perfect for us to understand,
internalize, and implement.
For the woman looking for a therapist in the domestic violence situation: I
can recommend two people who are very good couples and individual therapist
and have experience with domestic abuse:
Ruth Paris LCSW PhD
Audrey Nulman PhD
this page was last updated: Oct 21, 2012
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network