Skillful, Compassionate Therapy in Berkeley

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Marriage Family Therapist?

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are relationship specialists who are trained to work with individuals, couples, families and groups to help them achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social functioning. The practice can include: individual counseling, couples counseling, child and adolescent counseling, family counseling, divorce or separation counseling, and other relationship counseling. Marriage and Family Therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or master’s degree, passage of two comprehensive written examinations, and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience.

What is a registered Marriage Family Therapist Intern?

A registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (MFTI) has completed the related doctoral or master’s degree, is registered with the State of California as an Intern, and is working toward completion of the 3000 hours by practicing psychotherapy under the supervision of a licensed clinician (LMFT, LCSW, Clinical Psychologist).

Does a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern have enough experience to help me?

Our Interns have had many hours of experience as trainees and interns before joining Blue Oak Therapy Center. All of our intern therapists have undergone many hours of additional training in areas of their specialty and/or interest. In addition, their supervisors are required to complete special supervision training once every two years.

Will I lose my therapist when s/he becomes licensed?

No. You may continue working with your therapist after s/he becomes licensed and makes the transition to private practice.

What is a holistic therapeutic approach?

A holistic approach to psychotherapy focuses on the whole person, rather than just the mental/emotional aspects. It emphasizes the functional relationship between a person’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects, as well as social, cultural and environmental factors, in order to help you come into balance and harmony, personally and in relationships, in your own, unique way.

What can I talk about in therapy?

The therapy session gives you the opportunity to talk about any issue that is problematic for you. What you want to work on may change from week to week, or you may wish to delve deeply into one issue or area of your life over a long period of time. Your therapist will hold the space with confidentiality so that you can work at your own pace, in the direction that you want to follow.

How long is a therapy session?

A standard therapy session typically lasts 50 minutes, usually starting at the top of the hour and continuing until 10 minutes before the next hour. Sometimes, couples or family sessions may last 75 or 100 minutes.

How long will my therapy last?

Depending upon your presenting issue(s) as well as the therapeutic style of your therapist, your therapy may last anywhere from a few months to a number of years. You and your therapist will decide together when it feels right for your therapy to come to an end. It is not uncommon for people to take a break from long-term therapy returning to it when they are ready.

What is the Hakomi Method of Body-Centered Psychotherapy?

Hakomi is a gentle and powerful body-centered psychotherapy that uses mindfulness to help clients explore, understand, and change their core mind/body patterns and core beliefs. Hakomi is based on the principle that psychological problems manifest themselves not only in our emotions and relationships, but also in our bodies – in muscular tension, posture, breathing patterns, and energy levels.

The basic Hakomi Method is offered 1) to establish a therapeutic relationship in which it is safe for the client to become aware; 2) to assist clients in noticing their body, thoughts and feelings, which lead to the discovery of deeply held core beliefs; and 3) to help clients experience healthy new beliefs, experiment with new choices, and integrate these discoveries into their daily lives.

Some of our therapists use the Hakomi Method in our work with clients. Please see our therapists’ bios for more information on which therapists incorporate Hakomi into their work.

Our Address
3101 Telegraph Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705
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Clinical director
Roni Gillenson, MA, LMFT#40438