Psychologist: 4y/o with incarcerated parent as specialty

Hello: I reviewed many of the therapists recommended in other threads for young children. I did not see any with "extra" knowledge on a incarcerated parent; and parent with mental illness. I do have divorce and custody added which is important. I am willing to travel. My home base is varied Martinez to Walnut Creek to el sobrante. East bay preferred. I am more then ok with Oakland and others. I just want to help my 4yr old son be able to express his emotions via play therapy and know it is ok. That even though it is intense and our family dynamics are different. He can always tell me or someone else what he needs. Thank you for your thoughts. I am with Kaiser but will pay out of pocket. Again thank you. It takes a village. ~KJ

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I do not know for certain that this doctor has extra expertise in helping children cope with incarcerated family members, but he is definitely worth checking into: Daniel Alterman at Richmond Kaiser.

My experience with him came in the form of a parenting class which I deeply enjoyed. I am planning to set up appointments with him for my 6 year old daughter for anxiety as well. He is truly an empathetic human with deep understanding of children and I really trust his approach.

I would think that many therapists would be able to provide support to a child experiencing loss/absence of a parent. However, if you want your child's therapist to have experience working with children who have incarcerated parents, I would suggest contacting a foster care mental health team to see if any of the therapists there have private practices. 

Good luck!

I highly recommend Katrinca Ford.  Phone number (925) 831-1926 and website:

She has worked with children with incarcerated parents and developed some training materials on the topic for teacher and mental heath staff at Head Start in Contra Costa County while I was working there.  


Thank you both. I have a apt with one kp provider. I will check out Richmond next. Then maybe some of the referrals on this site.  His preschool director is trying to say he has ADHD at 4. then discussed "you Should look into it with mental health illness in his parent." It was hard for me to listen to: I already had a appointment made for his anxiety and questions I didn't know how to answer. She said this 2-3 times in front of him. I know I need to ask her to discuss this privately. I feel a little overwhelmed and out of my league. He only acts "out of control when he hears this." I also work a lot so I don't know if I am a accurate gauge. Thanks again. KJ