Support For

Individuals & Couples

If you are ready to make changes in your life, you’ve come to the right place!

Hello! I’m Michael

Marriage Family Therapist

Over the last 40 years, I have dedicated my personal and professional work fulfilling my passion of making a difference in people’s lives and relationships. I have applied this desire into a practical health-based model that has been proven to be effective.

Individual Therapy

Couples Therapy


Relationship Expert

Related Issues 

Communication Problems

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Communication Problems are a common complaint among couples. Once the issues of communication are broken down to a more basic level it becomes clear that the real problem is what is being communicated and the meaning of the message. Communication is non-verbal as well as verbal and all of it is significant in the context of the relationship. When there are communication problems there are often underlying issues related to trust, commitment, power and control, and intimacy. These are some of the most fundamental areas to confront that helps individuals grow.

Stress & Anxiety

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Stress and anxiety is a common experience for most everyone from time to time. When levels of stress and anxiety rise to the point of feeling overwhelmed the experience can be unbearable. When anyone gets to that point of overwhelm they no longer feel like they can manage even the little details. No one needs to continue to remain in this state. Allowing yourself some time to take a step back, take a deep breath, or ten to get an objective perspective on what is going on can alleviate some of the overwhelming feelings. Stress and anxiety are important signals that whatever coping skills are being used, they are not sufficient to attend to the degree of what is happening in your life. Whether you are experiencing acute panic attacks, situational stress, or longstanding anxiety, professional assistance is the best course of action so that you need not go through further unnecessary suffering. Prescription medications, alcohol, or other drugs may have a positive effect on addressing the symptoms of anxiety, but they do nothing with regards to building up your ability to cope day to day more effectively as a self-empowered individual.

Someone to Talk To

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No matter what might be troubling you, having an experienced and knowledgeable professional available to talk to can be comforting as well as insightful in guiding you beyond your troubles. Surely there are always those around you who will give you free advice, though you get what you pay for and will often lead you to get more of the same. Many times what seems to be the problem is only the part of what surfaces and is within your scope of awareness. A trained and experienced professional can help you grow as a result of the troubling situation rather than simply giving you a quick fix.

Family Member Conflict

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Family member conflicts are more common than you would think, however, often people do not talk about them. Conflicts indicate that something isn’t working for one or more members of the family and something needs to change. It can also indicate that someone in the family has changed and is no longer willing to operate under the established conditions. Whatever the case may be, it is important to keep in mind that whenever you are going through relationship struggles, the only thing you ultimately have control of is yourself.

Job Loss or Change

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When life sends you curve balls it can seem like life gets turned upside down. These can be most stressful and troubling times while going through the experience. They can also become your most important opportunities to learn about yourself and become more self-empowered in the process. Many thoughts and feelings can disrupt your well being when you experience changes beyond your control. Once you come to understand how old attitudes or beliefs could be ineffective or even self-defeating, you begin to realize that you are now faced with an opportunity to change yourself. If you embrace this change you become self-empowered in the process.


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Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. It can occur at any stage in life, either once, repeatedly, or ongoing.
Depression is often conceptualized as a medical condition and is typically treated by M.D.s with medication. Medications may be effective in treating the symptoms of depression though unless contributing factors that you can control are not addressed that medicine may be needed to control the condition for the rest of your life. If you choose to take medication, the best way to increase results for lasting change is by taking more responsibility for how you use your brain, feel in your body, and take action in your day.

If you take a different approach to how you conceptualize depression and consider it as a state of mind that impacts moods it becomes a more manageable problem to address. If you exercise your diligence to make different choices in the thoughts you entertain, the corresponding emotions will change. If you exercise your courage to make different choices in the habitual actions you take during the day, your experiences of the day will change. Diet, exercise, social activity, sleep can all have positive or negative effects on your moods. Depression is not just a mood that is driven by hormones alone. Chemicals that impact the Neurotransmitters in the brain are influenced by how we think just as much as the neurotransmitters influence our thoughts and emotions.

Irregular Sleep Cycles

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Irregular sleep patterns can be caused by a number of things. This irregularity can often lead to compounding affects as you require regular sleep patterns to maintain well-balanced mental and emotional states to function well in your life. When medical conditions are ruled out, talk therapy can address other issues that contribute to the disruptive sleep. Mental and emotional imbalances due to environmental stressors can have a significant impact on your sleep.

Couples Infidelity

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Infidelity can be a painful and overwhelming experience for both partners in a relationship. It causes deep wounds for everyone involved. Unfortunately, this experience is often one that results in divorce if couples don’t get skilled professional help. While it causes many disruptive thoughts and feelings that can upheaval in one’s life, it also can reveal deeper truths about each partner and how they have created a relationship that is often beneath their true potential as a couple. When affairs are addressed properly, in a skillful manner, they can lead each partner to learn more about the other as well as themselves. The discoveries that can unfold in the process can add clarity so each can decide how they want to move forward in their lives. Of the many things that can unfold, one thing is for sure; they can never go back to what they once had. Infidelity will force a growth cycle to occur or the relationship will eventually disintegrate. It is up to each to decide for themselves whether they are up for the challenge to commit to that new growth cycle or not.

Unexpected Mood Swings

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Unexpected Mood Swings can be extremely distressing to experience for yourself as well as those around you. These can be caused by a number of things that are not always easily identified. Hormones are always a part of the equation because these are the chemical reactions that are experienced as emotions and moods. When there is a shift in the chemical balance that might be referred to as a baseline, it can cause you to feel depressed, agitated, and elated unexpectedly. These imbalances can be triggered by mental and emotional reactions to the environmental conditions around you or possibly a physiological condition internally. If external environmental conditions cannot be identified then it would be prudent to have your primary care physician rule out other factors such as a thyroid condition or other physiological factors that may be a contributing to the mood swings. With that being said, my experience has lead me to help many clients to better understand external or internal triggers that result in mood swings. With greater awareness, insight, and more skillful decisions you will experience more effective control.

Sex & Intimacy

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Sex and Intimacy issues are a normal problem to have in any longterm relationship. However, no matter how normal it may be for couples who are committed in their relationships it can cause a considerable amount of discontent, a good deal of pain, and loneliness. This often leads to heated problems that are either played out in the bedroom or the rest of their relationship. One of the ways in which this gets played out is by having communications problems as mentioned above.


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Addiction is a complex problem to address. Whether you are dealing with drugs or alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, or those habitual behaviors that trigger chemicals from within your body, like anger, gambling, pornography, sex, eating, shopping, working, sports, social media, …there are always a host of issues that must be factored in for successful recovery to take place.

To effectively address the problem of addiction it is essential to deal with issue at a deeper level than simply the substance or the addictive behavior. Habits formed originally because there was a need or a desire for something to take care of our stress or pain. So when attending to breaking any undesirable habit it is important to realize what has been a driving force that allowed the addiction to form in the first place.

Some necessary steps in the process of change/recovery is first hand awareness of the problem, the desire to change, the courage to honesty investigate, explore, and confront the truth about the addictive pattern and the underlying contributing factors. Once those steps have been taken, it is important to establish accountability for making changes in daily behavior for yourself. Social support systems are very helpful for maintaining accountability. In some cases, a more intensive out-patient or in-patient treatment may be warranted.

Regardless of whether it is an externalized chemical source that the brain adapts to causing the addiction or an externalized stimulus that activates the natural chemicals in the body, these addictions can become very destructive when they take control of your life.

People are often unaware of how these substances or behaviors begin to take hold of them. In the beginning, they may seem enjoyable and rewarding experiences, and maybe even an expansion of your social circle. When thoughts and emotions become fixated on the addictive behavior, other aspects of life begin to be compromised. These compromises take place when decisions are made to support the habitual behavior patterns at the cost of personal relationships and occupations. The values that were once placed on primary relationships, family, or other meaningful activities start to erode and a shift to a self-centered and singular focus emerges. As the activities surrounding the addiction progress over time the quantity, duration, and frequency increases which has a direct inverse effect on what use to hold value. When these things are finally recognized by the addicted individual, it is often after they have lost their sense of control to the addiction.

Even seemingly benign habits and tendencies may be acceptable for one but intolerable for others and that is when the damage occurs in relationships.

Harmful Thoughts

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Harmful thoughts are significant indicators to attend to. Thoughts are simply impulses that run through your brain, however, if harmful thoughts become repetitive and become more extreme, they can result in unsafe behavior. Underlying issues which produce these thoughts are usually driven by pain and suffering, anger or fear. Many clients have admitted feeling shame for having such thoughts. It is important to understand that these thoughts and behaviors are often a reaction to environmental stressors and not a character flaw. If you, or someone you know, experience ongoing thoughts of harming self or others, you should not remain silent and begin talking about what is going on with an experienced professional.

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(509) 879-4778

1062 Murrieta Blvd., Livermore, CA 94550