General Psychotherapy

Introduction

A Step Forward has served the Bay Area community for over thirty years and is widely recognized for our experience, competency, and compassion. Our therapists, who specialize in the treatment of trauma, are deeply attuned to concerns about emotional health and life challenges, and are sensitive to issues of culture, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Whether you are needing assistance as an individual, couple, or family, we are here to guide you through your challenges and help free you to live life to its fullest.

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

 Individual Therapy

Are you currently experiencing difficulty in one or many aspects of your life? Are you feeling depressed, going through a challenging situation, or unsure about where your life is heading or how to get where you wish to be? Are you yearning for an opportunity many of us long for but rarely have: to be seen, understood, and truly met? Individual therapy can provide this opportunity. In a safe, caring, and confidential environment, you and your therapist work together to discuss and define your goals for treatment and take steps towards meeting those goals. While the process and outcome of therapy is different for everyone, some things that our clients successfully navigate include:

 

• Moving toward a more positive outlook on life

• Learning tools to overcome self-defeating patterns

• Managing excessive stress, anxiety, and depression

• Defining needs and moving toward one’s life’s potential

• Choosing and nurturing healthy personal and business relationships

• Finding one’s true self and learning to live authentically

CHILD & ADOLESCENT

Child & Adolescent

Child Therapy

Children often express their inability to manage stress very differently than adults. If your child is showing signs of erratic, combative, or otherwise inexplicable behavior changes, you may be concerned and unsure how to help. A Step Forward’s therapists will team with you, your child, and possibly other professionals in your child’s life, to identify causes and design and monitor supportive intervention strategies. Our individualized and targeted approach is based on your child’s age, developmental level, temperament, learning style, verbal abilities, and your family’s overall needs. You know your child better than anyone, so we consult with you throughout the process while continually providing clarification and transparency.

 

Young children, most of whom are unable to skillfully express their struggles in words, often enjoy the highly effective combination of play and talking used in therapy. Our gentle approach allows us to make sense of your child’s thoughts and feelings. When behaviors and symptoms are more complex, we also provide psychological assessment to further clarify the underlying reasons for your child’s difficulties. In all instances, our primary goals are:

 

•  Understanding your child’s struggles

•  Formulating clear and effective intervention strategies

•  Increasing your child’s capacity to play more, worry less

•  Ending debilitating power struggles

•  Working with you to help your child thrive

Adolescent Therapy

 

Adolescence is a transition period from childhood to adulthood. As an adolescent, you may be facing challenges including school stress, peer pressure, bullying, or overuse of technology or substances. You could be struggling with gender, sexual, and identity confusion, involvement in harmful or illegal activities, or even familial challenges such as, divorce, illness, or the death of a family member. Sadly, you might even be a victim of domestic or sexual abuse. These and other issues can cause deep emotional stress, sadness, fear, anxiety, depression, and anger. While life is certainly filled with beautiful, fulfilling moments, at times it can seem that the “bad things” are all that exist.

 

All people experience emotional challenges, and there is no shame in asking for assistance during tough times. If you want a supportive, more neutral third party to offer guidance during this challenging “in-between time,” we are here to help. Our therapists offer a comfortable, supportive environment to help you define a stable and enriching path forward. We respect and honor that you are a unique individual, and our personalized guidance will help you:

 

•  Identify and act on your life’s goals

•  Choose and nurture healthy relationships

•  Make positive choices and establish clear boundaries

•  Learn to accept worry and stress and use it to your advantage

•  Create life tools to help you survive and thrive in the future

COUPLES THERAPY

Couples Therapy

If you would like help with your relationship, we offer couples counseling to sort things out and improve your communication and connection. The dynamics that occur in couple relationships can often activate unresolved feelings from childhood. Such activation can hijack your ability to stay present and resolve current conflict. Getting clear on what you are experiencing and what each of your needs are, and learning to communicate those needs, can create greater closeness, strength, and unity. This can lead to a more exciting and enriching life for both of you.

 

Our therapists possess a wide variety of expertise, and together we will determine the most well-suited choice for you and your partner. Our therapists are skilled in same-sex relationships, LGBTQ challenges, as well as issues that can arise with interracial couples.

 

•  Understand one another better

•  Feel safer to be yourself

•  Learn skills to navigate conflict

•  Create deeper emotional connection

•  Feel more joy and commitment

FAMILY THERAPY

Family Therapy

Family is everything. They commit to us, stabilize us, and give us a place to belong, feel safe, and use as a foundation to build a wider community. We feel supported by them as we to go into the world and tend to our daily lives. But sometimes family conflict and confusion interfere with our sense of family well-being. We can help you get your family back on track. We can guide you to listen, learn, and develop the tools to deal with conflict, impatience, guilt, yelling, estrangement, and overwhelm. Family should nurture and sustain you. Let us help in the transition to more ease and fun.

 

Family therapy can be especially effective when problems are identified and everyone participates in the solution. As a third party neutral guide we can help your family communicate compassionately and understand how each family member is doing emotionally. We can support you in developing the tools to resolve impasses.

 

Commitment tends to come back as communication improves and conflict resolves. As new skills are mastered, your family can better tune into one another. Should your family require it, our therapists have extensive experience with many issues that makes family life even more difficult and possibly harmful, including anger and violence, addiction, and sexual abuse. Without judgment and with our full attention, we can help you identify what and where the problems are and help you come back to the happy family you were intended to be.

 

•  Identify the issues

•  Create greater cooperation

•  Learn effective tools to avoid the battles

•  Manage conflict

•  Deepen the joy

GROUP THERAPY

Group Therapy

Research demonstrates that group therapy is as beneficial, if not more effective, than individual therapy for improving our lives. By sharing your story and challenges with a group of people who have similar struggles, you can heal and transform from self-limiting behaviors to greater expression of your strivings.

 

Group therapy also improves our sense of community while reducing stigma, isolation, and feelings of alienation. Our group therapists encourage an environment of respect, empathy, and positive communication between members, with the goal of creating a supportive atmosphere and consistent relationships.

 

•  Move from isolation to connection

•  Learn to stay connected

•  Discover you

•  Take risks