My office is located in Berkeley, California.
Please call (510) 524-8212 for an appointment.
People who come to me most often need a safe, supportive space to think through what bothers them—someone who really listens, sees who they are, and understands the pain they live with. The people I work with want to come to terms with the powerful narratives they impose on themselves, their families, their lovers, their friends, and the institutions that serve them. They want to understand their own stories, see their way through, and take charge of their own lives.
My office looks out on a garden bordered by bamboo. We have a safe, quiet place to come to know each other because I believe that healing takes place through being present in relationship.
Some people need me to give them lots of time to talk about their life while I listen, saying very little unless asked to comment. Other people feel happiest when the talk goes back and forth. They want my reflections and an immediate sharing; and naturally, some people like both styles of encounter. At least part of my job is to cooperate with what is most useful to assist your process, and occasionally, it falls upon me to interrupt a person’s process in so far as it appears to be self-defeating; but then I expect to be interrupted too if I fail to understand.
I am old enough to have studied a number of therapy models. I just don’t think Freud or Jung, Klein, Fairbairn, Bion, Winnicott, Reich, Lowen, or for that matter Attachment Theory or CBT has all the answers. In fact, having a strong, broad spiritual background, a sense of absurdity and most fortunately, a sense of humor; I don’t think there is just one answer for everything anymore than, much as I love peanut butter, I only intend to eat it for the rest of my life.
Mostly I begin working face to face, seated in conversation, until we have a basic trust and some conversation about what direction feels most natural and purposeful. We may for instance, remain seated face to face, or branch off into somatic work, Jungian dreamwork and discussion of the myth that is living us, or opt for the couch and Psycho-Analysis. Some people touch in, with time, to more than one option. Whatever the form our therapy takes, I am committed to assisting you in fulfilling your deepest purposes, in what seems to be a much harder life than anyone prepared us for.
John P. Conger, PhD