Counseling for LGBT Couples

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi There,

    I'm looking for a great therapist (that we can afford; $85 to $125 or so per hour) for my spouse and I ASAP. Here's what we're hoping to find: great with same sex couples, skillful with couples who have a big age gap, kind / warm (we're both feeling super raw and scared), able to help both people feel heard, yet very results oriented - we need new tools for the many sticky, painful situations going on between us - financial, family, sex, all of it. Huge thanks for your referrals. ~LPC

    My husband and I went to see Jennifer Lieberman in Oakland from 2008 until 2012.  She was excellent, and she offered a sliding scale.  We have a ten year age gap and she felt like a warm and compassionate friend, less like a big scary therapist.  She took us from a place of fights and passive aggressive behavior and near-constant hurt feelings, to a relaxed and confident state in our marriage, and we still see the benefits six years after leaving therapy.  At the time, her full fee was $135 an hour, but our initial cost was $85 an hour based on our salary.

  • Hello all,

    My wife and I are seeking a couples therapist or counselor in Oakland or Berkeley. We are LGBT and are looking for someone who specializes in helping couples get through issues with extended family. Your recommendations are most appreciated.


    I just started working with Kerri Green and like her very much. Excerpt from her website: "I have experience with straight, gay, lesbian, queer, poly, and kink-identified people in new, long-term, and married partnerships." She works out of Blue Oak Therapy Center, a sliding scale center in Berkeley.

  • Hello,

    I am looking for recommendations for a couple's therapist in the Berkeley area who has a good grasp of same sex relationships or who is (preferably) gay. My partner and i have been together over ten years and are dealing with issues mainly having to do with remaining close after becoming parents (our daughter is 5). Any sharing of positive experiences would be most helpful. Thank you.

    My partner and I have seen Anita Barnes in Oakland on and off over the last 8 years or so, both before and after we became parents.  I could not say enough good things about her.  She has a great sense of humor, she doesn't mince words, she has great ethics, and she's reliable and responsive.  I'm not sure if she's taking new clients, but her number is 452-0991.  Her office is near Lake Merritt.

    Cindy Blackett was a huge help to us with that exact problem. I wasn't convinced we were ever going to find our way back to being a couple again instead of just parents. But we did! She's really normal (not new agey) and gave us a lot of very practical help. I don't know if she's lesbian or not—we never asked.  Her number is (510) 540-5409.Best of luck to you SK

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions & Advice Related Pages

2010 - 2013 Recommendations

Queer knowledgeable couples psychologist

Nov 2012

I am looking for a psychologist (Ph.D not MFT) who is knowledgeable about and comfortable with queer families (in particular open to alternative relationship structures). We are a long-time queer couple looking for ongoing therapy about relationship communication, parenting, etc. We've received lots of recommendations for MFT and MSW counselors but would prefer to work with a Ph.D. trained therapist. Thanks! anon

Jamie Rizzo is a great therapist with so many skills and personal experiences as well. You can check out her website and contact her: Phone: 510-457-1534 She meets her clients in North Oakland and Walnut Creek. Dee
Hi, Carmen de Monteflores is an experienced psychologist who has worked for many years with with LGBTQ individuals and couples who are dealing with relationships, parenting and other issues. She sees clients in the east bay (Albany/Berkeley border) and in San Francisco. You can leave a message on her voicemail at 1(415)931-2061, and she will call you back, typically within 24 hours. If meeting with Carmen doesn't work out for you, she knows other psychologists she can recommend. Good luck finding a psychologist who can help your family.

Therapist for African American Lesbian couple

March 2011

I am looking for a therapist to help myself and my girlfriend, of two years, navigate the stages from girlfriends to partners/wives. Jenn

Carmen de Monteflores is a lesbian woman of color who has been a psychologist in the Bay Area for more than 30 years. Her specialties include lesbian and gay individuals and couples, bicultural couples, Latinas, artists and writers, lesbian and gay parents, and anyone looking for an experienced psychotherapist who is wise, gentle, compassionate and spiritual. Dr. de Monteflores sees clients in Albany and in San Francisco, and I think she has some openings in her schedule. You can contact Carmen by calling her office phone at 1 (415) 931-2061. I know Carmen de Monteflores very well and recommend her without reservation. She is a warm, wonderful person and an extraordinary therapist. L., MFT
Try dr Leslie bell 1 (510) 548-7960 she's truly wonderful! - nd
Diane Swirsky, Ph.D., has alot of experience working with lesbian couples. She's smart and personable. Her office is located in Oakland. anon

Excellent therapist well-versed with lesbian couples?

Feb 2010

Can anyone recommend a really excellent couple therapist who is well-versed with lesbian couples? In Berkeley or Oakland please. Thanks for any ideas.

I highly recommend Audrey Martin (Oakland, 510-428-1505) or Patricia Contaxis (Berkeley 510-524-5028). Good luck, Rachel
Reba Connell, LCSW is an excellent couples therapist who specializes in treating LGBT couples. She is one a a very few therapist who is certified the the highly regarded Gottman Method. Her phone is (510) 594-8224 Her website is Best wishes! joanneDavisMFT
I would highly recommend Laura Goldberger, MFT, for therapy for lesbian couples as well as for heterosexual couples. She's located in Berkeley (and has an office in SF I believe). I know her work personally and she works really well with couples. 510-665-7755. Liz

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Oct 2007

Looking for leads on a couple's counselor who has experience working with lesbian couples with children. Do you know someone who is stellar? The archives have recommendations, but they are several years old. Thanks. Anon

A lesbian couple, close friends of ours, have seen Dr. Patricia Hart for their relationship and family problems. She was extremely helpful. She has a lot of experience in dealing with parenting and sexual issues. Her phone number is 510- 527 9039. Good luck. Rachel
I have a VERY VERY good couples and family counselor/therapist to recommend. She has offices in Walnut Creek as well as Berkeley. I can't say enough good words about her. She is extremely perceptive and effective. She saved my marriage and gave us enough to work on for a long time after stopping therapy. She is into being constructive and effective fixes for problems, not drag on and on with therapy and unsolved issues. She has also helped us with some family issues, not related to the relationship between my husband and me. Anyway, enough said. Her name is Catherine Freemire. Her number is 925-939-4554. She is expensive but worth every penny. Paula
We see Donna Diamond (& we're a lesbian couple with a daughter)--she's queer & she is absolutely fabulous. That said, I don't know whether or not she has any openings, but if not, I am sure she has referrals. Her contact info is: 415-564-2073. anon
Re: Looking for couple's counselor. I have heard positive things about a psychologist in Walnut Creek, Dr. Barton Lynch who sees couples, individuals and children. His name has been posted on this website previously. His office number is (925)947-2922. Hope this helps! Cj

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Nov 2006

Can anyone recommend a good couples counselor in the Palo Alto/ Menlo Park area who has experience working with lesbians with kids? anon

I can recommend Amy Klapper, MFT as a couples therapist in Palo Alto. Her number is 650-286-4370. She is a colleague of mine in Oakland who also works in the South Bay, and is very experienced working with lesbian couples with children Audrey Martin, MFT
I asked a colleague, who I respect and who works in the area, and she recommended the following, who do a lot of work with couples, though she doesn't know specifically about their work with lesbian parents. Nisha Zenoff, Ph.D., MFT in Menlo Park (650)566-1650 Jane Radford-Barker, Ph.D. in Palo Alto (650)494-8836. Hope this helps as a start. a local therapist.
I know the first two, and the last also came recommended for work with lesbian/same-sex and parenting couples.
Leah Reider, LCSW Palo Alto 650-325-5867
Nancy Fernbach, LCSW Los Altos 650-941-6631
Elizabeth Fong has a special interest and experience in working with couples/kids issues. She's also very comfortable working with same sex partners. Her # is 650-299-8981 and her work address is 550 Hamilton Ave. Palo Alto. She's a LCSW who works only Mon. and Fri., but does have early evening hours. Best of luck Shira
June 2005

Hi, We are a lesbian couple and hoping to find a female therapist (she doesn't need to be a lesbian but has experience with lesbian couples) who uses Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples. A therapist with experience working with childhood trauma and it's impact on adult relationships would be really helpful to us. We would really appreciate hearing any of your recommendations/experiences. Positive or negative. Thanks!

I highly recommend Cheryl Jones, 510-653-7374. I was a weekly client for a year. I perceived her as very grounded and patient. Breadth of experience seems crucial to me and she has a long history as a therapist. She listens well, but was also capable of gently pushing me along when I showed signs that I was ready. She has a sense of humor -- which certainly comes in handy. She would be a good fit for the issues mentioned in your post. She was originally recommended to me by a friend who has seen her off and on for about 3 years. Anon
March 2004

My partner and I have 2 kids and are looking for a couples counselor who has experience working with lesbian couples. I looked at the recommendations in the index, but those were from 2001. If anyone has more recent experience with someone they can recommend I'd love to know. Julie

For the person looking for a couples counselor for a herself and her female partner, I can highly recommend Marcia Rafinski 415-221-4302. She is an absolute genius as a couples counselor. She's in SF but well worth the trip. You can also read about her on Ann
I highly recommend therapist, Kirsten Beuthin at 652-0990. She has worked a great deal with lesbian couples, and offers practical support as well as in depth therapy. anon
My partner and I saw Audrey Martin (Oceanview Ave. N. Oakland) about 7-8 years ago now and thought she was really good. I'd also recommend Susan Morton in Berkeley. Good Luck
My partner and I have been seeing Laura Pilnick since late October or so with great success. Her phone number is 510.465.0553, her office is near the Grand Lake theatre, 495 Elwood Avenue, Suite 4 Oakland. She has over 20 year of experience and is a lesbian herself. If you would like to ask me for more information or have additional questions, feel free to contact me.
in peace
Hi- My partner and I have seen Fran Staton in Berkeley. She was recommended to us by another lesbian couple who had such wonderful things to say about her. We have found her to be wonderful - very warm but challenging, and incredibly thoughtful and insightful. There's rarely a session where I don't come away feeling like I learned something big. She is in Berkeley at the intersection of Ashby and Shattuck. Her number is 548-5677. Good luck!
I have few. You should always try few and see who fits you and your partner the most. Although they are all good, this is all about human contact, and both of you have to feel good about them. good luck in your search.
Amy Weston 510-841-7261 Judith Flory 510-849-1719 Marla McFaddin 510-869-4347

2003 & Earlier


Can anyone recommend a good couples counselor who has experience in working with lesbian couples with children. Thank You

Couple of people come to mind initially:
Audry Martin 428-1505
Leslie Sternin 524-7705
Adria Blum 486-8146
All are experienced and lovely woman. I always recommend people talk with a few people to get a feel for differences and who feels most comfortable, especially when there are two people trying to feel safe. Sherry
My partner & I saw a couples therapist we both couldn't recommend more highly. We've both actually gone back to see her individually after seeing her together on & off for about 3 years. She is in SF, which is a bummer for us since we're now in East Bay, but it has still been worth it to remain with her. Zoe Becker 415/586-5627. She's in Glen Park Lise
Adria Blum is a good couples counselor for lesbians with children. Her office is on Shattuck Ave. Fay
One more recommendation: Connie Capen in Berkeley: 704-4497. She has counseled several lesbian couples. Lael
I highly recommend both Marsha Hiller 644-2724 and Patricia Contaxis 524-5028. They are both MFT's and have extensive experience working with couples and doing child therapy. They are excellent clinically and have impeccable ethics. Sara
I recommend the following therapist for Lesbian couples: Ann Coyle, Ph.D. 415 561-9779 She will be moving to the East Bay and establishing a practice. Meghan