Psychotherapy and Consultation Berkeley and San Francisco

Career & Life Transitions | Couples Counseling | Drugs & Alcohol Counseling | Trauma & EMDR
Teen/Adolescent Counseling | Gay & Lesbian Counseling


People come to counseling for different reasons. Sometimes they know they need to change something and they need some help to make those changes. Other people may know that what they're currently doing isn't working but aren't sure they need change.

Dpending on your goals, we may focus on: I believe that everyone has strong innate coping skills and I usually recommend using that as the foundation of our work together. I specialize in helping people who are:

Career and Life Transitions:

Dealing with some type of life transition.

Many life transitions, even good ones, are filled with some sadness, anxiety, fear, or sudden shifts in feeling. They involve losses of people, places, roles and a sense of where you fit in the world. A life transition can be positive or negative, planned or unexpected. Some are very dramatic, such as accidents, death, divorce, job loss or a serious illness.

Other life transitions are "happy" events like marriage, moving in with a significant other, a new job, moving to a new city, starting school or having a child. Even though these events are typically planned and anticipated, they can stir up a lot of emotional feelings and worry.

Read more about counseling for career and life transitions

Couples and Relationship Counseling:

Wanting to create lasting change in their relationships.

Interpersonal relationships can be great sources of strength, but can also be great sources of stress. We all share a fundamental need for closeness and security, but very few of us had great models for how to develop and sustain relationships with others, let alone how to deal with the inevitable conflicts that arise in those relationships.

I am skilled, knowledgeable and experienced at helping people learn how to resolve conflicts and strengthen their relationships.

Read more about couples and relationship counseling.

Drugs and Alcohol Counseling:

There are many reasons why people use drugs and alcohol. People start using drugs or alcohol for good reasons: to fit in, to socialize, to have fun, to ease anxiety or to self-medicate for depression, anxiety or the lingering effects of trauma. Sometimes drug or alcohol use can begin to feel out of control. Even if it doesn't feel out of control, it may be something you'd like to change, reduce, quit or learn to use in a less harmful and more healthful way. I help people change their relationships to drugs and alcohol in non-shaming ways.

Read more about counseling for drugs and alcohol.

Trauma and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing):

Overcoming a traumatic life experience and seeking relief.

When people experience trauma or negative life events, they may relate to themselves or others in ways that feel "stuck" or repetitious. EMDR helps move you out of these negative mental patterns and into a more healthy way of functioning.

EMDR is a proven and well-researched therapeutic technique that combines talking and structured eye movement that is similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement). You are conscious during the entire session.

Read more about overcoming trauma and EMDR.

Adolescents and Teen Counseling:

Adolescents negotiating the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Adolescence is a vitally important time in the transition from childhood to adulthood. It's the time when teens begin to think more critically about themselves and the world around them. This can be an especially trying time for both teens and their families. Teens need a safe place to talk things over with a trusted adult, so they can speak freely without shame and without concern that they will hurt their parent or caregiver. Healthy adolescent development depends on youth feeling supported, respected and trusted.

My approach to counseling with teens and their families is strengths-based and affirming to both the teen and their parents. I am skilled at working with teens and their families around issues of depression, anxiety, self-esteem and self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors.

Read more about Adolescent and Teen Counseling.

Gay & Lesbian Counseling

Being a more confident gay or lesbian person

For many gay and lesbian people, life can be filled with feelings of self-judgment, confusion, and either subtle or overt messages that part of you is wrong or bad. Many gay and lesbian people are reacting to the bullying that happened to them as children and, as a result, shy away from intimacy, trust, and vulnerability. Others are often reacting to the very real, current day attacks on gay and lesbian individuals and couples.

Read more about counseling for gay and lesbian concerns.

John Wiskind, LCSW, MPH | CA License: LCS22185
Phone: (510) 292-9090 | Email:

538 Hayes St., S.F., CA 94102 | 3036 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705

John Wiskind provides counseling in Hayes Valley, San Francisco and Berkeley, California. His specialties include Couples/Relationship Counseling, Drug and Alcohol Use and Addiction, Trauma and EMDR, Gay and Lesbian Issues and work with Adolescents and Families. His offices are accessible to highways 580, 880, 24, 80, 101, Ashby BART, Civic Center BART, MUNI, AC Transit, and close to Oakland, El Cerrito, Albany, Downtown San Francisco, Civic Center, Mission, Castro, Haight and Noe Valley.