Need Recommendations for a Family Therapist


I am reposting this in hopes that I'll receive some replies since no one replied last month when I originally posted this.  I am asking for recommendations for a good family therapist.  I am assuming folks were on vacation or otherwise too busy to reply.  So, I am asking again as my search continues for a family therapist and I'd prefer to get a personal recommendation from someone who experienced working with him or her.  Thanks in advance!


My family needs family therapy.  I feel it is long overdue. I have a 15-year-old son who says HE wants our family to get some family therapy. Our communication issues are many.  My husband can have an explosive temper which makes discussing things as a family sometimes very difficult.  I've known my husband for a very long time and know he has experienced many traumas in his life and that he would deeply benefit from therapy.  He has always rejected the possibility of therapy - even getting couples therapy, always claiming we don't have the money which has sometimes been true but not so much now. 

However, upon hearing from our son that he would like us to go to therapy as a family, my husband has (miraculously) agreed to go.  So, I would love any recommendations anyone may have for a good family therapist and also would love to hear anything (good/bad) about any of the following therapists whose names have been given to me by a high school mental health professional:

Davida Cohen, MFT (Pinole)

Jay Smith, LCSE (Oakland)

Judy Levey (Walnut Creek)

Richard Bush, Ph.D. (Oakland)

Thank you in advance!

Parent Replies

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Dean Lobovitz, my son saw him throughout high school & beyond. He is our family therapist who can also recommend someone if he isn’t available. I wish you & your family all the best. 

Hi there. I don't have a specific recommendation for you, but I do have some advice based on 5 years of experience bringing many therapists in and out of my young adult daughter's life. It is not an easy task! And in a worst-case scenario, you can do more harm than good by bringing in the wrong person. On the flip side, you also risk diminishing the confidence of your family members if you introduce too many people (like a revolving door). I'm sorry if that sounds jaded, but we have really just been through the ringer and I have met quite a few parents who feel the same. All that being said, I have the following advice:

1) Given most therapists don't take insurance (and it is not cheap), if $ is a consideration, make sure you are looking at providers who are covered under your insurance. It will save you time up front.

2) Therapists are overburdened right now so finding a good one who has availability will likely be super hard. Even so, if you find someone you think you would like (but who doesn't have an opening), ask them for a recommendation. They will sometimes be able to give you another name or two.

3) It is really important that you all feel comfortable talking to this person and that can be a challenge. Many therapists will do an initial consultation for free which I would highly recommend. It can give you a good feel for the person.

4) Take your time to find someone who meets your needs. I know this is hard when things are not going well, but I promise you that it is worth the wait.

And finally, if you do a search through past BPN topics, I think you will find some good recommendations.

Best of luck. I’m sorry for what you are going through.