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

Articles

Why Opening to Vulnerability Improves Relationship

Matt Ahrens, couples therapist in Los Gatos, CA
Matt Ahrens, MFTi

Relationships are fascinating. Two people come together with high hopes and positive emotional connections. Then, over time, some of the initial attraction wears off and conflict arises. Communication wanes. There are arguments. Needs aren’t getting met. The relationship isn’t as fulfilling as it once was, or maybe it isn’t fulfilling at all anymore. The relationship might hit a crisis like an affair or an argument that went too far. There is talk of breaking up. Neither wants to continue like this.

If you relate to any of that description, I want you to know that I’ve helped many couples in situations like yours. You can overcome it. Together we can work through the crisis, address root causes, and build a new, healthy, positive, and fulfilling relationship. Nothing is guaranteed, but I know that it is possible and I’d like to help you.

I am a natural mediator. In couples work, that looks like making sure each person is being heard and that the process is fair to both. I listen for each person’s interests that are at the heart of their positions, and I often find a lot of agreement between the couple that each is missing. I’m adept at working with every personality type and all of the different combinations of personalities that form in relationships.

I am a graduate of the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Integral Counseling Psychology program. Prior to becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, I was a life/relationship/executive coach and mediator for many years. I have also worked in technology, large corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and government. I often lead trainings in the Enneagram personality system.

Office Location

2120 Market Street, Suite 208
San Francisco, CA 94102

Clodagh O'Herlihy, couples therapist in San Francisco
Clodagh O’Herlihy, MFT

Clodagh understands how much courage it can take a couple to collaborate with a therapist. She has a warm and grounded approach inviting clients to feel more at ease and safe in her presence. Her intention is to support couples explore their differences and their love for each other. In her work, Clodagh is client-centered and focuses her attention on the couple’s specific goals. Whether couples are challenged by communications, intimacy, sexual challenges, cross cultural issues, parenting, or infidelity, Clodagh focuses on the strength of the couple while inviting an exploration of any unconscious stuck patterns that block the flow of love. Her specialized expertise working with anxiety, addiction, depression, and trauma also helps her to further understand deeper emotional struggles.

Clodagh is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. She is also a certified clinical hypnotherapist by the national board of hypnotherapists. Her work explores the relationship between the mind, body, and spirit. To this end, she incorporates an array of influences: EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), Gestalt therapy, mindfulness therapy, hypnotherapy, and Hakomi therapy.

Office Locations

1 Hallidie Plaza #700
San Francisco, CA 94102

361 Kipling St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

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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

Why Fighting Over Who’s Right Is The Wrong Approach

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

Daniela Koenig, couples therapist in San Francisco
Daniela Koenig, MFT

Daniela is passionate about helping couples create the relationship they want. We learn “how relationships work” from our families and society at large. These examples often lead us to adapt patterns and communication styles that encourage us to hide feelings and teach us to react to our partner. Often couples want closeness but instead fight, blame, withdraw, and defend, leading them to feel lonely. Not knowing how to stop or do something different, couples get stuck, which kills the spark, love, and passion that initially drew them to each other. It takes courage to be intimate and real in relationship.

Couples counseling is a place to take a deep breath, assess, and reconnect. Daniela meets every couple where they are and helps them recognize what is working and what isn’t. She provides couples with resources to shift into more effective listening to what their partner is saying and ways to communicate clearly. She has experience working with couples in all stages of relationship, with a particular focus on premarital counseling, giving couples the tools they need to create solid foundations for lasting, loving partnerships.

Daniela is a licensed MFT with an MA from JFK University. Of biracial background and having grown up in Europe, she is particularly sensitive to cross-cultural issues. Her work and passion for couples counseling is deeply rooted in mindfulness and informed by Hakomi and Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Office Location

870 Market St., Suite 986
San Francisco, CA 94102

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

Talia Abraham, couples counselor in San Francisco
Talia Abraham, MFT

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Relationships can be a source of great joy and ease, and at times a source of great despair and loneliness. When couples face continuing obstacles such as distrust, disconnection, ongoing arguments, lack of intimacy, and more, it can be hard to remember what brought you together in the first place. Sometimes all a couple needs is that caring hand to point them back toward the beckoning lighthouse, shining the way back to that familiar feeling of being together, connected, and secure. Talia is passionate about her work with couples, helping them overcome such obstacles by revivifying that essential source of curiosity and care that binds people together. She finds inspiration in supporting couples to heal, create their desired change, and move toward a deeper and more loving relationship.

Talia is warm and compassionate, down to earth and practical. Her practice is composed of couples from various backgrounds and cultures and an array of identities, and she has much experience working with bicultural, multicultural, and biracial couples. Her work is informed by an integrative approach, weaving and combining a mind-body interface with mindfulness and contemporary science. Talia mainly draws from the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Hakomi, and Psycho-physical therapy. She specializes in working with couples who wish to grow together, moving out of codependency while keeping a healthy sense of individuality.

Talia holds a master’s degree in psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, a master’s degree in animal assisted therapy, and a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from Ben Gurion University, Israel. She offers therapy both in English and Hebrew. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Office Location

3150 18th St., Suite 450
San Francisco, CA 94110

Abby Per Lee, couples counselor in San Francisco
Abby Per Lee, MFT

Abby has been practicing psychotherapy for more than 10 years. Her approach is interactive and goal oriented, and couples will leave their first session with her armed with practical skills to help alleviate tension. From there, the objective is to help each partner feel safe, valued, and loved so that the couple can move forward into a happy and healthy relationship. Central to this aim is teaching new ways of communicating.

Abby believes that the intimacy and connection in a healthy love relationship sustains and nourishes us. The relationship becomes a place to be comforted and reenergized. However, when the relationship is troubled, in any way, it creates a ripple effect that can feel destabilizing. This can happen rapidly, and often each partner has little or no understanding of what really went wrong. Abby will help illuminate destructive patterns and issues that brought the couple to this tough place and help teach new ways of interacting. These new skills can then be used to continue nourishing the relationship and help to mitigate future problems.

Abby is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Sofia University. She has extensive postgraduate training in couples therapy through The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, as well as Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy training with Dr. Susan Johnson.

Office Location

322 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118

Erika Bennett, MFTi, couples counselor in San Francisco
Erika Bennett, MFTi

Erika approaches the therapeutic relationship from a somatic (meaning “of the body”) orientation and taking a 360-degree point of view of who you are emotionally, intellectually, physically, sexually, energetically, spiritually, materially, cosmologically (you name it!) with genuine curiosity and acceptance. In working with you as a couple, we explore the dynamics of what makes your relationship tick and what keeps it out of balance. We learn how to use this information as a rocketship of empowerment in healing old wounds, developing a relationship with yourself—first and foremost—and therefore creating a more satisfying and fulfilling relationship between you and your partner.

Erika draws from her education and training in somatic psychology, business management, design and architecture, dance, athletics, authentic movement, Ayurveda, Yoga, Reiki, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples.

Many of the people who come to work with her are actively seeking change and support in who they are as couples, as individuals, as those on a healing path, a spiritual path, or just on a path to living a more peaceful and integrated life of wholeness.

Office Location

870 Market St., Suite 460
San Francisco, CA 94102

Daniel Clifford, MFT, San Francisco couples counselor
Daniel Clifford, MFT

Daniel believes that the scariest and, simultaneously, most rewarding thing someone can do is be open and vulnerable with the person they love and care about the most. Our culture doesn’t give us much practice in communicating this way, which puts us in a situation of having to learn as we go. Daniel holds that being authentic and vulnerable provides people with what they need and have been missing: connection and intimacy with their partner.

Daniel’s approach is heart centered, and he often gives couples a few sessions to explore and deepen before moving forward. Twentieth-century psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott said, “It is a joy to be hidden, but a disaster not be found.” As individuals we become masters at protecting ourselves and hiding from one another. When we move into intimate relationships with our partners, it initially can be really easy because of the infatuation of love. A normal relationship becomes challenging and a bit of a struggle as the initial stages wear off, and we are faced with wanting to be found, and have not yet realized we are still hiding.

Daniel’s background is in depth and archetypal psychology, with a Master of Arts degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute. He integrates several methods into his work, including Emotionally Focused Therapy and Hakomi. As a certified yoga instructor, Daniel enjoys connecting the body to its emotions. He feels the body does its best to balance out the energy of relationships and often uses it to help inform therapy sessions. Daniel encourages mindfulness as a practice and feels that best way to move forward is to slow down.

Office Location

2225 Union St., Suite 3
San Francisco, CA 94123

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

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

870 Market St., Suite 986
San Francisco, CA 94102