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... » Find a Therapist » California » Oakland Therapists » Therapist Profile

Nancy M. Friedman, LMFT

Information About My Practice

I earned a Masters Degree in Counseling in 1976 and obtained my California Marriage, Family, Child Counseling License (now known as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) in 1978, having fulfilled the 3000 supervised hours and passed the re­quired examination. I was a staff counselor for a family servic­es agency from 1976 to 1982 and started my private psychotherapy practice part-time in 1979.

I work with people both through Coherence Therapy or longer, exploratory and supportive therapy, depending on the client’s wishes. The dominant influences in my assessment and work with clients are:

·  Coherence psychology, originally called Depth-Oriented Brief Therapy (Bruce Ecker and Laurel Hulley, http://www.coherencetherapy.org/), which is deeper and briefer than most other therapies but does not prescribe in advance just what that time frame will be;

·  Compassionate (or Non-violent) Communication (Marshall Rosenberg), (http://www.cnvc.org/), which is very compatible with DOBT as a method to learn deep listening and empathizing;

·  Emotional Freedom Technique, in combination with elements of Coherence Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Mindfulness Practice and Focusing;

·  Object relations theory of development, which helps me understand the early childhood family-of-origin issues a client needs to work through to improve self-esteem and relationships;

·  Self-psychology, which is the attempt to understand and empathize with the effect events and people have on the client from her/his perspective.

I place emphasis on both cognitive insight and emotional/experiential work, often using techniques such as visualization and focusing on sensations in the body and breathing to achieve greater awareness. Through this work clients often experience previously unconscious levels of memories that become more vivid. The goal is to integrate perspectives and decisions made during those early experiences into present day reality in order to achieve greater ability to make more desirable choices about how to live life now.

Obviously, there are many factors that add or detract from people's mental health. I invite my clients to consider the balance in their lives of such things as diet, exercise, use of mind-altering substances, and connection to community/spirituality, in the larger picture of their healing.

DURATION

 As desirable as it might be, the duration of therapy is impossible to predict before beginning the work. I am most comfortable seeing people weekly for at least the first three sessions. Although the majority of clients continue on a weekly basis, I am open to other scheduling patterns. Please let me know what time period you have in mind, if any, and I will attempt to help you accomplish your goals in as close to that period as possible. We can do that by staying even more focused in each session on working on very specific issue(s) that you see as problematic, rather than exploring related areas, secondary issues or general history. I recognize that different people want different experiences from therapy, and will keep in mind your preferences.

COUPLES

In my work with couples, I emphasize clarity of communication and increased understanding of and compassion for the impact of such differences as family-of-origin circumstances and cultural- and gender-related socialization on the relationship. This helps people determine whether there is sufficient connection and caring to work through their difficulties. Coherence therapy is also both the “listening device” and method which I use with each individual, helping both people unearth the reasons for the disconnects between them.

My practice includes adults who experience a wide variety of life problems, including specific recent or past trauma as well as long-term issues of low self-esteem and difficulty relating to others. I welcome people who are in recovery in 12 step programs and encourage the use of such programs when appropriate with clients who are unfamiliar with them. In most cases I do not see clients who are in therapy with someone else concurrently, except if I am seeing an individual who is in couple therapy with someone else, or vice versa. If clients come as a couple and want to be seen individually, or come as an individual and want to include a partner, we will mutually discuss whether all parties involved are comfortable with changing the therapeutic relationship in this way. If not, I will be glad to furnish referrals to other therapists.

FEES

My fees are $125 per 50 minute session for individuals and couples, and payment is due at the time of the session. I periodically raise my fees, and will give one month's notice before doing so. Fees are negotiable upon request. I will not raise the fee of a client who cannot continue therapy as a result of the increase.

I charge the full agreed upon fee for a missed appointment, unless I have been notified more than 24 hours in advance by telephone between 9 am and 9:30 pm. This policy is not meant as punishment but as a necessary business practice on my part. Reduced fees are negotia­ble for clear emergency cancellations. If you are ill and not sure whether you will be able to attend a session, please call to notify me as soon as possible; if you feel better, we can usually reschedule at the same time or soon thereafter. If not, neither of us loses time and money. Notice of cancellation on my answering machine is fine; however, please do not call before 9 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m.

If you are being reimbursed by a health insurance policy, I will provide you with a billing statement at the beginning of each month for the previous month. Some plans require a physician's referral for counseling by an MFT; if possible, a written note from the physician is best, with or without direct reference to me. Unless your plan calls for copayments only on your part, I prefer that you are the party being reimbursed, not me. In this case do not sign the line that calls for "assign­ment" of payment, since that means they will send a check to me.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Our sessions are confidential, except in the following situa­tions: Under Tarasoff vs. Regents of the University of Califor­nia, if a therapist becomes aware that a client poses a serious danger of violence to another person, the therapist is obliged to use reasonable care to protect the intended victim against the threatened danger. The discharge of this duty may call for the therapist to warn the intended victim or take whatever other steps are reasonably necessary under the circumstances.

In cases of threatened suicide, the therapist must move to prevent the patient from attempting the contemplated self-harm through clinical interventions. Under Section 1024 of the Evidence Code, the therapist has the right to make disclosures to others who are deemed by the therapist as necessary to notify to prevent a threatened danger such as suicide.

The third type of situation in which confidentiality must be breached is if the therapist has knowledge of or observes a child in her/his professional capacity whom she/he knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. This law does not apply to learning about abuse of an adult when she/he was a child, an adult being a person over the age of 18 in this instance.

The last type of situation occurs when a client signs a waiver of confidentiality when it would be helpful for the therapist to speak with another professional who is familiar with the client, such as a previous therapist, referring physician, or lawyer.

EMERGENCIES

My phone number, 510-653-1384, rings in my home, and I frequently check for messages when I am not traveling. Therefore, under normal circumstances, I greatly prefer being called after 9 am and before 9:30 pm. However, if you are experiencing a crisis and feel that speaking to me would avert further escalation of the problem, particularly if you are planning to harm yourself or another person, please do call me at whatever time that occurs.

I do my best to alert all of my active clients when I will be out of town and for how long. If you would feel comforted knowing the name of a nearby therapist who would be available during my absence, please let me know and I will also alert her to the possibility of a phone call. I often ask this of clients whom I sense would like this backup availability, but don’t always know who to ask, so please feel free to communicate this to me.

Thank you for choosing to work with me. I understand that the choice of a therapist can be a difficult and important task, and will endeavor to make your experience rewarding and fruitful.

Nancy M. Friedman, LMFT, Oakland
 Practice Locations
Oakland, CA 94610
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Last Modified: 1/19/2022  

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