Alameda Family Services


Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

    Oct 2007

    Re: Looking for facilitated group on issues of parenting teens
    A parenting class in Alameda was actually advertised/announced about a month ago. Alameda Family Services offers a free 8-session parenting class for parents of teens. These classes take place every couple of months (the next one will begin January 3, 2008). Feel free to contact me by phone or email and I can provide more information to you (e.g. class topics, registration process, etc). I hope to see you in one of our classes!! Robert P. Mejia, Prevention Specialist, Alameda Family Services - School Based Health Centers, 510-748-4085 x 3135, RMejia[at]

    July 1999

    Re: New mom with old baggage to sort through
    I can't recommend a Berkeley therapist, but I would like to comment on the rest of your message. I also grew up in a dysfunctional family and wanted to learn to interact in a more healthy way with my , by that time, pre-teen daughter. Things were getting more difficult between us and I felt I didn't know the right ways to nurture a teen who, of course, pushed the limits often. I felt I was a loving mother, but that I had raised her using some of the methods my parents used, which were much too critical and judgmental. I feel this affected her self-confidence. I was able, through Xanthos, a wonderful nonprofit organization in Alameda to arrange for family counseling for my daughter and myself. They work with a sliding scale pay system and have wonderful interns and accredited therapists. Their phone # is (510) 522-8363. I can personally recommend Dr. Debra Capwell. My daughter got on well with the therapist and so she started seeing her alone after about 6 weeks. I then began therapy ,with a different therapist, to work on my parenting issues. I also worked on my self-image/self-worth issues (which were not nurtured as a child) and (major) problems I was having in my romantic relationship. I went to therapy for about two years, and it all boiled down to one main issue!! When I started looking at my personal and work relationships, both past and present, it became obvious that my self-worth /self-image/insecurities were the root cause. If you don't feel good about yourself, you don't believe anyone else does either. You distrust people and their motives. You, perhaps are very defensive and confrontational. You feel that you have to be in control of every situation, and don't know when, or how to back down, etc. My boyfriend and I had a few sessions together, also. I can safely say that I feel much better about myself now and my relationships show that. I can now deal with my daughter in a relatively calm manner (usually). My boyfriend and I have been together for four years now, and this last year has been much quieter! We argued and fought alot the first two years especially. My regret in all this, is that I desperately wish I had gotten therapy MUCH earlier in my adult life!!! Things in general would have been much easier for me (and others in my life), I'm absolutely sure!!!

    I strongly urge you to go to therapy, both as a couple and separately. Be sure not to use the same therapist for couples and personal therapy. That happened to us at first, and it didn't work out well!! If your husband won't go, go by yourself!!! This is especially important, because many of the issues revolve around you feeling better about yourself, and that is something only YOU and your therapist can resolve. Sorry this is so long (and personal), but my heart went out to you when I read your message! I felt it was essential to answer in this way!! I wish you the best of luck!!