Therapy for Adults

John Lundin - Oakland PsychoherapistI offer effective, relationship-oriented, individual psychotherapy for adults in Oakland and San Francisco who are looking to improve their emotional lives, their relationships, and/or their effectiveness at work.

Feeling anxious or down can interfere with realizing one’s potential in multiple areas of life. Psychotherapy is about understanding the obstacles that are keeping you from bringing your true self fully to bear in your life. Many people report after effective therapy that they are able to enjoy being more truly themselves, and find both enjoyment and success in their relationships as well as their career. This is because effective psychotherapy serves to undo long-standing problematic patterns that are sapping energy and inhibiting progress in ways that patients are mostly unaware, but were inhibiting their inherent potential.

Some clients have specific goals and others have trouble putting a finger on the problem. Both are fine places to start therapy. Whatever your goals, I am committed to doing everything in my power as a therapist to make sure that you meet them. Truly effective psychotherapy, in my view, is a relationship and a journey, and only works if the patient feels the therapist is truly with them emotionally. Just as problematic relationships early in life are often connected to the problems that bring people into therapy, the work that occurs in the relationship between the therapist and patient is the foundation that allows for successful psychotherapy.

How Psychotherapy Works

Getting Started

Psychotherapy usually begins with a period of talking together about the nature of the difficulties you are having. I will invite you to be as open as possible about your experiences, including what brought you to therapy, and your thoughts about your current life situation and your background.

To begin therapy with adults, I view our first 4 sessions as an assessment period, where we get to know one another and ensure we proceed in in the most effective manner in helping you reach your goals. Psychotherapy sessions can be held at either Oakland or San Francisco office.

By the end of this initial assessment period, I will share with you my impressions about what is causing your distress and give you my treatment recommendations. This will include the frequency of therapy, and any potential referrals to outside professionals, if necessary. I often refer for medication evaluations, family therapy, or specialized substance abuse treatment.

The Importance of Safety

The process of therapy itself can help you to understand a great deal about your own emotional experience. However, for therapy to be successful, it is my job to provide a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental environment in which you can explore your feelings and thoughts. In this way you can begin to understand more about the psychological patterns and obstacles within you that hold you back.

The Benefits

Clients have described the experience of understanding such patterns as dramatic shifts in the way they see themselves and the world. Such shifts are described as ones in which they discover they had been looking through lenses that were dramatically limiting their enjoyment and effectiveness in life. Removing these lenses can be extremely liberating.

Your Role in Therapy

Your role in therapy is to discuss what is happening for you – what you are feeling, where you feel challenged or stuck, and what you want your life to look like. We will move at a pace that is comfortable for you – you set the direction and the goals for therapy. If you are unclear about your goals, we will work together to find clarity about what is important to you.

My Role in Therapy

My role as your therapist is first to help you increase your understanding of yourself. Then I will guide you in putting the pieces of your life together in a more meaningful way. I offer insights on your inner life and your relationships in the context of an empathic, safe relationship.

My clients tell me that they genuinely feel that I am on their side in their struggles. Our relationship will serve as a basis and practice ground for the other relationships in your life. As you work through your problems with me, you will find that the skills and changes that you experience in therapy will transfer to your relationships outside of the therapy office.


Dr. Lundin is a licensed clinical psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices in San Francisco and Oakland California, specializing in relationship therapy for adults and depression therapy for adults, teens, and children. He is an instructor, supervisor and author of numerous publications on trauma therapy, psychotherapy for depression & anxiety and what makes psychotherapy effective.