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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Therapists, Counseling , & Support Groups > Couples Counseling


Recommendations for Couples' Counselors More Recommendations Related Pages

2008 Recommendations

May 2008

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! Anon.


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. LW
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. Holly
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. anon
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 frustrations. His e-mail is rterris at gmail.com Good Luck!
Feb 2008

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 anon
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 415-998-5683.
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 good luck! working through it all as well.
Jan 2008

My husband has finally agreed to go to counseling but we need a good, understanding counselor that works on weekday evenings. Anyone out there? -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! anon
Jan 2008

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! anon


Check out Paula Love, relationship coach, @ 415-464-1171. I don't think she is a licensed therapist, but she has a deep background in working with couples. We have used her and it was helpful to make some big decisions with a man I am now happily married to. I've also been through the somatic coach training program she incorporates into her work and it's very effective. If you want to check out her bio first, then go to http://www.strozziinstitute.com/associates.htm#relationship where you'll find her (and other skillful coaches who do deep work). A third party is worth it!

2007 Recommendations

Dec 2007

A friend of mine is looking for a good marriage counsler in the east bay (she lives in Oakland near Piedmont). Eva


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 rbeery@mac.com 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. anon
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. 510-610-9807 2428 Dwight Way anon
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. anon
Nov 2007

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 meds. anon


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. --Anon
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). anon
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. KC
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. Wendy
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. Good luck!
just fyi- 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 testing. 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! Therapized
Oct 2007

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! anon
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 Cynthia
Sept 2007

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. Thank you!! Marital woes


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 Individual therapy. You can reach Priscilla at 510.427.5401 Jessica B
Here is a recommendation for a great couples counselor. Matthew Van Lokeren, Jungian Analyst mvanlokeren[at]yahoo.com 415 203 7293 hope it helps ana
Sept 2007

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 issues. Annie


Sept 2007

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. Rebecca


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. A
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. Wendy
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 sliding scale! 415 520 9311 is her number Annie
June 2007

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. Thanks, anonymous


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 - mwinell[at]gmail.com Hope this helps! Helen
May 2007

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! Anon.


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 -528-0802).
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 difficult discussions. 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
May 2007

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. Anon


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. Anon.
May 2007

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 experience. http://www.perinatalpsychotherapy.com/Bringing_Baby_Home.html this workshop is based on research done on what happens to couples' relationships after a baby is born. good luck! anon

2006 Recommendations

Dec 2006

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


Nov 2006

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 Happy Guy


Oct 2006

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 Good luck
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 anonymous
Sept 2006

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 Good luck! anon
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 three! anonymous
August 2006

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 greatly appreciated.


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 Helen
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 Peggy
June 2006

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. 925-838-2558 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. Good luck! Deanna
March 2006

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 married.


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. anon
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! anon
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! Anon
Feb 2006

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 rigth now. Susan


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. Andrea

2005 Recommendations


Oct 2005

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. Good luck, June
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 recommended. anonymous
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. Sheila Longerbeam
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. prema
Sept 2005

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 issue. Thanks! seeking backup


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.
Sept 2005

Can anyone recommend a good marriage counselor/therapist who will accept MHN?

Recommended:

  • Erik Grabow
  • Jeanne Menary
    Aug 2005

    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. Sad Wife


    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: 510-594-4003 6536 Telegraph Avenue Oakland anon
    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. anon
    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. anon
    May 2005

    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. Anon


    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 luck!
    March 2005

    Hi, 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. Thanks! 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. Heidi Fan
    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 near Piedmont. Sarah
    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. Anonymous
    I have a great counselor!! Her name is Margaret Thompson, She is based in Oakland near Kaiser Hospital. Good Luck!! Anon
    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 anon
    A great couples' therapist is Austin Hurst, Ph.D. in Lafayette-- 945 Risa Road, Ste. A Lafayette, CA 94549(925) 283-5740. anon
    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! nicole
    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. Galen
    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. Anonymous
    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. Good luck. pebbles
    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. Cari
    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.
    March 2005

    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. anonymous


    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. Anonymous
    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 family life.

    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 breakdown. 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


    Feb 2005

    Can anyone recommend a smart and insightful marriage counselor? Thank you for any leads. anon

    Recommendations received:

  • Lor Fjerkenstad
  • Gene Kennedy
  • Bruce Linton
  • Mary Ann Regan
  • Marlene Winell

    2004 Recommendations


    Dec 2004

    Hi, 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

    Recommendations received:

  • Donna Rothert
  • Sola Williams & Susan Schreier Williams
  • Marlene Winell
    Oct 2004

    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

    Recommendations received:

  • Kirsten Beuthin
  • Peter Howard
  • Marcia Rafinski
    September 2004

    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.

    Recommendations received:

  • Kellie Carbone
  • Carl Eggers
  • Matthew Marzell
    Related page: Therapists for depression

    Sept 2004

    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 not necessary.


    went through the same exact issue with my husband. Joyce Lindenbaum was our savior. on college near Diesel Books. Ph: (510) 601-9171 Anon
    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.
    Julie
    May 2004

    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 therapy specifically? thanks.


    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 qualified. JC (Editor note: Contact info as of Sept 2007: Bonnie Weiss LCSW 415 924-5200 bonnieweiss@gmail.com experientialcoach.com)
    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 mc
    May 2004

    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 counseling.
    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 to you!

    2003 Recommendations


    September 2003

    any recommendations for a good, affordable couples counselor in lamorinda?


    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 penny. Anonymous
    July 2003

    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. anonymous


    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. Carol-Ann
    May 2003

    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? Anon


    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. susan
    April 2003

    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 latino/american couples)? anon


    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! kelly
    February 2003

    I am looking for recommendations for a couples counselor who is down to earth. Pref near campus. Thanks. Lynn


    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.
    Hi There, 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 Stephanie
    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. Danielle
    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. Anon
    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. Dana
    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 Mary
    February 2003

    Has anyone had any experience with Imago Relationship Therapy, know any therapists and would you recommend them? Thanks. 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. Good luck! anonymous

    2002 Recommendations


    July 2002

    Hi, 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. Thanks! anon


    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. Susan
    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. Anon
    March 2002

    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. Nancy
    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. Dinah

    Older Recommendations


    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. Melanie
    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: Richard Bloom 3120 Telegraph Ave. 848-2695
    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. Good Luck.
    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. Stacie
    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. In the 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 type.
    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.
    July 1998

    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 526-5232 and Audrey Nulman PhD 594-2204

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