SF Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy


Contact Emily Berner at SF Bay Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Oakland on Rockridge Avenue. She works with my 7 year old son on anxiety.


My daughter saw Dr. Daniela Owens in Rockridge for CBT for social anxiety. Dr. Owens was wonderful.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


March 2011

Re: Very anxious 14-year-old - what might help her?
Your daughters sound like they could be mine: my oldest (age 20) is fearless and loves to live her life independently and spontaneously while my youngest (age 17) worries about anything and everything to the point that she is afraid to take any risks whatsoever. In the past year, my daughter's anxiety levels increased to the point where she was having trouble sleeping, was constantly stressed out and was experiencing panic attacks with increasing frequency. She wasn't interested in yoga or meditation, (too self-conscious), and talk therapy with a LCSW was not helping at all. Recognizing that we needed to do something fairly immediately, especially if my daughter was to have any chance of success at going away to college this fall, we both talked to her doctor who recommended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and specifically Dr. Daniela Owen at the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy on College Avenue in Oakland.

I was not familiar with CBT, but I read the postings on the BPN website and the info on the Center's website (www.sfbacct.com) and realized that this was exactly what my daughter needed: work with a professional who could help her to recognize her self-defeating patterns and teach her skills to help her break out of her downward-spiral-way-of-thinking about how things could go wrong. My daughter has now been seeing Dr. Owen for about two months and I can't say enough good things about Dr. Owen and the impact she has had on my daughter. At the end of each session, she comes home with a written plan about the work she is to do on specific items: getting to bed earlier, finishing certain college-related tasks, etc. She is visibly happier, getting more sleep, and is getting better about making decisions and accomplishing goals. All of this is reducing her stress and anxiety and more importantly, she is learning how to help herself. I highly recommend that you at least start by reviewing the information on the BPN and SFBACCT websites to see if this might be something that would work for your daughter. Mother of a not so anxious teen

August 2008

Re: Female cognitive-behavioral therapist?
I would highly recommend Dr. Katherine A. Martinez with the SFBA Center for Cognitive Therapy on College Avenue. She is very effective and very easy to work with. She is young and can really connect with the kids. 510-652-4455x14 anon

I recommend Dr. Katherine Martinez at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Oakland (510/652-4455). She worked with my teenage son and the results were mixed but I think it was because that kind of therapy was not the best fit for my son. She came highly recommended from our pediatrician who is very hooked into the Bay Area therapy scene. Dr. Martinez is very supportive, extremely clear about therapy goals and expectations and she measures progress in a clear, systematic way without being overly clinical. She helped me with some parenting issues and checked in with me regularly about my son's progress. She was generous with her time, having a long phone call and some e-mail exchanges with me and not charging me. I loved that she was so prompt with e-mail responses to my questions. The Center for Cognitive Therapy has an excellent website and you can learn more about her and the other therapists there. C

June 2008

Re: Placement for smart, depressed 16-year-old?
If depression and social anxiety are the reason that your son is not leaving the house then call The Center for Cognitive Therapy and try to get a consultation with Dr. Michael Thompkins. If your son can do an intensive cognitive therapy program with daily house visits he could make a lot of progress. He might not get this treatment at a placement because this is specialized treatment. judy

April 2008

Re: Seeking Cognitive Behavioral Therapist for panic and agoraphobia
I had a very good experience with the Center for Cognitive Therapy on college ave. I had Simon Madan as a Psychologist, this was 7 years ago and to this days I use the techniques learned there and keep my panic/anxiety under control. Now my 7 years old son is also having anxiety and I am taking him to see Dr. Katherine Martinez she is just great and thinks are working very well for my son. The tel number is 510 652-4455. They do not accept any insurance as far as I know but will give you a receipt to seek reimbursement with your insurance company or to a smaller rate scale I think.

September 2006

Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapist for anxiety and depression
I saw two male therapists at the SF-BA CCT (check archives) for anxiety (Balbanis) and for help deciding whether to become a parent (Tompkins). Life-changing, effective, amazing. Do it.

You fear that it is a ''scary, intense, high-commitment ordeal to me'' -- not scary or high-committment for me -- usually over in a matter of weeks or months, unlike classic talk therapy, and there's no blaming other people or digging into childhood trauma. Maybe intense, in a good way. Change the way you think in a logical supportive fashion -- it works
A Worrier Myself

March 2006

Re: Treatment for phobias
See the archives for recommendations for the wonderful San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy (in Rockridge) -- also see advice under Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy. I kicked a phobia in a matter of months with CBT, and spent a little longer reducing generalized anxiety. A Worrier Myself

March 2006

Re: Treatment for phobias
For phobia-related stuff, go to the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy (5435 College Avenue, Oakland), phone (510) 652-4455. They're the experts. anon

Nov 2005

Re: Therapist needed for Super Stressed Mom
My husband goes to Michael Thomkins. He is really fantastic. It sounds to me like you could use a behavioral therapist (I have found that practice of therapy to be the most direct, most effective at helping create skills and solutions for the types of situations you are facing). Their group is described at www.sfbacct.com (652-4455, in Rockridge, on College by Bittersweet and Diesel books). I know another therapist in the group who specializes in kids and is also really great. You should check them out. Many years on the couch, found behavioral therapy to be the best

March 2005

Re: Therapist for 9 year old with anxiety/anger
I've heard excellent things about Michael Tompkins in Rockridge 652 4455...and have personally used another doc in that practice, years ago, she's no longer there, but the practice, in general iis excellent. My friend's son was treated for OCD with excellent results. kroisen

May 2004

Re: Mom's anxiety - Conventional psychiatry hasn't helped
I had a productive and positive experience with two different therapists at the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy. (Their East Bay offices are on College Ave. near Rockridge BART.) I am one totally satistifed (and practically healed) customer! I worked with Dr. Mark Balabanis for my very high anxiety, and he helped me find nearly complete relief in a matter of a few months. My husband and I saw Dr. Michael Tompkins for another matter, and he was very wise and talented.

I highly recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy in general for anxiety and panic attacks. It's so focused and useful, and is actually clinically proven to work. I didn't take any medication, I just learned a new way to think about my fears. It really works!

San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy www.sfbacct.com 510-652-4455 Signed, Not as Nervous

May 2004

Re: Mom's anxiety - Conventional psychiatry hasn't helped
I am sorry your mother is struggling with anxiety. Is it more generalized anxiety or is she having acute panic attacks? It would probably be helpful for her to see a new psychiatrist in conjunction with a therapist who specializes in cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT). I know there is a Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Oakland & a psychologist there, Dr. Michael Tompkins, is very good. Ruth

June 2002

Re: Therapist who specializes in phobias?
You might want to try the Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is the most effective treatment available for help with phobias, and we're lucky to have one of the premier centers for research, education and treatment in the Bay Area right here in Oakland. They can be reached at 510 652-4455 or online at http://www.sfbacct.com/ I hope this helps!

Nov 2003

Re: Therapist who practices cognitive-behavioral therapy?

I had great success with Kristin Valus, Psy.D., at the San Francisco Bay Area Center or Cognitive Therapy at 5435 College Ave, Suite 104, in Oakland. They have a website you could check out too - www.sfbacct.com. Good luck.

I recommend the SF/Bay Area Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Their Oakland office is located at 5435 College Ave in the Rockridge district. They also have a SF office. Margaret

Dr. Michael Tompkins at SF Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, on College in Rockridge. My son sees Dr. Tompkins for obsessive- compulsive disorder. He is extremely helpful to my son, and very supportive of the whole family. --knock on wood THREE TIMES

June 2002

Re: Child Therapist for OCD
A great therapist for OCD in kids (or any kid/adolescent problems) is Dr. Michael Tompkins of the SF Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy (in Oakland 510-652-4455 x12). He is a psychologist and fantastic therapist. I am also a psychologist and can tell you that although OCD can be very challenging it is also one of the most treatable psychological disorders and Dr. Tompkins is one of the best at it. Good luck. LRE