Therapist for Adult Survivor of Childhood Abuse

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Therapist for partner of abuse survivor

April 2016

My partner of nine years is a survivor of childhood trauma - emotional abuse and possible sexual abuse as well. I'm looking for recommendations for a therapist to work with me on figuring out how to support him, care for myself and our kids, and live in as healthy a relationship as possible, given that he refuses to see a therapist himself. I would love to see someone based in Rockridge, but of course I can travel for the right person.

Thank you, BPN!
Perplexed and Sad

I highly recommend Deb Lyman. She's great at helping partners of high-needs people find ways of supporting the other while staying sane themselves. She's on the Rockridge edge of Berkeley. Good luck! CJ

My post is not hopeful. I was married to a formerly amazing man for 14 years. He had childhood Trauma. He would not see a therapist. I did the therapy for both of us! My opinion now, post-divorce, is that untreated childhood trauma develops into more severe conditions - borderline personality disorder, bi-polar, substance abuse, etc. My ex-husband's decline was very gradual but today he is terribly mentally ill and alcoholic. Need I add that he denies this and blames all his woes on me to this day? I tried to support him and ultimately became somewhat enabling and complicit in hiding his issues and disabilities from the world, and especially from himself.

I have worked hard to untangle my life from his and from his reality which he non-stop forced upon me. I think that I squandered years of my life trying to make him feel better so I would feel better. In my commitment to the marriage I sacrificed myself. I had no bottom line. Well, finally I did. Ultimately I did not want my daughter to learn that this is what a relationship is, this is what it is to be a wife.

There are support groups for families of the mentally ill. I understand that you are not there yet but your partner's refusal to get treatment is a red flag. Your family will suffer along with him. You are on an extremely painful and difficult path. How can you possibly help him if he denies there is a problem? I am so relieved to be free of that hell which was my life with him. Recovering codependent and more

Need therapist for childhood trauma sexual abuse

May 2015

I am ready to work out issues from childhood that are beginning to spiral for this anxious mama and would be so thankful to get recommendations for therapists that specialize in sexual abuse and/or early childhood trauma. I am open to male vs female but I really am hoping to find someone who has a lot of experience in this area.

ready to deal

Good for you, seeking help. As a fellow sexual abuse survivor I understand how major life transitions can be triggering and stir up past trauma. I saw Debra Milinsky for several years and thought she was great. I'm not sure if you need it, but she was able to offer me a sliding scale. Finding a therapist is very personal, don't get discouraged if you don't mesh with the first one you meet. Best of luck to you. Fellow Survivor
Phyllis Rothblatt is a therapist who specializes in addressing childhood trauma and sexual abuse. Her number is 510-325-3077. She has an office on Piedmont Ave in Oakland. She does individual therapy and also runs support groups (and she's wonderful). anon

Therapist for adult male survivor of child sexual abuse

Aug 2014

I am looking for a recommendation for a therapist for a male adult survivor of child sexual abuse. I see some older ones but would like to hear more recent advice. Anon

There is an organization called 1 in 6 that helps adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. If you go to their website they can connect you to a network of therapists who understand this issue. Good luck. Friend of a survivor

Therapist for man sexually abused as child

Oct 2013

A male friend of mine has just started recovering memories of childhood sexual abuse--he's always remembered bits of it, but now memories are flooding back. He's never seen a therapist for the past abuse --or really talked to anyone about it--but would like to see someone now. Can anyone recommend an excellent therapist who is very knowledgeable about sex abuse issues, specifically for men? Oakland, Berkeley or SF preferred. Support groups would also be great. Thanks.

An excellent resource is the national nonprofit organization 1in6 (so named because the statistic is that 1 in 6 men was abused as a child). If you go to their website at, they offer many resources including referrals to therapists who are trained to work with men on this issue. Good luck. Anon

Need a therapist that specializes in incest/abuse

Dec 2012

There are so many therapists out there but I need one whose area of expertise is child sex abuse - and its relationship to marriages and later adult relationships. I need someone VERY well versed not just in trauma or triggers but in helping identify patterns that are taken into the marriage (how it affects intimacy, can lead to infidelity etc). Please advise thanks - looking asap.

You might try Robert Land, he is in the Los Gatos area. I think he specializes in this area but we used him with our son for another set of issues. He is very good. Doesn't take insurance. Henry

Friend was raped long ago, needs help now

Aug 2008

I have a friend who has been in the US several years but is originally from a country in Africa where, many years ago, she was raped, resulting in a pregnancy. She now has a grown son but has never had any kind of boyfriend or other relationship since the rape. The combination of the rape and becoming a mother are obviously the most critical events in her life, yet her focus over the years since these events has been to try to forget the rape, and she's never seen a therapist or anyone to try to help her deal with the rape and the resulting emotional turmoil. Unfortunately the memories continue to haunt her and she's recognizing that it's time to deal with this issue. She loves her son dearly, but is now also struggling with how to tell him the truth, as he is just now pressing for an answer to the question of who his father is (it was a friend of her father, and in that time and culture, the rape was hushed up and the ''friend'' suffered no consequences). I would like very much to help her get some too-long delayed help (she is open to this), so if anyone has advice on therapists, groups, centers, or whatever, I'd be most grateful for information (I should add that she has no healthcare coverage and does not have a high income). Thanks for your help. hurting for my friend

I too was raped long ago, but I have been lucky to get lots of therapy to deal with the post traumatic stress symptoms. I recently ended individual therapy - a huge step for me. I now have a family - a partner and teenage daughter. My family of origin is pretty screwed up - like your friend. I would recommend ISA (incest survivors anonymous) for free services (incest can include ''friends of the family'') - group therapy is also less costly than individual. UC Berkeley often offers very low cost individual therapy with psychology students who are supervised by professionals. EMDR (an eye movement technique) is a terrific method for healing from PTSD. Best of luck to her. M.

I am very sorry to hear about your friend's experience. I know that it can be extremely hard to recover from such a traumatic event. One place she can contact is Community Violence Solutions, formerly Rape Crisis Center. They have offices in Antioch, San Pablo and Marin. Their phone number in San Pablo is 510-237-0177. Also, a type of therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) can be helpful for traumatic events like this. As a licensed psychologist and practitioner of EMDR, I have seen people heal quite well from such experiences in a relatively short amount of time. If she would like to contact me, I can be reached at 510-258-4431. I hope this helps her on her healing journey. Lisa L

I really felt for your friend. Sounded like she could use the help of a therapist. Taryn Thomas was wonderful and insightful, and a tremendous help for me. Her fee was very reasonable. Taryn is in the Berkeley, Albany area, 510-496-6070. Good luck to your friend. anon

If she came to this country as a refugee, she would be eligible for free service through Survivors International (415) 546-2080. Their office is in SF, but they would match her up with a therapist in the area that makes sense for her. If she was not a refugee there are low fee clinics, such as the Wright Institute Clinic in Berkeley, 548-9716, which should start taking new cases next month. Possibly the Women's Therapy Center 524- 4822 would be appropriate for her. Good luck.

I have the name of a therapist who specializes in trauma recovery, which is what your friend survived from the rape years ago. It sounds like your friend continues to experience the flashbacks and possibly other effects of psychological trauma. I am a survivor also. I searched for many years for a therapist who could help me. I finally found Barbara Maynard, who is an expert in this field. I strongly recommend her and for your friend to seek a therapist who specializes in trauma recovery, as not all therapists are well informed. Ms. Maynard works in Berkeley and Walnut Creek. Her phone number is 925-788-9041. anon

Therapist experienced with childhood sexual abuse

Nov 2007

I'm hoping to find a therapist who has extensive experience dealing with childhood sexual abuse, childhood trauma, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am also very interested in someone who utilizes EMDR. It's time to deal with some issues that are affecting my adult relationships. A male or female therapist is fine, but I think a male might be best since I need to learn how to develop trust with men. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. It's time to move, learn how to be happy, and get the most out of life...Thank you. Ruby

Candice P Pattee MFT, Berkeley, 510-849-9010 is a skilled EMDR therapist who treats issues you mention. anon

I can highly recommend Dr. Patricia Banchik who has a small private practice in Rockridge and sees clients primarily on the weekends. She has lots of experience with trauma, works with EMDR and is a great and caring individual. She is also bilingual in English and Spanish. You can reach her at 510-869-4666 Good luck! anon

I would highly recommend Dr. Jill Rodgers-Quaye, Ph.D. She is an excellent, very helpful psychotherapist in Oakland. I found her to be compassionate, straight-forward and easy to talk to. Contact her through her website at Good luck in your therapy! -Been Therapized

Women's group for sexual abuse survivors

June 2005

Hi. I've been with my current therapist for 3 years now. He's wonderful and I've benefited greatly from working with him. However, I've come to a point in my recovery where I need to work on my childhood and adult sexual abuse history. I'm looking for a group setting instead of individual therapy because I feel I would benefit greatly from being with a group of women who have had similar experiences and the group is being guided by a therapist. The only problems that I have encountered while researching this is: A. A therapist that does offer a group for sexual abuse survivors B. A therapist that will take health insurance for a group or has a sliding scale fee I've contacted the rape crisis center, Dr. Brenna Stien (she has a group but doesn't take insurance and I can't afford her rates), JFK Holistic center, Highland Hospital, my health insurance, etc. and I haven't found anyone or anything yet. I have gone to several slaa meetings including slaa meetings for sexual anorexic's and didn't feel comfortable in either meeting format(s). If anyone on this list knows someone that offers such a group and takes blue cross hmo, or has low fee group, please pass their information on. anon

How about ISA (Incest Survivors Anonymous)? As an abuse survivor, you may find their meetings more appropriate (even if you are also dealing with slaa issues), although it is a 12 step program. Also, 12 step meetings tend to vary from meeting to meeting, so you might shop around. I attended ISA meetings for several years and it was a tremendous help- especially the women-only meetings. anon

Seeking a therapist for man who was sexually abused as a child

August 2002

A man I know was sexually abused as a child, and needs a therapist to help him work through related issues. He also seems to have other psychological problems and may have underlying biochemical imbalance/organic disease. Can anyone recommend a male therapist who they think would be talented in handling past sexual abuse issues in a troubled man? Thanks.

I highly recommend Eugene Porter. I beleive he is still in Oakland. He is an expert in the field and has written a book on male sexual abuse. He is a very nice man and a good therapist (I saw him 15 years ago).

I can recommend this website for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse:

Therapist for dear friend who was sexually abused by her father

December 2002

I am writing in for a dear friend of mine who desperately needs to start seeing a therapist to help her deal with the lingering effects of having been sexually molested by her father while she was growing up. She thought she had dealt with all of the issues- but mainly ignored the problem because her dad was out of her life for many years. He is now back in her life and she is realizing that she actually has a lot to deal with- and wants to deal with the issues before she starts having children of her own. She would prefer to see someone who will not insist on confronting her father as the only solution. Oakland/Berkeley therapists are ideal. Thanks for any recommendations you can offer.

An excellent therapist who deals primarily with issues of abuse is Dr. Deborah Joy, PhD. She is in the North Berkeley/Albany area. Her phone number is 510 524-8282.

Its great that your friend wants to do work on her sexual abuse issues. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is a toll free number that automatically connects the caller to the nearest rape crisis hotline. The number is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).In Alameda County the Rape Crisis center is BAWAR (Bay Area Women Against Rape). Their 24 hour hotline is 845-7273. Trained counselors are availible to talk to survivors of sexual assault and their significant others. It is completely appropriate to call and talk to the hotline when in crisis about a sexual assault issue, no matter when the abuse and/or rape occured. The BAWAR office is in Oakland and they have listings of local therapists who focus on healing from sexual assault. BAWAR also offers free, short term, individual peer counseling. They may also be holding support groups for survivors of sexual assault. The office # is 510-430-1298. I hope that your friend is not being pressured to confront her perpetrator, no good therapist (or friend) should do that. Confrontation rarely ''works'' and should be considered with great caution. Congratulations to you and your friend for dealing with this... anna