Susan Berger MFT, Psychotherapist, Marriage and Individuals Counseling

Psychotherapy for Individuals

Some Questions You Might Have About Psychotherapy:

How do I know if I need therapy?

Is there a way that you feel unfulfilled, depressed, anxious, isolated, driven, or out of touch with yourself that nothing seems to help? Perhaps you have tried to fix things on your own, but that hasn't worked. It may be difficult to talk with those around you about what is troubling you. You may feel criticized, misunderstood, inarticulate, or that you are boring or burdening others. You might notice yourself finding unproductive or destructive ways of coping such as withdrawal, denial, addictions, avoidance or by being overly controlling.

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What would individual therapy be like?

We start by addressing what it is that is troubling you, or if you can't pinpoint it, we start with whatever is on your mind. It might seem awkward to be talking to a stranger, but there are a lot of benefits. You are not required to worry about my needs, and my responses will be accepting, interested and non-controlling. You will be encouraged to let me know if ever I feel otherwise to you. My job will be to recognize your uniqueness and understand your dilemmas. As you are moved to open up more, we will collaborate in finding meaning in what you share, and in doing so, uncover what is authentic, creative, joyful and loving inside of you.

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I need help, but doesn't dwelling on the pain make it worse?

This is a common misconception. In my experience it is the attempts to deny what is painful that makes life difficult. What we try to control, controls us. It is true that particular phases of therapy can be painful, because of the importance of reclaiming feelings that we once had to distance from. But those who go through that process are grateful that they were willing to do so, and experience themselves in new and life-affirming ways.

That being said, another misconception is that in therapy only painful experiences are talked about.  We will also be talking about what is joyful and inspiring.  Therapy can be thought of as a process of integrating your experience of life and includes the full range of emotional possibilities.

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What would my commitment be?

Participating in therapy involves making a commitment to attend weekly 50 minute sessions.  (Some clients opt for more frequent sessions). There is no particular number of sessions you must commit to, however,  change that is deep and siginficant usually requires at least six months.  My rates are reasonable and will be discussed in the initial contact.  If finances are an issue, we can discuss a fee adjustment. 

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How would I get started?

A consultation can assist you in determining whether therapy might be useful for you. We will explore your present situation, needs and questions and concerns about therapy. We will come to understand whether it would be appropriate for you to enter therapy at this time, and if so what kind of therapy and whether or not we would like to work together. If the answer to this is no, I will provide you with referrals for other therapists.

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What is an MFT?

The MFT, or Marriage and Family Therapist, is the license issued by the Board of Behavioral Science of the State of California to therapists who have a Master's degree in Clinical or Counseling Psychology, who have passed both written and oral examinations administered by the Board, and who have completed 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. License renewal requires 36 hours of continuing education every two years. The license allows the MFT. to call themselves a psychotherapist and provide therapy to individuals, couples, families and children. MFT. used to be referred to as MFCC. (Marriage, Family and Child Counselor). The new license recognizes that we are doing, and are qualified to do, psychotherapy rather than simply counseling.

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Where are you located and how do I contact you?

If you are thinking about starting therapy, please feel free to call to discuss this further. I have offices in San Francisco and Walnut Creek. You can reach me (415) 751-6515 or (925) 948-0562. If I do not answer in person, please leave a message and I will call you back shortly.

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therapy-deleteme[at]-deleteme-susanberger [dot] net

San Francisco Office
2354 Post Street
(415) 751-6515

Walnut Creek Office
1415 Oakland Blvd, Ste. 100
(925) 948-0562

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Susan Berger, Marriage and Family Therapist, #MFC21193

photography by Bethanie Hines