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Woman Therapists

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


Questions More Female Therapists on these pages:

Looking for an Older Female Therapist

Nov 2008

I'm looking for a N. Berkeley/Albany female therapist/psychologist in her 60/70's to deal with issues regarding: - being raised by a neglectful/dysfunctional (alcohol/drugs/bad relationships) teenage mother in poverty - an absentee father - how to live life now as a happy, successful, upper/middle class parent I want to learn to live with my past instead of burying it in shame and silence. anonymous


I would recommend you contact Dr. Fortunee Kayra-Stuart. She is a wise, experienced, empathic therapist who is in the age group you have requested. She is familiar with the issues you have said you would like to take up in therapy. Her office is in Berkeley. She can be reached at 510.526.9506. Kathy
Hi, I can highly recommend Susan Brand, a psychologist. Her office is on 5. Street and Cedar. Her # is (510) 525 3885. I have been seeing her for several years, and she is excellent. With warm regards, a very satisfied client
I have been very pleased with my work with Dr. Jane Hawes, 891-9288. She works out of her home on Euclid in Berkeley. Please feel free to tell her I referred you. kathryn
I don't think she is yet in her 60s, but I don't think you could do better than Lisa Lancaster. I've been seeing her for about 5 months now--and dealing with some of the issues you mentioned (abusive mom and absent dad)--and really feel like I am making progress. Most importantly, I just really love having the opportunity to talk with her each week. Her insights always make me feel better. Go and see her. She is in Berkeley (841-2525). good luck anon
Mayflower Brandt, MFT 510-653-3566 is an older female therapist with over 30 years experience. Her office is located at corner of College and Claremont. Good luck anon
Nadine Payne on Solano Ave is great. She is a woman in her 60's and is a Psychologist. nadinedoc1@aol.com Tell her Ali referred you
I highly recommend Kathleen Ranlett Mock, Mfcc (510) 527-8801. She sounds like just what you are asking for. She has an office in Berkeley and Kensington and is under most healthcare plans. Carrie
Try Nurit Mussen (510) 559-9260 Her Berkeley office is on Alameda and Solano. She is very gentle and compassionate. She helped me with issues of sexual abuse and other troubles past memories. I am sure she can do the same for you. anon
Linda Shapiro, MFT in Albany 524-3621 Though I think she's in her 50's. I highly recommend her. Hi. When I read your posting one name came to mind immediately. Christie Rigg. She meets every single requirement you mentioned. She has experience, is the right age group and is an excellent therapist. I think you will find her to be very helpful. Her phone number is 510 287-5845. Good luck! Alison
Dusky Pierce is a wonderful therapist who I would say matches the qualities you are looking for perfectly. She very compassionate and was wonderful to work with. She helped me gain confidence and deal with the world from a much calmer and centered space. I would not hesitate in recommending her. She can be reached at 510-524-9811. Good luck. Annon

Female therapist to help with separation

Oct 2008

I have recently separated and I need a female therapist to help me navigate this transition. Other issues I have are related to negative thinking, stress and anger, and bad eating habits that I am unable to control. I am looking for someone who is pragmatic, reaffirming, and warm. Nothing overly spiritual. I live in the Berkeley/Albany border. Anon


I highly recommend Taryn Thomas. She is in Albany/Berkeley and she is a great therapist. She is warm, understanding, and she is great with relationship issues. She is so easy to talk to. Her number is 510-496-6070. Good luck to you. anon
Try Sarah Nelson, mft. She is located in Berkeley. Here is her contact information: sarahnelsonmft@comcast.net or (510) 764-2079. anonymous
I would like to highly recommend Eve Livingston, PhD. She's at 5835 College Ave in Oakland (right by Chabot Road). I've known her for almost 10 years and have done several years of therapy with her at the beginning of my divorce, all the way through and since. She's absolutely wonderful, pragmatic, practical, warm, and so supportive. I have had to deal with issues very similar to the ones you describe. She was instrumental in getting me through a tough time. Her phone number is 510-466-5024. All the best to you! rosie
Alicia G. Dougherty 510-496-6040 Berkeley
I want to highly recommend Alicia Dougherty. My experience of her as a therapist is that she is knowledgeable, super smart, consistent, empathetic, warm, and caring (while holding strong boundaries). She asks good questions and suggests thought-provoking possibilities. She is a great listener, while being totally engaged. She has a strong personality without taking over. I have never known anyone with a memory like hers. She seems to remember everything and then is able to access some bit of previous information and fit it into a current thread, making new and useful meanings out of events or feelings. I'm in a lesbian partnership and can say she is great with queer issues/topics. I can imagine that she would be great as any couple?s therapist or with someone going through a relationship transition. I see her for anxiety, relationship, family, and sexual issues but I really can't imagine a topic she could not handle.
I highly recommend Barbara Vivino, whose office is right at the intersection of The Alameda and Solano. Her number is 510-428-9096. She is pragmatic and warm and supportive without being foofy. --another satisfied customer

Female therapist for 50-ish woman's stress and anxiety

June 2008

I would greatly appreciate recommendations for a female therapist in Oakland/Berkeley area for a 50-ish woman struggling with stress and anxiety from difficult (older) kids, mediocre marriage, aging parents, etc. I've had previous experience with therapists -- both good and bad -- and know that I'd like someone who talks as much as she listens, is compassionate, and has a sense of humor. Many thanks. Anon


I'm very sorry that you're struggling. In your post, you asked for a ''female therapist in Oakland/Berkeley area for a 50-ish woman struggling with stress and anxiety from difficult (older) kids, mediocre marriage, aging parents, etc.-- someone who talks as much as she listens, is compassionate, and has a sense of humor.'' You've described my therapist! Deborah Scott, (925) 256-6451, has an office in S. Berkeley. I began seeing her for depression related to an adult 'kid' who has failed to launch, and (since that situation may never resolve), I'm now working on longstanding issues of identity and self-worth. She takes insurance from some programs. I really think you'd like working with her. struggling with similar issues
I really like Susan Greene, PhD...she's in El Cerrito across from the Weinerschnitzel. 510-233-8402 anon
Sounds like you should meet Maggie Hochfelder in Rockridge. 658-0633 Ruth
Barbara Vivino is terrific - very proactive, very adept at working with different therapy modalities to suit clients' needs. Her office is on The Alameda at the top of Solano Avenue - 510-428-9096. -K
I can highly recommend Lor Fjerkenstad as not only deeply compassionate but a real down to earth and savvy therapist. She is highly interactive (in my experience) as needed. She talks, listens, engages and comes with a great deal of experience working with stress and anxiety. Her office is in the Rockridge area of Oakland and her office # (510)594-4034. anon
I can highly recommend Denise Forte to help you with mid-life challenges. She is warm, smart, funny, insightful, and very supportive. She helped me alot with similar issues. Her office is in south Berkeley and you can reach her at 286-7615. *been there too
I highly recommend Taryn Thomas. She is in Albany/Berkeley and she is a great therapist for women and family issues. She is so easy to talk to, compassionate, funny, and very helpful. Her number is 510-496-6070. Good luck. anon

Looking for an experienced woman therapist

May 2008

I moved to the area last year and have had trouble finding the right psychotherapist. I am looking for an experienced woman therapist who is sensitive and warm, sympathetic, and also has an active therapeutic approach. I'm interested in looking back to roots of patterns in my original family, in addition to practical needs and present relationships. Does anyone have a therapist they love who might have room for a new client?


I have referred several people to Lynn who have given me consistently positive feedback about her. She is warm, actively engages with clients in the therapeutic process, and extremely astute and insightful. She is very grounded and able to provide them with a level of emotional safety that allows them to examine challenges in proactive ways. They have experienced significant improvement in the quality of their relationships and lives as a result of working with her. Lynn Tracy, Ph.D.: 510.496.2727. Please feel free to contact me if you need additional information. amy
I would strongly suggest Anne Brodzinsky, Ph.D. (Montclair section of Oakland) or Anne Bernstein, Ph.D. (Berkeley). DB
i highly recommend laine demetria as a integrative psychotherapist. can't say enough good things about this woman - she is completely interactive in her approach, brings all of herself to the process and works collaboratively with her clients in a holistic and sensitive manner. check out her website: www.lainedemetria.com a hopeful work in progress
Jackie Reckas, MA 7 Map .72 miles. (925) 426-9182. 1811 Santa Rita Rd Suite 226, Pleasanton, CA 94566 Jackie is great -- I've found her really helpful; the patterns she helps you to identify are really striking! kevin
Kathryn Tomaeno may be the therapist for whom you are looking. Your words describe her perfectly. Her office is on Solano Avenue. Her phone number is 510-433-9934. Good luck! Believer in therapy
Kathryn Hirt is in north Oakland and SF, and fits the ''really good therapist'' description. I totally recommend her, coming from a former ''I will never do therapy'' person. She isn't attached to a posture as a therapist but is a real, warm, very insightful and helpful person who is has great insights into my anxiety issues and relationship problems, and has helped me immensely. She gives me new ways of seeing things I never would have thought of, and sometimes even homework'' to do in between sessions to help me make it my own, too. From someone who swore the whole process of therapy was bunk, I am thrilled to have found her. She is at 510-220-3558 and has an email address I think she'd be OK with me giving too: kathhirt@hotmail.com, though I think that's on her website. Good luck! anon anon
I've been seeing Dr. Lisa Lancaster for a number of months now and think she is really the kind of therapist you are looking for. She is thoughtful, smart and really engages in a conversation with you. She is in Berkeley--510-841-2525. anon

Buddhist Therapist w/ Jungian Bent?

Sept 2007

I'm looking for recommendations for a long-term depth-work therapist (female) who has some Jungian background and a spiritual/Buddhist bent. Examples of what she might look like include: *archetypal work *knowledge of world religions *a familiarity with the book A General Theory of Love *someone who meets the client ''where they are'' *NOT CBT *someone who is both a quiet listener and a strong guide *a wise and nurturing woman *down-to-earth Is this too much to ask for? Thank you to anyone with suggestions. And thank you for understanding the need for anonymity. Best, Anonymous Seeker


Diane Deutsch, Ph.D., in San Francisco is a clinical psychologist and spiritual Jungian therapist who meets nearly all of your criteria. I'm not sure what you are seeking help for, or whether she has openings. Only you and she will know if it's a really good match. If the travel would not be prohibitive, you might call her at 1-415-648-9408. She's fabulous. Judy
Try Marsha Hiller 644-2724. another seeker
Lor Fjerkenstad may be an excellent fit for you. I met her when she was the Director of the Center for Psychological & Spiritual Health in San Francisco, she has since moved her practice to Oakland. I was working on some limiting patterns and core woundings that kept coming up in my life. I had sat my first month long retreat (Vipassana) and was really struggling and felt stuck. I ended up working with her for a number of years. Her work includes many of the examples you are looking for including mindfulness awareness, depth work and somatic trauma work. Her work is very organic and in the moment . It was helpful to have someone both dynamic and contemplative and also collaborative in her process and work. I highly recommend her and hope you find the right guide for you. Her phone # (510)594-4034 anon.

Female therapist for academic mom

May 2007

I'd love any recommendations people have for a female therapist in the El Cerrito/Albany/Berkeley area who can help me work through the emotional and mental stress of completing my Ph.D, going on the job market, raising two kids, trying to maintain a good relationship with my husband, financial stress, general fatigue, etc. It would be great to find someone pragmatic and goal-oriented who has raised kids themselves while juggling a million things, can help me communicate more effectively, as well as someone who's sensitive to issues of race and culture. Tired Mom


I recommend Barbara Fisher, 528-4455. She has a lot of wisdom and her way of counseling is very direct and hopeful. She is in El Cerrito. anon
Response: I would like to recommend my neighbor to the person wanting the female therapist for an academic mom. Lynn Watkins, MFT has an office in Albany, and has been seeing clients for more than 25 years, I think. She has been really helpful to my extended family about some issues (as a friend, not a therapist). I know that she is competent and compassionate, and very practical. She is a mother and knows how to juggle family, a career and a busy life. She would be comfortable with racial and cultural issues, as well gender issues. Her phone number is 415-648-8065. Joann
I would highly recommend Dr. Lisa Lancaster. She is in Berkeley and is a fabulous therapist. I cannot say enough about what an amazing help she has been to me. Her number is 510-841-2525. another academic mom
I highly recommend Laine Demetria as an intelligent, empathic therapist sensistive to issues of race and culture. She has an office on Solano in Albany. Her number is 415-705-0776. She's been a huge help in my life. anon

Female therapist that accepts MHN

may 2007

I am looking for a feamle therapist that accepts MHN through Health Net. Oddly, there isn't anyone listed in the archives that is on the current MHN list. I have had many years of therapy but decided to part ways with my therapist for various reasons -- but mostly because I can't afford to pay her out-of-pocket anymore. Sigh. So I am now looking for someone new who is smart, direct and very reliable. Someone who has experience working with new moms would be nice. Locations that would work are: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville and maybe Oakland (altho less convenient for sure). Other options are Mill Valley, Larkspur or maybe Corte Madera (I work in Marin but actually don't know it that well). Even the Marina district (close to GGate bridge) of SF is a possibility. Any ideas or leads would be very appreciated! anon


When I had MHN I had a wonderful therapist in Albany on Solano named Pamela Blair (510) 559-9100. I started seeing her when I was pregnant with my second child because I'd had post partum issues with my first child. My second son is now two and I've stopped seeing her because I recently joined Kaiser. She is excellent, compassionate, smart and enjoys working with moms. I referred three other moms to her and they all liked her very much. Kelly

Mom-like therapist (in a good way)

Jan 2006

I'm looking for recommendations for therapist who is ''mom-like'': a woman who can offer advice and call me on my stuff in a comforting and supportive way. On that note, I would also like recs for someone used to dealing with students or people in their 20s. Thanks! anon.


I would recommend Bola Cofi in San Francisco. Her e-mail is BCofi@aol.com. My husband and I went to her as a couple and I've recommended her to other couples but I originally got the recommendation from two friends who adore her and go regularly for what you seem to be describing. I adore her too
I've enjoyed my sessions with Karen Kleiner in Montclair. She has a pragmatic, compassionate and thorough approach, calls me on my stuff, and is mom/aunt-like. anon
My recommendation for a good mom-like therapy is Shoshanna April. She is a lovely human being, in her 50's. Working out of her home on the El Cerrito/Richmond border, a couple of blocks off San Pablo, she doles out great advice over tea and cookies, no matter the problem. She has about 25 years of experience in counseling, psychotherapy and hypotherapy. She is on my Blue Cross Blue Shield list of providers. I just love her and you will too. Contact Shoshanna anonymous please
Try Rebecca Lueck in Rockridge. She charges using a sliding scale, she is really cool and nice, and I found her to be very easy to talk to. She is around 40, very friendly and great with 20 somethings. You can reach her at (415) 235-1071. Been There
Try Erika Maslan at Lamorinda Center for Therapy. I'm not sure if she is taking new patients, but she is wonderful! She is based in Lafayette and Walnut Creek. Even if this is farther out than you like, she is well worth it. c
Reading this post made me think of my therapist who is very understanding and supportive. She creates a space in which I can talk freely and feel validated, yet when I'm ''off'' or somehow limiting myself, she points it out to me in a way I can hear it and consider it as valuable input. She is young enough that I feel she understands my life concerns, yet old enough to have a lot more life experience than I do. I find her caring going beyond the usual ''professional'' standard, and this helps me a great deal. Her name is Yvonne Mansell, her office is located in Albany, and phone number is 528-9551. Anon

Over-50 Jewish woman therapist in SF?

Nov 2005

Does anyone know a wonderful, female, preferably over-50 and Jewish therapist, in or near downtown San Francisco? Thanks.


I highly recommend Ellen Litman. Her office is in Noe Valley on 24th Street just above Church--which is not downtown, but is a short MUNI ride from there. She is very warm, supportive, empathic, and has a sense of humor. Her number can be found in the San Francisco directory. anon
Ellen Peskin has an office at Geary and Masonic. She's very warm and empathetic. She looks young but I believe she's around 60. anonymous
Dr. Phyllis Kempner. She is located on Bush west of downtown. Phone number is 415-931-1951.

Therapist near Walnut Crk for my 62-year-old mother

Jan 2004

Can anyone recommend a female therapist in the Walnut Creek/Lafayette area? My 62-year-old mother needs serious counseling to cope with chronic pain, as well as emptiness and anger after being a stay-at-home mom. My sister and I believe some of her current health problems may be psychosomatic. We're looking for a therapist who is gentle in nature and not confrontational. Concerned daughter


I have been seeing a wonderful therapist in Walnut Creek, Charlotte Wolter. Her number is 925-937-7924. She is easy going, kind, has a very gentle voice and is fun. She definitely is not confrontational, but gently guides you in your work with her. Although I don't have first hand experience with chronic pain, I believe Charlotte would be a good therapist for that also since she suffered with a severely broken leg a couple of years ago requiring multiple surgeries. Give her a call. Valerie
I would recommend Patricia Padgett in Walnut Creek. She's older, which might resonate with your mom, and she's incredibly gentle yet motivational. Also, unlike some therapists, her goal is to help you move on rather than stay with her for years. I've seen her on and off over the years and absolutely adore her. Her # is (925) 937-5131. s
Ellen Case is an excellent Berkeley therapist with a Lafayette office. Her Berkeley telephone number is 530-9757. I found her to be both skilled and compassionate, and she helped get me through a very difficult two years. I would not hesitate to recommend her to my mother for the issues you describe. Best of luck. Susie

Female Therapist in Berkeley

Jan 2003

I am looking to find a good therapist (female preferred) in the Berkeley area, mostly to deal with past relationship issues. Prefer to find one who is willing to give you honest opinions/feedback (versus someone who just sits back and listens). I have reviewed the previous recommendations on the parents website, but info on women therapists was limited. Thanks! Anon


I've seen Laura Mason, and liked her. She's smart, insightful, and down-to-earth. She's on Santa Fe near Solano. Phone 526-3600. Susan
I saw Barbara Vivino, on the Alameda (by Solano avenue) for one year (till last april, and three more times last fall). She's a very good, attentive, sensitive therapist that participates in the conversation -even though i did most of the talking. I was pregnant and i had some issues i needed to deal with, yet at the same time i was not sure i wanted to ''move'' too much or go too deep and unsettle things with so little time before the baby. She was very understanding about this. She must be in her forties but i found her very mothering, which is what i needed. silvia
Sharon Gregory is a wonderful therapist who works in Berkeley -- her office is on Shattuck at Ashby. She's smart smart smart, and she doesn't hesitate to give her opinion or to ask tough questions. She's definitely not a sit-quietly-and-listen type. She's empathetic and kind, but she's also very professional. We did a lot of great work together, and now -- two years after my sessions with her ended -- I still use the skills she taught me and remember the advice she gave me, particularly when it comes to conflicts within my marriage. I found her quite good in helping me untangle relationship issues. If you have particular qualities you want in a therapist, I suggest that you interview the therapist first, find out what her approach is and tell her exactly what you are looking for. That way you won't waste time and money working with someone whose style doesn't suit you. Good luck. Anon
I would highly recommend a therapist I have seen. Kirsten Beuthin is very down to earth and direct but gentle. Her office is in Berkeley and her number is 652-0990. anon
Dr. Cynthia Front has office hours across from the Claremont Hotel (in the complex where Peet's coffee is). I like and trust her - she's easy to talk to, and isn't as passive as some therapists, she has good suggestions. anon.
I want to recommend my therapist Yvonne Mansell, MFT. I was looking for someone who is non-judgemental, and not only did I find that, but I learned how judgemental I am of myself. In therapy I learned to lighten up and then find compassion for myself. I had been in psychotherapy before, but at this point in my life, I needed a spiritual approach to look at what was going on with me, because the other ways weren't working. I needed a new way to work with what was bothering me. I was very involved with and very attracted to the Buddhist approach and Yvonne was able to point out the things I already had read or knew, and remind me of them. Because of my appreciation of the teachings I had to stop and listen... maybe there was something to what she was saying ... and I learned to apply the teachings in new ways. She brings a passion for Buddhism and psychotherapy that was just so useful for me.Yvonne is seemingly non-directive, but with humor, she made me look in new ways at myself. She made a very sweet and delicate impression to me at first, but I learned that she is not like that at all. I really felt that I could express myself exactly as I was, and that made me very comfortable. I need to be able to talk how I think, and I really felt heard.

One other point is that Yvonne is willing as a therapist to reveal some of her emotions or character flaws that make her more real, and brings less of a ''sterile'' or non-personal approach than other therapists might use. Her office is actually not in Berkeley, but just over the border in Albany. You can reach her at 528-9551. Susan


I would like to recommend Dr. Elayne Savage. She works with solo clients (adolescent and adult) and couples. Her specialty is dealing with rejection and abandonment, but I've seen her take on many other concerns as well! Elayne is a gentle soul, as well as a sharply perceptive therapist, and while she's a fine listener, she will advise you, too, should you request it. If you want to get a feel for Elayne's approach, she's written a couple of books, ''Don't Take It Personally!'' and ''Breathing Room,'' which is a couples' guide. Her number is (510) 540-6230. Melanie
I know just the person for you. Kate Harling is a wonderful, warm, and honest woman therapist in Berkeley. Her number is 841- 0531. Danielle
I can highly recommend a female therapist. Sandra Bryson has been in private practice for about 20 years. She's in the Rockridge area near the Berkeley border. Her manner is so warm and caring that you will immediately feel comfortable with her. Plus she's extremely intelligent and has great insights. An excellent therapist. You can reach her at 510-653-6353. v w r

Female therapist for relationship issues

December 2002

I am looking to find a good therapist (female preferred) in the Berkeley area, mostly to deal with past relationship issues. Prefer to find one who is willing to give you honest opinions/feedback (versus someone who just sits back and listens). I have reviewed the previous recommendations on the parents website, but info on women therapists was limited. Thanks!


I would highly recommend a therapist I have seen. Kirsten Beuthin is very down to earth and direct but gentle. Her office is in Berkeley and her number is 652-0990.

I can highly recommend a female therapist. Sandra Bryson has been in private practice for about 20 years. She's in the Rockridge area near the Berkeley border. Her manner is so warm and caring that you will immediately feel comfortable with her. Plus she's extremely intelligent and has great insights. An excellent therapist. You can reach her at 510-653-6353. v w r
Dr. Cynthia Front has office hours across from the Claremont Hotel (in the complex where Peet's coffee is). I like and trust her - she's easy to talk to, and isn't as passive as some therapists, she has good suggestions.
Sharon Gregory is a wonderful therapist who works in Berkeley -- her office is on Shattuck at Ashby. She's smart smart smart, and she doesn't hesitate to give her opinion or to ask tough questions. She's definitely not a sit-quietly-and-listen type. She's empathetic and kind, but she's also very professional. We did a lot of great work together, and now -- two years after my sessions with her ended -- I still use the skills she taught me and remember the advice she gave me, particularly when it comes to conflicts within my marriage. I found her quite good in helping me untangle relationship issues.
I know just the person for you. Kate Harling is a wonderful, warm, and honest woman therapist in Berkeley. Her number is 841- 0531. Danielle
I've seen Laura Mason, and liked her. She's smart, insightful, and down-to-earth. She's on Santa Fe near Solano. Phone 526-3600. Susan
I want to recommend my therapist Yvonne Mansell, MFT. I was looking for someone who is non-judgemental, and not only did I find that, but I learned how judgemental I am of myself. In therapy I learned to lighten up and then find compassion for myself. I had been in psychotherapy before, but at this point in my life, I needed a spiritual approach to look at what was going on with me, because the other ways weren't working. I needed a new way to work with what was bothering me. I was very involved with and very attracted to the Buddhist approach and Yvonne was able to point out the things I already had read or knew, and remind me of them. Because of my appreciation of the teachings I had to stop and listen... maybe there was something to what she was saying ... and I learned to apply the teachings in new ways. She brings a passion for Buddhism and psychotherapy that was just so useful for me.Yvonne is seemingly non-directive, but with humor, she made me look in new ways at myself. She made a very sweet and delicate impression to me at first, but I learned that she is not like that at all. I really felt that I could express myself exactly as I was, and that made me very comfortable. I need to be able to talk how I think, and I really felt heard.

One other point is that Yvonne is willing as a therapist to reveal some of her emotions or character flaws that make her more real, and brings less of a ''sterile'' or non-personal approach than other therapists might use. Her office is actually not in Berkeley, but just over the border in Albany. You can reach her at 528-9551. Susan


I would like to recommend Dr. Elayne Savage. She works with solo clients (adolescent and adult) and couples. Her specialty is dealing with rejection and abandonment, but I've seen her take on many other concerns as well! Elayne is a gentle soul, as well as a sharply perceptive therapist, and while she's a fine listener, she will advise you, too, should you request it. If you want to get a feel for Elayne's approach, she's written a couple of books, ''Don't Take It Personally!'' and ''Breathing Room,'' which is a couples' guide. Her number is (510) 540-6230. Melanie
You can also try Sharon Testa-Harker, a very competent therapist who also happens to be my sister. She has been in practice 15 years and has worked extensively with children, families, and couples. She supervises therapists in training and also is a consultant to other licensed therapists. Sharon gives really helpful feedback to her clients and prides herself on her ability to engage with people and be a kind and caring listener. She has offices in Fremont and Berkeley and I know she has one opening right now. Her Berkeley office is located at the top of Ashby close to the Claremont Hotel. You can reach her at 510-655- 3289. Cindi
I saw Barbara Vivino, on the Alameda (by Solano avenue) for one year (till last april, and three more times last fall). She's a very good, attentive, sensitive therapist that participates in the conversation -even though i did most of the talking. I was pregnant and i had some issues i needed to deal with, yet at the same time i was not sure i wanted to ''move'' too much or go too deep and unsettle things with so little time before the baby. She was very understanding about this. She must be in her forties but i found her very mothering, which is what i needed. silvia
If you have particular qualities you want in a therapist, I suggest that you interview the therapist first, find out what her approach is and tell her exactly what you are looking for. That way you won't waste time and money working with someone whose style doesn't suit you. Good luck.

Woman psychotherapist near Montclair

November 2002

I would like to restart long-term therapy to get help with anxiety, anger, kid-raising and various other issues. I am hoping to find a wonderful woman psychotherapist in or near Montclair and would very much appreciate any recommendations. Norma


Virginia VandenBergh is on College near Rockridge Bart. She's worth a visit to see if you're a good match. She's empathic with a sense of humor. I worked with her for several years through pregnancies to the preschool years and plan to see her again in the future. Speaking both as a client and a psychotherapist, finding the right therapist seems often a combination of several things including the skill and professionalism of the therapist, a good personality match, and the willingness of the ''client'' to stick with it.
Elaine Cooper, PhD (540-6555) seems like a good therapist for what you mentioned. She's practical and gives feedback and ideas, rather than simply alot of empathic listening (at least in my case). She works mostly in SF, but on Thursdays works in the office building in the Italian Colors complex. anon

Seeking "wise sage" woman therapist

May 2002

I plan to start therapy again after many years without it, and so I'm seeking recommendations for a therapist in the east part of the East Bay (Oakland to Castro Valley) who meets the following criteria: - Woman who is a ''wise sage'' and has parenting experience of her own - Therapeutic style which is nurturing and empathic but also challenging and directive - Someone who works well with clients around issues of parenting as well as in depth psychotherapeutic work Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!


This is to recommend Dusky Pierce as a wise and thoughtful therapist who is a parent. She practices in Oakland and El Cerrito. 524-9811 Merry
I have seen Dr. Hilary Goldstine off and on for years, and she is wonderful. I think she probably saved my life at one point. She is very unusual in that she gives good, practical advice, and makes me feel that we are working together to figure out solutions to problems. She is consistently positive and empathetic. I like her because she doesn't dwell on unhappy childhoods, etc.,etc. - rather she is strengthening, and very much in the present. She is also very honest, and has a great sense of humor. Because of her good work I was able to get through my depression, and out of an abusive marriage, and move on with my life. Dr. Goldstine has also worked extensively with children, and she is also an authority on cults if that is of any bearing in your situation.
Melissa Holub, Ph.D., is wonderful -- I can't recommend her highly enough. She is in Berkeley, on Shattuck Avenue.
Your posting asked for a recommendation for a woman therapist with a nuturing/direct approach and parenting experience. That's the perfect description for clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Waterman. She's a Harvard Ph.D. who's been in private practice for over 20 years. She's currently writing a book on mothering beyond the biological bonds. Her practice includes individual and family counseling, as well as sand play therapy with children. Our son has been a client for over a year - and has made amazing progress. Her office is located in her house near Lake Merritt in Oakland. Her phone number is 510/763-1800. This recommendation is posted with her permission. Joyce
For a terrific therapist, a 'sage' -- I would recommend Ellen Zucker 845-5178 ext. 2. She's really terrific. My daughter and I saw her for 'family' therapy and she was very insightful and wonderful. She's in the Elmwood area of Berkeley. Sabrina

Pacificare

July 1999

Can anyone recommend a good woman therapist that is affiliated with the Pacificare plan? My husband is considering leaving and has just started seeing a therapist to try to deal with his mid-life crises. We'll eventually go the couples route, but for now I need to find someone to see myself. Thanks.


I think Ann Marshall at Pathmakers (through PacifiCare) is excellent. She also does a woman's group that meets every Monday evening. The telephone for Pathmakers screening is 888 784-7284. Good Luck! Brenda
Woman Therapist not too new-agey

September 2001

I am new to the area and I am searching for a therapist to help me better balance my own happiness with my daughter's and husband's needs/happiness. Has anyone ever worked with a therapist named Shirley Issel? If so, could you please send me some feedback about her. I am also interested in hearing from anyone who is wild about their therapist (assuming they are located near Berkeley and are taking new patients). I have to admit I would probably be more comfortable with someone who isn't TOO new-agey. I am looking for someone along the lines of a cognitive behavioral therapist rather than someone who surrounds themselves with herbs, crystals and incense. I couldn't tell from the recommendations on the website if any of those folks fit this description. Thank you in advance for your help. S.


Any of the therapists at California Counseling Institute. I personally recommend Jennifer Ewing. She is not cognitive behavioral, nor New Age rather depth psychology/Jungian. 510 704-8046. Meghan
I am currently seeing a wonderful down to earth therapist by the name of Denise Forte. She is a very caring, sweet lady to talk with. I almost want to call her my friend. She works with Berkeley Primary Access Clinic. She also has her own private practice as well in Berkeley on Telegraph. Nia

Editor note: as of Jan 2006, Denise Forte can be reached at her private practice at 510 286-7615 on Alcatraz in Berkeley.


Therapist: I think you would really like my therapist whose office is on Russell Street in Berkeley. Her name is Richelle Jacobs (510) 845-5178. Paula

More reviews of women therapists


March 2006

I am looking for caring female therapist in Alameda to deal with general anxiety/depression issues. The Blue Shield lists these following providers. Does anyone have any information about them?


I have worked with Karen Hollinger Jackson in the past and she was great!--smart, kind, and an excellent communicator. She was instrumental in my healing from prior abuse issues. She helped me reach some important long time goals and deal with issues with bulima and general depression. anon
July 1999


In response to the person looking for a woman therapist. I'd like to recommend Anneke Hogeland, MS, MFCC. Her office is on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. She is quite extraordinary with an emphasis on "solution oriented counseling." She is extremely dedicated to the well-being of her clients and is very skilled, insightful, warm and creative. She is also skilled in hypnotherapy. She can be reached at 510 528-4788.
I highly recommend Linea Larsen. She has an office on Marin Avenue in Albany. She is a very good therapist. She has training in EMDR (Rapid eye movement therapy) for trauma therapy and is skilled in general family-issue therapy. She helped me with my parenting issues and post-partum depression. She charges on a sliding scale basis.
Oak Creek counseling center has qualified licensed therapists. They also have licensed interns that have a lower rate than a licensed therapist. They have offices in Albany, Walnut Creek, and Oakland. Their phone number is 942-0812.
To the woman looking for a female therapist: With my whole heart I can recommend the therapist I have been seeing for two years, Heather Parrish (IMF 27343- I think means she is an 'intern', i.e, while she has completed her studies, she is still under supervision and must log in a certain number of hours before she gets her full qualification). She practices at the Gateway Institute, Berkeley, 845-1790. Her approach to counseling is somewhat unconventional -- she empahsizes that therapy is about making life as beautiful as it can be, rather than fixing 'problems.' She emphasizes the present moment, rather than uncovering deep roots in the past. (this does not mean that we gloss over the difficult or painful...) She is wonderfully compassionate and insightful.
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