Marriage Counseling San Francisco, CA 94118, Leah A. Cochrane, MA, MS, LMFT -
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

The bedrock principles of my mission are these: You deserve a peaceful, satisfying relationship with your love partner, or your business partner. You deserve to find the qualities within yourself that make you a great partner. And because you are a human being, you need and deserve to connect. I can help you create this in your life.

1999 - Present ( 20 years 12 months )

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Office(s)
Office Information
Office #1

My warm, cozy office is in a lovely, older building on Geary Blvd between Stanyan and Arguello; 38 bus stops ½ block from office door or you can find easy metered parking on Geary.

3516 Geary Blvd., Suite 102
San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone(s):

Office Hours:

Other Hours: By appointment only
Office #2

My office is in an older Victorian building located on Nob Hill, convenient to downtown and to public transportation. Parking is likely to be difficult on the street but there are several parking facilities within a couple of blocks, and the California St. bus and cable car stops ½ block away.

842 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

Phone(s):

Office Hours:

Other Hours: By appointment only
Email
Email

Counselor Contact

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My Approach
My Approach

As humans, we all need to connect with others one way or another.  Many of us want a partner in life, or perhaps a partner in business.  In general, most of us just go out there and give it our best shot.  Sometimes that works, but often our connections fall short of what we'd really like to have.How are you doing with your connections?  Are your relationships happy, mutually satisfying, and free of conflct?  Or do you find you pick the wrong kind of person to be in a relationship with?  Or perhaps you really do love each other but don't know how to free yourselves from conflict that seems to arise from nowhere.  Or perhaps you are in a business relationship that had so much promise in the beginning but is fast becoming a situation in which you might need a lawyer?  Or maybe the underlying stress of trying to sustain in the mainstream culture, a relationship with a same sex or transgendered partner is taking its toll.Whatever your story, I am here to listen and to be of service.  I have more than 15 years experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist.  In my community practice, FreeHeart Counseling, I partner with individuals, couples and business partners to work on perfecting your connections.  I speciaize in working with members of the LGBTQ community, but all are welcome.  I will help you with communication, conflict resolution and clarifying expectations and values.  We will explore habits of thinking and past experiences that may be interfering with your ability to partner with someone.  I call my thoughtful, resourceful and intuitive approach "How To Do Relationships."  Using my unique approach, I will help you increase your understanding of the role you assume in your relationships, and how to make needed adjustments in order to increase your level of success with them.  I know what makes relationships work and I know what's wrong with them when they don't work--and I can teach you to know it, too.I utilize a combination of methods and techniques to improve your understanding of you--because the best indicator of how you will do in a relationship with another is the quality of the relationship you have with yourself.  I will show you some creative tools for improving communication, reducing stress and setting healthy boundaries with one another.  If you are business partners, we will explore the roles that each of you has assumed, the values and long term goals you share, and explore where the conflict is coming from. We will utilize creative problem solving on existing problems and together we will design a proactive plan to carry your partnership into the future.Whether you are seeking a connection, looking to heal a connection in an intimate partnership or a business partnership,  or simply wish to take your current relationship to the next level, I believe I can be of service to you.  Call me at 415-710-6615 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation, to see if my approach is right for you at this time.Additionally, if you have experienced some kind of trauma in your history and believe this may be impacting your abiity to have successful connections, I am available to work with you on your trauma recovery with tools such as EMDR, Cognitive Processing, Mindfulness and stress reduction techniques.  I have a certificate in Treatment Strategies for Returning Troops and also work with those who have trauma arising from natural disasters, childhood abuse or rape.  I offer these services as an adjunct to my work on relationships so that even those who are dealing with the effects of trauma can have a chance to develop successful connctions, as well. 

Credentials
Credential Information
Jurisdiction: 
California
License Type: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
License Number: MFC40362
Marriage & Couples Counseling
Marriage & Couples Counseling
Adult Children of Alcoholics Issues

Marriage Counseling focused on addressing issues related to being an adult child of an alcoholic and its impact on your relationship, reducing and alleviating symptoms, while addressing their root causes:

The alcoholic family is one of chaos, inconsistency, unclear roles, and illogical thinking. Arguments are pervasive, and violence or even incest may play a role. Children in alcoholic families suffer trauma as acute as soldiers in combat; they also carry the trauma like an albatross throughout their lives.

Co-Parenting Issues

Couples Counseling focused on addressing issues related to co-parenting, reducing and soothing symptoms, while developing functional co-parenting strategies:

Research shows that children tend to adjust to divorce with less difficulty when they are able to maintain the family relationships that are important to them, and when their parents are able to cooperate with each other. Ongoing conflict and interruptions in parenting are typically the issues that create more distress for children than the divorce itself.

Codependency Issues

Marriage Counseling focused on addressing and easing the effects of codependent relationships, and their impact on your current relationship:

Codependent relationships are not only painful, but are sometimes destructive. Codependents have problems receiving the good stuff that relationships should offer. Codependents spend their precious lives worrying about things and people over which they have no control.

Communication Issues

Marriage Counseling focused on constructive communication techniques and strategies:

Communication problems are an issue for almost everyone, and every relationship. Not many people can say they are master communicators. People frequently struggle to say what they mean, whether by intentionally or because they just don’t know how. We often misunderstand each other, and at times we may think we understand, when the reality is, we don’t. This is where an experienced individual / marriage counselor can be invaluable, their unbiased point of view can assist you in hearing what is meant and assist you in resolving conflict. 

Gay Issues

Marriage / Relationship Counseling focused on addressing issues related to the gay life style, reducing and relieving symptoms, while addressing the root causes of those symptoms:

Gay men are frequently at higher risk for depression and anxiety issues. Youth who identify themselves as gay often are at a higher risk for depression and suicide attempts. Factors contributing to this may include discrimination, social alienation, and rejection by loved ones. Gay men who try to hide their sexual orientation, including those who lack social support, often have more difficulty.

Lesbian Issues

Marriage / Relationship Counseling focused on addressing issues related to being lesbian, reducing and relieving symptoms, while addressing the root causes of those symptoms:

Lesbian women might be at higher risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, youth who identify themselves as lesbian, might have a higher risk of depression and attempted suicide. Contributing factors could include social alienation, discrimination, rejection by loved ones, abuse and violence. The problem might be more severe for lesbians who try to hide their sexual orientation and those who lack social support.

Premarital Counseling

Premarital Counseling focused on developing healthy relationship strategies, and tools for a long and happy marriage:

What does premarital counseling look like? It is as varying and unique as the personality and background of the therapist. Finding someone that you can trust, and who honors your unique situation, is essential. All too many couples get caught up in spending time planning their weddings without developing a plan for their marriage. The early stages of a relationship, when the feelings you have for your partner are usually positive, is the ideal time to become more conscious and intentional in the ways you interact and work together. Counseling can give you insights into where your particular relationship dynamics might be heading in the wrong direction. There is an educational aspect to pre-marital counseling as well, so that you can learn better communication skills and leran how to negotiate conflict so that you can resolve your differences in a way that actually strengthens your connection.

PTSD Issues

Marriage Counseling focused on addressing and reducing symptoms related to post traumatic stress, addressing the root causes of the trauma:

Some symptoms of PTSD are ongoing and recurring nightmares, flashbacks, and or emotional numbing relating to a traumatic event in your life that occurred several months or years ago.

Individual Counseling
Individual Counseling & Coaching
Adult Children of Alcoholics Issues

Counseling focused on addressing issues related to being an adult child of an alcoholic and its impact on your relationship, reducing and alleviating symptoms, while addressing their root causes:

The alcoholic family is a family that is riddled with chaos, inconsistency, unclear roles, and irrational thinking. Arguments and sometimes violence permeate all aspects of daily living, in some cases incest may play a role. Children in alcoholic families may suffer trauma as acute as soldiers in combat; they can carry this trauma well into their adult lives.

Co-Parenting Issues

Counseling focused on addressing issues related to co-parenting, reducing and soothing symptoms, while developing functional co-parenting strategies:

Research shows that children tend to adjust to divorce with less difficulty when they are able to maintain the family relationships that are important to them, and when their parents are able to cooperate with each other. Ongoing conflict and interruptions in parenting are typically the issues that create more distress for children than the divorce itself.

Codependency Issues

Counseling focused on addressing and easing the effects of codependent relationships, and their impact on your life and relationships:

Codependent relationships are not only painful, but are sometimes destructive. Codependents have problems receiving the good stuff that relationships should offer. Codependents spend their precious lives worrying about things and people over which they have no control.

Gay Issues

Counseling focused on addressing issues related to gay, reducing and relieving symptoms, while addressing the root causes of those symptoms:

Gay men are frequently at higher risk for depression and anxiety issues. Youth who identify themselves as gay often are at a higher risk for depression and suicide attempts. Factors contributing to this may include discrimination, social alienation, and rejection by loved ones. Gay men who try to hide their sexual orientation, including those who lack social support, often have more difficulty.

Lesbian Issues

Counseling focused on addressing issues related to being lesbian, reducing and relieving symptoms, while addressing the root causes of those symptoms:

Lesbian women might be at higher risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, youth who identify themselves as lesbian, might have a higher risk of depression and attempted suicide. Contributing factors could include social alienation, discrimination, rejection by loved ones, abuse and violence. The problem might be more severe for lesbians who try to hide their sexual orientation and those who lack social support.

PTSD Issues

Counseling focused on addressing and reducing symptoms related to post traumatic stress, addressing the root causes of the trauma:

Some symptoms of PTSD are ongoing and recurring nightmares, flashbacks, and or emotional numbing relating to a traumatic event in your life that occurred several months or years ago.

Relationships and Dating Issues

Counseling focused on addressing issues related to dating and developing a long term relationship, reducing and mitigating symptoms, while addressing the root causes:

You watch the relationship red flags waving at you, but gosh, she’s/he's just so good-looking. So you dismiss them to see where the relationship will go. The problem with turning a blind eye to those red flags is that eventually they’ll come back to haunt you. You end up hurt and resentful, and upset with yourself.

Women's Issues

Counseling focused on issues relating to femininity:

Women’s Issues covers a wide-range of topics in the field of psychotherapy. Historically, women have been labeled as “hysterical” or improper when they are perceived as too emotional or too assertive. While times may have changed, women still struggle with the social and cultural forces that have historically defined them. Women also have some different health care needs than do men. Additionally women tend to approach relationships and developmental tasks differently, and often struggle with self-esteem, body image and sexuality concerns.

Counseling Approaches
Counseling Approaches
Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy - Using books selected for their therapeutic content, in a planned reading program or as an adjunct to traditional talk therapy designed to facilitate relief from symptoms the client is experiencing. Ideally, bibliotherapy occurs in three distinct phases: first the client works to identify with a particular character in the recommended reading, which leads to the client having a cathartic experience. Finally, through discussion of the relevant passages, coupled with guidance from the therapist, the client realizes the solution suggested in the text as it relates to the reader's own experience.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a counseling approach that aims to teach the person new skills on how to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy addresses depression and other emotional challenges, by identifying troubled thinking, behavior, and emotional responses.

EMDR Therapy

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy in which the patient recalls a traumatic event while simultaneously undergoing bilateral stimulation that can consist of moving the eyes from side to side, vibrations or tapping movements on different sides of the body, or tones delivered through one ear, then the other, via headphones. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering influence and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.

Life Coaching

Life Coaching is a service that is profoundly different from therapy, or counseling. The coaching process is a present and future focused process. It addresses specific personal projects, business successes, general conditions and transitions in the client's personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make your life be what you want it to be.

Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling is a type of therapy for a married couple or established couple that assists in resolving problems in the relationship. Typically, two people attend counseling sessions together to discuss specific issues. Marriage counseling helps couples learn to deal more effectively with problems, and can help prevent problems from becoming more serious. Research shows that marriage counseling, when effective, tends to improve a person's physical as well as mental health, in addition to improving the relationship.

Premarital Counseling

What does premarital counseling look like? It is as varying and unique as the personality and background of the therapist. Finding someone that you can trust, and who honors your unique situation, is essential. All too many couples get caught up in spending time planning their weddings without developing a plan for their marriage. The early stages of a relationship, when the feelings you have for your partner are usually positive, is the ideal time to become more conscious and intentional in the ways you interact and work together. Counseling can give you insights into where your particular relationship dynamics might be heading in the wrong direction. There is an educational aspect to pre-marital counseling as well, so that you can learn better communication skills and learn how to negotiate conflict so that you can resolve your differences in a way that actually strengthens your connection.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.

Seeking Safety Therapy

Seeking Safety Therapy -  The Seeking Safety Therapy approach is designed to treat both substance abuse disorders and PTSD, simultaneously. Safety is the overarching goal, (helping clients attain safety in their relationships, thinking, behavior and emotions). The focus is on is ideals, to counteract the loss of ideals in both PTSD and substance abuse. Seeking Safety Therapy was developed under a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse by Dr. Lisa Najavits.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist or counselor uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future and then therapist and client start attending to any moves towards it, whether these are small increments or large changes. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.

Languages
Languages Spoken
English