Find & Keep the Love You Want
Our SF East Bay Relationship and Sex Therapists can help you cultivate the partnership you desire.
East Bay Premarital Counseling
The North Berkeley Couples Therapy Center helps partners from all over the San Francisco Bay Area via our specialized therapy program in pre-marital counseling. Our premarital therapy is designed in a six-session format to help you prepare for your wedded life together in your marriage or as a formally committed couple. Our highly trained marriage and premarital counselors will assist you in exploring and addressing your main areas of concern before the big day.
While it is easy to get caught up in preparing for one of the most important days of your life, it is vital to also lay down a strong foundation of communication, trust and intimacy to cultivate a sustainable and healthy marriage. We know that ultimately you want your marriage to be even more wonderful than your wedding day.
Our Premarital Therapy Program & Private Premarital Intensives consist of empathic support via structured discussions, practice exercises and bonding techniques. The six to eight hours you spend in your Premarital Counseling Program will allow you to deepen intimacy while utilizing techniques to cultivate responsive listening, conflict management skills, and negotiation/boundaries tools to ensure you enter your marriage .
Of course everyone enters into marriage filled with hope and a strong desire to make the relationship a healthy, happy and lasting success. The unfortunate news is that between 40-50% of marriages end in divorce; this is largely due to the couples not being armed with the tools that it takes to make a relationship work...The tools needed for a healthy and lasting relationship consist of communication skills, trust and validation techniques. Couples are often not prepared to handle conflicts and struggles that may arise later in the relationship without establishing a solid foundation of relationship skills and tools.
It is typical for the majority of newly weds to have some challenges in adjusting to each others' personality differences or family of origin dynamics. Communication and relationship skills are not often modeled in society and must be learned through supportive experiences such as pre-marital and marriage counseling. Couples Therapy can assist partners navigate the logistics of parenting, managing money and long-term goals personal and professional goals.
At The North Berkeley Couples Therapy Center, we have identified the skill set that engaged couples and newly weds must have in order to cultivate a successful and healthy marriage. In our work together, you will learn the skills necessary to make your marriage last. Through the process of premarital therapy, you and your fiancé will develop intimacy, trust and deeper appreciation of one another and will be well on your way to success!
I am most interested in helping people to cultivate loving intimate relationships, whether that relationship is to one’s own self or with others. Intimacy and love begin with ourselves and then extends into our connections with others. To have compassion for others, first requires to have self-compassion.
Dr. Nelsen is a Psychological Assistant employed by Dr. Miguel Hidalgo-Barnes, Psy.D. Her interests include Emotionally Focused Therapy, AEDP, Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), relationships, sexuality, attachment, parenting, deepening communication and intimacy.
Psychological Assistant # PSB37421
Dr. Anya is a clinical sexologist who works with San Francisco East Bay individuals and couples issues specifically around sexuality from a sex-positive, non-judgmental and shame-free paradigm of healing.
sShe teaches adult sexuality education classes, workshops and retreats in the Bay Area and beyond and has a private clinical sexology practice specializing in individual and couple's sexual heath and wellness. Dr. Anya has her DHS - Doctor of Human Sexuality - degree from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, is certified as a Sex Educator, Clinical Sexologist, Sex Coach, Somatic Sex Educator and Holistic Health Counselor and is trained in the Gottman Method Couple's Therapy (Level 1) and Restorative Justice & Diversity Education.
For over a decade, I have been providing therapy to diverse populations while working in community based non-profit organizations, several public and private Bay Area schools, as well as in my own private practice. I have successfully helped individuals, couples and families experience healing through therapeutic services such as Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, Support Groups, Teaching Mindfulness Techniques, and the use of Guided Imagery.
AMBER SCHEVON, LMFT #52498
I specialize in working with couples who have significant job stress, chronic illness, and personal histories of trauma. When the world outside speeds by at 100 mph, I’ll help you and your partner slow down enough to truly experience what you’re feeling deep-down and share those parts of yourselves with each other in a clear, congruent, and open way. I’ll also help you see where and why you get stuck – as well as how to get unstuck and reconnected when it happens.
I help couples identify where and how they are feeling stuck with one another and guide couples in communication and listening skills to make sure the feelings and concerns discussed are accurately expressed, received and truly understood. I have been in practicing in the Bay area for over 5 years and am trained in psychodynamic therapy, AEDP, and existential therapy.
Ava is a Psychological Assistant to Dr. Miguel Hidalgo-Barnes.
My work is engaging and relational at its heart, and aims to help people body themselves with a sense of security and vitality so to enhance the connections they generate within their relationship(s).
Growing ways of being able to respond “in the moment” instead of out of habitual or inherited ways of being in relationship is something that Somatic work, in particular, gains some traction where couples are otherwise looping in patterns that feel repetitive or stuck somehow.
East Bay Couples & Sex Therapist, Marriage Counselor & Individual Psychotherapist, Interpersonal Dynamics Coach for Stanford University MBA Program.
I am licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC 49634. I have Couples Therapy Specific Training with the Couples Institute, Couples Therapy Specialty Training (CIP), and Tavistock Group Relations Conference (GREX). My clinical experience includes (designing and) running the Family Program at Bayside Marin, an addiction treatment program. I’ve created in clinical training intern program and trained other therapists.
I love helping partners resolve and transcend conflicts, create shared visions, and build more love, trust and respect in their relationships, and make an impact on the world via their relationship and business enterprise. I help them transform conflict into connection, create powerful alignment between values and actions, and generate more momentum to achieve their goals. I’ve helped many partners create an inspiring personal and professional partnership. I fascinated and awe-inspired by how we can transform ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us; and I think we need to do both throughout our lives.
I work with couples and individuals to empower themselves around their sexuality and to deepen intimacy in all their relationships. I especially love helping couples who find themselves feeling disconnected or in sexless relationships to re-awaken passion and desire so they can experience more love, pleasure, and hotter, juicier sex!
Lafayette & Berkeley East Bay Sex Therapist & Couples Counselor
Amy Jo Goddard is a Sexual Empowerment Coach & Renown Author. She guides people in connecting to their full sexual expression and intimate understanding of themselves. She earned her Master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education from New York University and has over 20 years of experience in the sexuality field. As a renowned speaker and teacher, Amy Jo travels to colleges, communities, and conferences teaching classes and offering keynotes that help people to connect the dots around sexuality and money, expand their creativity, grow their confidence and learn to be bigger in their relationships, in business, and in the world. She delivered her TEDx talk “Owning Your Sexual Power” in March, 2014 in Napa Valley, was named one of GO! Magazine’s “100 Women We Love” in 2010 and one of Kinkly’s ”100 Sex Blogging Superheroes” in 2013.
Beth Nelsen, MA is a life coach, activist, world traveler, lecturer and an internationally acclaimed award winning documentary filmmaker. Her work juxtaposes her personal passions and experiences pertaining to social impact, Native American and Latinx cultural identity, LGBTQ rights, adoption issues and authentic storytelling.
In her coaching, Beth helps individuals and families get in touch with their personal narratives, develop and meet personal or creative goals, and explore their personal power as people of color, adoptees and/or LGBTQIA+ identified folks. She assists parents in understanding the perspective of their queer or adopted children. Beth also helps people with artistic blocks, personal identity issues and other matters of the heart.
I incorporate and teach mindfulness and somatic (body-oriented) techniques and skills into sessions to help my clients gain mastery over their minds and to get into better connection with their bodies and emotions. The results include feeling less stressed and more focused, confident, optimistic, and effective in life and in relationship. I am especially skilled at working with both individuals and couples who are struggling with emotional intimacy and sexual concerns, interpersonal conflicts and challenges, and/or addictive behaviors.
Dr. Ormiston has been working in the field of psychology since 2003. She received her doctorate and master’s in psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Barnard College in New York City. She has worked in outpatient, intensive outpatient, residential, community mental health, and university counseling settings over the last ten years. In addition to working with couples, she also enjoys working with individuals and has additional interests in the areas of identity, the body, gender, disordered eating, and trauma.
As a therapist informed by existential and holistic approaches, I strive to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and its treatment, and I truly believe we all have the ability to enhance our well-being by working hard for ourselves with the help of each other.
Bethany Gurrola is a Certified Birth & Postpartum Doula, Youth Empowerment Coach, and professional Henna Artist & Life Coach. As your Doula, I will support you in every choice you make for your family. I am here to provide evidence based information and comfort measures that will help ease the discomfort of labor and help welcome the serenity of birth in which ever form that may be. I will help you and your partner come together to make a birth preference sheet of all of the things important to you for whatever avenue your birth may go. I like to focus a lot on connection and the mind set needed for birth, as well as bringing up the tough questions that really make you think, so you feel confident in times of change or stress.
I hear you. I see you. I support you.
Terra Pepper, is on our Admin Team and is the Head Intake Coordinator. She is also an Independence Facilitator at Napa Valley Unified School District and specializes in working with kids on the Autism Spectrum.
In 2009 I was certified as a nutritional therapist. I had learned a lot about holistic nutrition over the years, but I was looking to gain the deepest understanding possible. I found the program I was seeking with the Nutritional Therapy Association. They taught me how to discover each client’s individual health needs through both in depth consultation and physical assessment.
My most recent training has been in holistic approaches to hormonal imbalance. When I began to learn about the intricacies of male and female hormones a light went on! I was immediately intrigued because I had found a way that I could support my clients on a deeper level.
Dr. Laura Pucci is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Berkeley, Pleasant Hill and Oakland. She provides individual, couples, and family therapy to effectively improve relationships, emotional expression, communication and overall psychological well being.
Dr. Hidalgo-Barnes is a licensed clinical psychologist who is trained in Gestalt Therapy, and CBT. He specializes in helping men with issues related to anger, relationships, gender and mental health. He employs three psychological assistants, including Dr. Christina Coto.
After more than twenty years in this field, I advise professional athletes, public education, and support both naturopathic and medical doctors as a nutritional supplement consultant. I’ve always loved being active. At any given time I was out climbing rocks or trees, surfing, rafting, hiking, snowboarding, or rollerblading. Throughout my life several of my loved ones have been unwell or clinically obese. My goal was to inspire them and help them learn how to take care of themselves. While gathering as much knowledge as I could to help them, my passion eventually turned into a lifestyle, and then eventually into my profession as a personal trainer and wellness coach. I was certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and I am currently pursuing a Masters in Kinesiology with a focus on exercise science, wellness, & nutrition.
I am a licensed psychotherapist providing counseling and psychotherapy to adults, couples and teens. I offer a holistic depth orientated approach and specialize in helping people create more meaningful fulfilling lives. I have training in Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy.