Renee Spencer

LMFT

Renee Spencer

LMFT

Professions: Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist, Psychoanalyst
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: LMFT - MFC40511

Offices

700 E Street
Suite 210
San Rafael, California 94901
3530 Sacramento Street
Suite 7
San Francisco, California 94118

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My Approach to Helping

You may be educated, even outwardly successful, but struggle to feel good about yourself, have difficulties with close relationships or just want more out of life. I believe it's human to struggle and that we all can benefit from self-exploration.

In my view, your mind is effectively your GPS for living and so you want it to be healthy and glitch-free. I can help you get a deeper understanding of you. Your mind. Your psychology. In the context of your family history and cultural experiences.

You may desire higher self-esteem, or less anxiety, or to feel more comfortable with closeness or vulnerability. Or you may want to improve your communication skills or work on parenting. The better you understand your operating system - your sensitivities, anxieties, and patterns of reacting - the more skillful you'll become in responding to life's inevitable challenges. Everyone in your life benefits, not just you.

With humor and compassion, alongside extensive training and 20 years of experience in private practice, I'll help you develop the self-awareness, skills and solutions that you need so that you can grow from your struggles and live up to your potential. My approach is flexible and practical, tailored to meet your needs for getting at the root of what is getting in your way.

More Info About My Practice

My Marin office in San Rafael office is just a mile from Highway 101 with free parking. My San Francisco office is a stone's throw from the Presidio in Laurel Heights. Please see my website for more information about my services, approach, background and fees.

Even though therapy offers a chance to make long-lasting positive changes in your life, I know that finding the right therapist and starting psychotherapy is often a difficult decision. I invite you to contact me to assess your needs at no cost by phone. There are no forms or paperwork to fill out, so why wait to start feeling better? I welcome your inquiry and look forward to hearing from you.

Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist

I feel for those considering therapy. Something isn't feeling right in your life, you've come to consider getting help, possibly even pushing through shame around getting help for a "mental health issue". But next, you must navigate what kind of help and with whom?!

Therapy is a significant commitment of time and resources. As you are right in this moment recognizing, there are many, many therapists to choose from of varying skill and effectiveness. Self-help apps abound alongside new as well as traditional types of therapy - how does one decide? You might look to insurance for direction, only to discover that coverage is extremely limited. Getting started can truly feel like a shot in the dark.

The truth is that finding a meet in-person, talk therapist who is the right fit for you is a little like dating in that it's quite possible that you'll need to contact and consult with more than one therapist. Especially if you're trying to use your in-network insurance benefit as these plans reimburse therapists so little that many skilled and experienced therapists don't bother with insurance or restrict their involvement such that many are not accepting new patients.

While this may sound pessimistic, don't despair. I hope reading this helps you to be realistic in recognizing that choosing a therapist is a process of finding someone who is the right match for you. You'll need to be your own advocate. It's not uncommon for someone to try out therapy with a therapist who wasn't a good fit, but to then mistakenly conclude that therapy doesn't really help them. Which unfortunately may contribute to a sense of hopelessness and resignation.

Ask for referrals from trusted friends or colleagues. Our mental healthcare system is broken so unless you have excellent insurance, be open to paying for therapy out-of-pocket. If cost is an issue, ask prospective therapists if they offer a sliding scale or if they can recommend a skilled therapist new to practice who will offer a reduced fee. Logistics matter - finding someone with a fee that you can afford and at a time that works with your schedule are mission critical.

This is what a good match feels like. Overall, you should feel comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings with your therapist, and your initial sessions should inspire hope, curiosity and cooperation. Your therapist should offer you something new. If you're feeling too uncomfortable, bored, hopeless or reluctant after your first meetings, you should consider seeking help from someone else with whom you might find a better match. Because when you do find a skilled therapist who is a good fit, therapy can be a truly life-changing and rewarding experience. Good luck!

Services I Provide

  • Clinical Supervision
  • Consultation
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Premarital Counseling

Ages I Work With

  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Elders

Languages

  • English

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Abortion / Post Abortion Issues
  • Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues
  • Addictions and Compulsions
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Adoption / Reunion Issues
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Body Image
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Compulsive Spending / Shopping
  • Control Issues
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Exercise Addiction
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fertility Issues
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Identity Issues
  • Individuation
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Internet Addiction
  • Irritability
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Men's Issues
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Narcissism
  • Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Parenting
  • Phobias
  • Post Partum Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Pregnancy and Birthing
  • Rejection
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Harm
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Sex Addiction
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Somatization
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Depth Therapy
  • Depth-Oriented Brief Therapy
  • Developmental Model of Couples Therapy
  • Feminist Therapy
  • Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Object Relations
  • Parent Work
  • Positive Psychotherapy
  • Psychoanalysis / Modern Psychoanalysis
  • Psychodynamic
  • Relational Psychotherapy
  • Somatic Psychotherapy
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