San Francisco Couples Counselors

Our marriage and couples counselors in San Francisco are experienced relationship therapists (Marriage and Family Therapists) who specialize in working with couples. They are dedicated to helping you create the relationship you want!

Catherine Singstad, couples therapist San Francisco
Catherine Singstad, MFT

Having been married for 20 years, Catherine knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle and thereby grow in a committed relationship. Healthy relationships require real effort from both partners. Catherine brings her warm, engaged, and directive approach to her couples work and has helped many couples grapple with issues including infidelity; parenting challenges; emotional detachment; chronic fighting, anger, or negativity; lack of trust; family of origin issues; and more. Catherine knows that the path to a healthy connection is not easy to find, stay with, or find your way back to after losing your way. While exploring and working on the challenging issues of your relationship, Catherine will also help you remember and highlight what works in the relationship–what you love and appreciate about each other. You’ll learn ways to strengthen these positive aspects in your daily lives. After working in couples therapy, you’ll have the potential to understand and feel yourself and your partner more deeply; your understanding and empathy will grow; you will relate and respond in new ways; and your relationship can again be a source of comfort and inspiration.

Catherine holds a master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from CIIS in San Francisco and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her work as a couples therapist draws primarily from the modalities of attachment theory and experiential couples therapy. Catherine is a longtime meditator and a mother of two.

Office Location

3646 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Donna Molettiere, couples therapist in San Francisco
Donna Molettiere, MFT

Donna is passionate about helping couples form intimate, loving, and satisfying relationships. She deeply understands the challenge of long-term relationships and uses everything she learns to keep her marriage of 15-plus years alive and thriving. For seven years, Donna coached business leaders in forming empowering and collaborative relationships. She has 10 years of training and education in Somatic Psychology and employs a pragmatic systems approach to her work with couples.

Donna views relationship as a dance, each person impacting the other within a closed system. One can only change how they are participating in the dance; they cannot change the other person. When each individual learns to recognize and change their own part, the whole dance of their relationship changes. Then the couple can choose how they want to dance together and use the tools to create the relationship they want.

Donna received her master’s in Somatic Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies.

Office Location

3646 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Articles

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How to Manage Stress in Your Relationship

Sergio Rodriguez-Castillo, couples therapist in San Francisco
Sergio Rodriguez-Castillo, MFTi

Yes, there is hope. Although it may be hard for you to believe it right now, I have witnessed how couples can work through difficult crises. The end of the honeymoon does not mean the beginning of the end. With commitment and support, fights, lies, and silences can be turned into supportive conversations. Your relationship can become the safe haven you hoped for, a supportive environment where love and growth can take place. You can learn to be in relationship.

Sergio is a bilingual (Spanish) and bicultural psychotherapist with more than 20 years of experience as a therapist, consultant, and coach specialized in diverse couples with mixed backgrounds (nationality, race, religion, age, culture, styles, points of view…) working with them to disentangle personal, existential, relational and family crises. He helps clients with communication issues, infidelity, lack of sexual desire, anger, mixed agendas, money quarrels and problems with children and in-laws; supporting them to get more out of life and their relationship. His work includes all dimensions: body, mind, spirit, heart, and culture, in the context of nature and community.

Sergio is not only a psychotherapist but a trainer of psychotherapists, teaching couples counseling at the California Institute of Integral Studies, holding MAs in Integral Psychotherapy and Comparative Psychology from CIIS in California, an LLM from Warwick University in the UK, a JD from the UAQ in Mexico, and Psycho-Spirituality Studies from the Sadhana Institute in India.

Office Location

870 Market St., Suite 907
San Francisco, CA 94102

618 Athens St.
San Francisco, CA 94112

Gal Szekely, couples therapist in San Francisco
Gal Szekely, MFT

Founder of The Couples Center, Gal has a warm and practical approach that recognizes and honors the best in every person. Gal’s relationship with his wife is the source of inspiration for his commitment to helping couples create thriving relationships. Going through their relationship struggles made him realize how a committed relationship is the most important vehicle for one’s personal growth. Gal has a lifelong dedication to learning and growth and is trained in many different couples counseling methods. He is a teacher in the Hakomi experiential therapy method and his work draws on years of meditation practice and the understanding of the body-mind connection. While working with many couples Gal saw that most relationship issues are the result of thinking that “it should come naturally” and not realizing that in order to make a long term relationship work, one need to learn the right tools and resources. This realization led him to create The Couples Center.

Gal holds a master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from CIIS in San Francisco and a master’s in Social Psychology from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is an experienced speaker and workshop leader, and has led events for tech companies, nonprofits, and universities (including CIIS, JFK, and ITP). His latest talk is called “Sex, love and intimacy – principles for creating successful relationships.”

Office Location

870 Market St., Suite 907
San Francisco, CA 94102

Raia Kogan, couples therapist in San Francisco
Raia Kogan, MFT

Falling in love is one of the most profound experiences of an adult life. Grounding this incredible wave of emotions and experiences into a sustainable and secure relationship with lasting emotional intimacy and sexual passion is a challenge for many couples. Old wounds and traumas can emerge alongside deepening connection and vulnerability. Having a skilled therapist at any stage of a relationship can make a huge difference. Raia believes that a deeply nourishing and satisfying relationship is possible even when there has been past wounding and trauma and feels continually honored to share in and support deeply intimate and tender moments with the couples she serves.

Working together, you will enter a supportive container where she will remind and guide you to slow down, breathe, reconnect with your body, and connect with your deepest desires and longings. You will learn tools to communicate with each other in a more intimate way, to listen to and speak from your heart, and also to receive your partner more fully.

Raia has been working with individuals and couples for 8 years and has completed several advanced trainings in couples therapy, attachment theory, neuroscience, somatics, trauma, and sexuality. She enjoys blending the art and science of psychotherapy, studying evidence-based approaches, and also honoring the deep mystery of the human heart and mind. Her work is informed by two decades of personal practice of yoga and meditation as well as many years of teaching. Raia is experienced in working with diverse couples including LQBTQI, monogamous, and polyamorous couples.

Office Location

870 Market St., Suite 1243
San Francisco, CA 94102

Maya Lane, couples therapist in San Francisco
Maya Lane, MFT

Maya has a natural warmth and a knack for making couples feel comfortable talking about any issue they are struggling with. With 10 years of experience counseling couples and individuals, Maya assists couples to deepen their awareness of the underlying emotions that may be causing conflict in the relationship. She is committed to assisting couples develop meaningful partnerships while staying true to each individual’s sense of autonomy and inspiration.

Maya’s specialties include loss of sexual connection, jealousy, infidelity, and helping couples reshape their relationships into a new configuration that works. She is a sex-positive therapist who helps people feel at ease talking about any relationship issues, and a mother who enjoys working with couples dealing with issues around parenthood.

Office Locations

582 Market St., Suite 1109
San Francisco, CA 94104

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Megan Williams, couples therapist in San Francisco
Megan Williams, MFT

Megan has worked with many couples to identify the conflicts within their relationships. She has helped them move through issues with connection, disengagement, infidelity, chronic fighting, trust, and the challenges of staying intimately connected while parenting. Her style is warm, engaged, and practical. It has evolved from experience in her own long-term relationship as well as her training. Through your work with Megan, you will remember what brought you together and what you love and appreciate about each other, and you’ll learn healthier ways to relate and regain a new curiosity about each other. Megan believes that if we can slow down and pay attention to what’s happening inside ourselves, we can turn toward our partners with a deeper, more compassionate intimacy.

Megan is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from New College of California. She has additional training in DBT, Hakomi, and EMDR for trauma. She is sensitive to working with cross-cultural issues and has worked extensively with people recovering from substance abuse as well as problems with sexual addictions.

Office Location

1801 Bush St., Suite 131A
San Francisco, CA 94109

Articles

The Secret Ingredient to Add Spice to Your Relationship

Joshua Cross, couples therapist in San Francisco
Joshua Cross, MFT

Most couples who come to see me still love each other deeply, but are stuck in communication patterns that often spiral out of control, leaving each individual feeling hurt, angry, sad, lonely and/or misunderstood.
I work first to calm things down by changing the triggering communication patterns and addressing any significant wounds to the relationship (infidelity, broken trust, etc…). Then, if needed, together we’ll explore and heal the deeper issues within each individual that are at the root of these patterns. Most often these issues stem from legacy wounds from our less than perfect upbringing or from challenging past relationships.

My approach is attuned to each couple (think “custom-built” vs “cookie-cutter”) and experiential (we’ll experiment and explore in session, not just sit and talk). I also try to bring in humor and playfulness to my work, as a counterbalance to how heavy therapy can sometimes get.

I hold a M.A. in Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and have been seeing clients since 2003. I am a licensed MFT and have done a ridiculous amount of additional training in individual and couples therapies, movement arts and meditative practices.

Office Location

582 Market Street, Suite 1102
San Francisco, CA 94104

Suzanne Berens, couples therapist in San Francisco
Suzanne Berens, MFT

Suzanne understands that pleas for connection, validation, and understanding in intimate relationships often masquerade as complaints. With warmth and compassion, she helps couples uncover the source of their challenges and develop more skillful ways to communicate. Suzanne knows firsthand that crisis can stress a marriage and test partners’ capacity to cope. But if approached with mindfulness, crisis can also be a portal to deeper intimacy and unspeakable beauty.

Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Love sometimes becomes hidden under stress, which can limit couples’ perspectives and reinforce negative patterns. Suzanne is trained in the Hakomi method and she approaches therapy experientially to help couples tap into a felt sense of what is needed to develop positive patterns of relating and loving. Her work is also informed by training in EFT. She is especially skilled at helping couples connect with and use as strength the qualities that initially attracted each other.

Suzanne holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a transpersonal emphasis from JFK University and is a licensed MFT. She is also a clinical supervisor for graduate students at CIIS. Her work with couples draws from an attachment perspective through years of experience as a therapist for families with young children. Suzanne is a longtime meditator, and her work is informed by her mindfulness practice.

Pauline Wakeham, couples counselor in San Francisco
Pauline Wakeham, LCSW

All too often, it is my experience that problems occur for couples after the “honeymoon phase” has worn off—whether married or unmarried. These problems may not become an issue for some time, or they may become quickly apparent. I help couples get unstuck, identify patterns that are often trained into us when young, let them go, and create new ways of relating.

Pauline is excited by the power and potential of couples for healing, for living and loving, creating repairs and building resiliency. I am an experienced trauma therapist and bring these skills and resources into my work with couples. I help couples move from stuckness and reactivity into the felt experience of love. I use principles of mindfulness to create a safe environment in which to identify the ways we block ourselves, to enhance self-expression, improve communication, heal trauma, and rebuild the relationship.

Couples experience many stresses: financial, caregiver exhaustion, betrayals, the process of getting married, extended-family issues, and sexuality, for example. I help couples deal with these challenges and in the process build stronger bonds, helping the relationship to become a vehicle for transformational change.

Office Location

801 Portola Drive, #207
San Francisco, CA 94127

Bart Hatler, couples counselor in San Francisco
Bart Hatler, MFT

Bart is a couples counselor and psychotherapist with over 10 years of training and experience. He holds master’s degrees in both Counseling Psychology and Spiritual Psychology and works with a compassionate and thoughtful approach. His style draws on a number of traditions and orientations including relational, psychodynamic, existential, humanistic, and transpersonal.

Bart has a special interest in Attachment Theory and attachment-related issues. He has studied attachment issues in couples’ relationships with Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy. He has also completed advanced training in psychoanalytic theory and practice at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. Bart continues to study and investigate new and more effective ways of working with couples and individuals relationally and experientially, and draws on the most recent neuropsychology and neuroscience informing psychotherapy today.

Office Location

2171 Union St., 3rd Floor, Suite 3
San Francisco, CA 94123

Vanita Kunert, couples counselor in San Francisco
Vanita Kunert, MFT

Couples blame and complain seeking to reach their partner but end up withdrawing or fighting. Using a structured approach Vanita assists couples in learning new ways of connecting with each other. In the session Vanita is engaging and interactive using each person’s strengths and helping them identify their tender spots. Creating new ways to experience the original spark of attraction is a key. Navigating the inevitable differences effectively is essential.

Navigating challenging work stress is a key; Vanita draws on 20 years experience working at PG&E as the EAP Manager where she assisted employees and their family members with a wide range of personal and workplace issues.

Vanita draws upon processes from the Couples Institute in Menlo Park which utilizes a developmental approach to couples and also from John Gottman’s Relationship Institute.
Practicing skill building using handouts in the couples counseling session with assignments between sessions is useful in developing new habits.

Vanita is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a masters degree in counseling psychology from John F Kennedy University. She is experienced in working with diverse populations including LGBTQ, monogamous, polyamorous couples and couples recovering from affairs.

Office Location

3150 18th Street, Suite 501
San Francisco, CA 94110

Nicolette Sweeney, MFT, San Francisco couples counselor
Nicolette Sweeney, MFT

I am a Brooklyn native brought to San Francisco one decade ago by a quest for love and personal growth, following a career path of many twists and turns including artist, fashion designer, educator and dance instructor. My personal transformations via many a “dark night of the soul” has led me to my role as licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

I firmly believe that no one is a lost cause. My work has been shaped by the philosophy that at our very essence we have the ability to regenerate, start anew, and move toward happiness and hope.

My work as a “helper” includes 7 years of providing psychotherapy, 8 years of therapeutic mentoring of at-risk youth using the arts and 22 years of spiritual guidance counseling in Buddhist community.

Since 2010, I have worked in a clinical capacity providing individual, couple, child and family therapy in multi-cultural communities using an eclectic approach of Expressive Arts Therapy, attachment-based, Emotionally Focused Therapy and mindfulness. My vow is to work in mutually empowered partnership with my clients toward developing secure, loving relationships with self and other.

Office Location

Sacramento St
San Francisco, California 94109

Annu Sood, MFTi, San Francisco couples counselor
Annu Sood, MFTi

Many couples struggle to bridge across differences. Some would like to improve communication; others may be looking to increase intimacy or perhaps to gain perspective through life changes – an upcoming marriage, a new pregnancy, or maybe adjusting to an empty nest. Many come to couples counseling because of challenges in their relationships. I can help. I work with you to identify and understand the chain of events that led to increasing negativity in your relationship so that you can course-correct. As we develop awareness of these events and of our experience of being in such escalating situations, we can have choice in how we respond. And with choice, we can invite a different relationship with those we love. For some, this may mean deepening in intimacy; for others, perhaps the choice is a move towards separation.

When working with couples, I look at the entire system and also the components of that system. I observe how you interact with you partner, highlighting opportunities for stronger connection and more authentic communication with one another. I work relationally with you, noticing ways in which we interact with one another, as this may inform how you relate with others in your life. I strive to cultivate a relationship with you and your partner that is honest and direct, yet gentle. I can help you understand how you got to where you are, and, perhaps more importantly, how to move towards where you would like to be. After all, passionate communication is an essential part of a healthy long-term relationship. I will help you learn how to bring compassion into your communications while still speaking your truth. I will work with you to help you understand your partner’s wants and needs better, and to help you notice how you express your own wants and needs.

I hold a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where I specialized in Gestalt Therapy. Before becoming a psychotherapist, I worked in the corporate sector for nearly two decades. I hold an undergraduate degree from Duke University in Engineering. I also have a Master’s on the business side, also from Duke. I have a multi-cultural background that greatly informs the ways in which I move in the world. My parents were immigrants to the United States in the early 1970s, and I was raised in a small town in North Carolina. Being a Third Culture Kid (TCK) greatly impacted my upbringing and has been a strong point in helping me bridge across difference.

Office Location

110 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Shena Jade Jensen, MFT, San Francisco couples counselor
Shena Jade Jensen, MFT

Being in a committed partnership can be profoundly challenging and simultaneously the most important need in our lives. When it’s good we feel we can handle anything in the world, and when it isn’t meeting our needs we can feel like the ground beneath us is crumbling. Shena works with couples to reconnect them in the place where it feels like even the most insurmountable challenges can be faced together again. The challenges that come up can look different in the various stages of relationship, whether you are just considering commitment, have been together for many years, or are going through a profound change such as having children.

Whether you’re constantly fighting, continually coming up against a pattern of dissatisfaction or not getting your needs met, dealing with a challenging rupture or betrayal, or feeling distant and withdrawn, Shena works with you to understand where you are and how you got here, and to clarify what’s needed to shift. This includes looking not only at what’s not working, but also how to create more of what is working. Shena not only gives couples the appropriate tools and understanding to repair the relationship, but also helps them understand the right timing to implement them. Her approach is direct and deeply caring, and comes from a belief that our relationships challenge us to grow in the most vulnerable places that cannot be accessed elsewhere and thus can be the most scary and difficult work while also the most rewarding.

Shena holds a master’s degree in integral counseling from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and works with couples with a variety of presentations including premarital therapy, trauma, sex issues, betrayal, pregnancy, coparenting, communication challenges, and multicultural backgrounds. Her approach combines Western psychology with Eastern spirituality and utilizes the proven research on the importance of the neurobiology of attachment along with mindfulness and somatic awareness. She has training in The Gottman Method, Imago Therapy, and EFT, and is married with two children.

Office Location

2140 Pierce Street
San Francisco, CA 94115