Jia Rebecca Li

LMFT; dual Masters (Cognitive psychology & Counseling); J.D. (law)

Jia Rebecca Li

LMFT; dual Masters (Cognitive psychology & Counseling); J.D. (law)

Telehealth Available
Professions: Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: LMFT
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage

Fees: See my website for rate information (www.rebeccalimft.com)
Free Initial Consultation
Evening Availability


Portola Valley, California 94028

My Approach to Helping

Welcome. Change is possible.

Psychotherapy has increasingly come to the consensus that an individual's cognitive insight (thinking) alone is insufficient to create transformational, lasting change. Rather, we need to invite the broader and deeper awareness into the therapy room: externally, we go beyond the self to involve the relational systems and internally, we evoke and work with the full, embodied experiences.

This is why my work with you, regardless of modality, emphasizes the relational and the experiential. And always with respect, and loving kindness.

While I have in-depth trainings in multiple approaches and specialties, including three leading couples therapy approaches (Gottman Couples Therapy, Relational Life Therapy by Terry Real, and Developmental Couples Model by Couples Institute) as well as grief therapy and somatic psychotherapy and I have many, many tools to help you, I consider the following three areas foundational to my psychotherapy work: systems psychology, attachment theory, and Hakomi mindful somatic psychotherapy..

Under system theory, an individual's experiences are inseparably connected to, and need to be understood in, the relational context, from couplehood and family system to community and larger societal and cultural contexts. It's also important to make sense of these experiences in the individual's developmental trajectory and context.

Attachment theory is focused on the relationships and emotional bonds between people. It holds that attachment needs are fundamental to our lifelong wellbeing, and no matter what your childhood "attachment style" was, you have an innate capacity for, and can learn to develop, secure, healthy adult relationships.

Hakomi Mindfulness Somatic Psychotherapy believes that a person can gain an understanding of themselves that is not just the conscious, intellectual knowledge, but is the awareness of the deeper self that includes a full range of experiences: beliefs, nervous system patterns, memories, images, emotions and attitudes about self and the world. My goal as your therapist is to assist you in discovering, accessing and exploring such core material and in transforming what was once adaptive and essential but is now self-limiting, to allow more freedom and satisfaction in life.


I work with couples to address high conflict communication, intimacy issues, parenting differences, significant adjustments (e.g., becoming parents, retirement, and career change), betrayal, grief and loss (e.g., fertility challenges; miscarriage; illness; death in the family), extended family relationship, mixed race couples, blended families, etc.

"Great marriages aren’t about clear communication – they’re about small moments of attachment and intimacy." – John Gottman


My work with individuals and families focuses on grief, loss and life transitions. Depression, anxiety and relational dissatisfactions are commonly experienced in these difficult situations.

GRIEF AND LOSS. I work primarily with traumatic and complex grief and anticipatory grief, both in individual therapy and with families. My clinical work with grief started at Kara, a Palo Alto based grief agency, where for three years I worked extensively with spouse loss, child loss, suicide loss, sudden death, end of life issues, victims of crimes, and other traumatic grief clients. I also facilitated grief groups for spouse loss, suicide loss and teen grief. Outside of my private practice, I remain a member of Kara’s community outreach team and continue to facilitate debriefings for local companies, organizations and families to address difficult deathcrisis situations, including, most recently, pandemic impact and hate crimes.

LIFE TRANSITIONS: Transition is our inner process to cope with external changes. I work with phase-of-life transitions such as emerging adulthood, new family formation, becoming parents, and retirement. In addition, I work with individuals on their significant relationship or career changes. Transition starts with an ending, develops through an often long “in-betweens” before the start of a new beginning. A challenging transition often involves grief and loss about the ending as well as anxiety and ambivalence about the adjustment and future.

More Info About My Practice

I'M A LICENSED PSYCHOTHERAPIST based in the San Francisco Bay Area and, through teletherapy, work with clients throughout the State of California. I am a member of both the state CAMFT and the Santa Clara Valley chapter of CAMFT.

Although I majored in psychology in my undergraduate (Beijing University, China) and graduate program (University of Chicago), I didn't become a psychotherapist until much later in life. In my 20's and 30's, I practiced law with dual license in New York and California, worked in investment banking, advised and invested in startups, and started a family. I traveled extensively for work and lived in many high energy but also high stress metropolitan areas, from New York, Chicago and Silicon Valley in the U.S. to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in Asia.

These lived experiences have proven to be invaluable strengths and assets now in my psychotherapy practice. I understand, at a much deeper level and in a more nuanced way, the demands and uncertainties in today's competitive worklife dynamics and their impact on individuals, relationships and families. As a bilingual, bi-cultural psychotherapist, I am also keenly aware of a wide array of cultural factors that impact my clients, regardless of their own race or ethnicity.

Effective psychotherapy is both a science and an art. Not only does it require skills, insight and experiential depth on the part of the therapist but it also depends on the good fit between the therapist and you. I offer a free, 15-minute initial consultation over the phone or Zoom so that we can mutually assess if I can be a good match for you.

LANGUAGE: I am bilingual in English and Mandarin.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

Couples therapy is a specialty. As such, it requires skills and experiences different from, and in addition to, those for individual therapy. Grief work, too, is a specialty that requires both skills and therapist's personal qualities that come from experience and awareness cultivation. I have received extensive training in couples therapy and grief work and I continue to prioritize professional development in these areas.

Couples Therapy: I'm trained andor familiar with all major models of couples therapy, including
-- Gottman Institute: Couples Therapy Level I Certificate (2017) and Level II Certificate (2020)
-- Couples Institute (Menlo Park, CA): The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, 2019-2020
-- Terry Real - Relational Life Therapy: (1) Couples Experiential Workshop (2021); (2) Relational Life Therapy - Level 1 (2021); (3) Couples Therapy consultation group (ongoing since 92020)
-- Hakomi Institute of California: (1) Mindfulness-Centered Couples Therapy, by Rob Fisher (2021); (2) Hakomi Essential Skills (2021); (3) Hakomi Comprehensive Training - Level 1 (ongoing); (4) Hakomi consultation group with Rob Fisher (ongoing since 122021)
-- Dr. Marty Klein: Sexual Intelligence Workshops; Couples Therapy Consultation Group (82020-52021)

Grief Therapy
-- Kara-Grief Support (Palo Alto, CA), grief therapy 2016-2019
-- Grief Summit (42021)
-- Grief.com verified and listed grief therapist

Contemplative Practice:
-- Compassion Cultivation Training, CCARE, Stanford University, 2018
-- Compassion Immersion-2, 2018
-- Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), full training, UCSF - Osher Center, 2020
-- I practice meditation and believe that mindful living brings us joy, compassion and purpose.

Psychotherapy is a continuing journey for therapists as much as it is for our clients. Ongoing training and improvement is my responsibility to you as your therapist and to myself.

I believe that volunteerism is a beautiful way of cultivating and sharing purpose and love in the community and in my own life.
-- Grief support: Kara-Grief Support, group facilitator and community outreach team member (2016-present)
-- CISM: trained in Basic and Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), with Bay Area CISM Team (Janet Childs), 2018, 2019.
-- Equity in childhood education: Family Connections, Board member (2013-14); Program Committee member (2014-2020)

Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist

This is an excellent article about how to choose a therapist: https:www.goodtherapy.orgbloghow-to-find-a-therapist
Talk to a few and compare. Be sure to ask about their training experiences, if they are receiving ongoing therapy themselves (yes it's important for therapists to be a client themselves and to work on their own personal growth), if they belong to one or more ongoing consultation group (so that they can get their work checked, questions consulted and blind spots revealed and to receive peer support), and their personal growth and relationship with communityprofession, such as contemplative practice and communityvolunteer work involvement.

Services I Provide

  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Telehealth

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English
  • Mandarin

Groups I Work With

    My clients are a good representation of the cultural diversity in the SF Bay Area. Cultural issues challenge more than just immigrants (new or old), minorities, or mix-racial families but ALL of us regardless of our race or ethnicity. My experiences as an immigrant and world traveler, living and working in different cultures and places of the world, and developing and transitioning through multiple professional careers have cultivated my capacity for compassion, empathy and curiosity. I genuinely seek to understand each individual, couple and family from multiple lens including family history, socioeconomic background, education, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and assumptions, and phase of life. I offer psychotherapy in Mandarin if that’s your preferred language of care and self-expression

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Communication Problems
  • Family Problems
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Identity Issues
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Parenting
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Esteem
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Collaborative Couple Therapy (CCT)
  • Developmental Model of Couples Therapy
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Gottman Method
  • Hakomi
  • Humanistic Psychology (humanism)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
  • Positive Psychology
  • Psychodynamic
  • Relational Life Therapy

See other therapists in Portola Valley, CA.

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