Couples counselor for parenting a kid w/mental health issues

Hello Hivemind,

I have a kiddo with mental health challenges (officially diagnosed with Disruptive Mood Disregulation Disorder).  We've been struggling for years in spite of getting various types of support, and we're exhausted.  One year into this pandemic and we (the parents) need couples support more than ever.

I'd love recs for counselors/therapists.  We have Kaiser (for what it's worth) yet are willing to pay out of pocket.


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I highly recommend Damian Cassels-Jones at Kaiser Richmond. He is absolutely brilliant, astute, kind and compassionate.

I’m not sure if he is available for this specifically, but I know he sees adolescents and adults. If he’s not available for exactly what you need, I’d at least trust any recommendation he makes.

Good luck! 

I'm sorry that you are in this situation--it's really hard. I would recommend reaching out to Clearwater Counseling in Oakland. They are a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) practice, which focuses on strengthening emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and other skills that are useful for people who act impulsively based on emotions (I'm oversimplifying). Clearwater has different types of programs--we did the Comprehensive DBT program for teens, which involved a weekly skills-based class, individual therapy for the teen, and "parent coaching" for the parents. The parent coaching isn't really couples therapy, but they can help couples come together and agree on parenting strategies so that you aren't undermining each other. Not everyone does the "comprehensive" program--they have other arrangements. DBT was invented for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, which has a lot in common with DMDD. (I suspect DMDD is what they call borderline personality disorder in younger kids, but I'm not sure.) 

Clearwater might have a waiting list--I would get on it while you pursue other options. Good luck!