M.S. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (Counseling) - Dual specialization in MFT and Rehabilitation, 1992.
B.A. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (Psychology) 1983.
Master Certified Gottman Method Therapist, Trainer and Consultant #119
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #MFC 33393 California
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor #CRC 28247 through The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)
"There was reinforcement of the love that already existed.
Our relationship was good but stuck. Communication was a core issue. We were concerned about whether or not any therapist would really get the problem and us...and the cost.
Lisa was fantastic. I honestly have nothing bad to say. She was perfect. I was overwhelmed by how she handled us. We are now more open, have better communication, barriers have broken down, and there was a reinforcement of the love that already existed.
What would you say to couples that are considering working with Couples Therapy Inc.?
Just do it" - Recent Retreat Participant
"Before Couples Therapy Inc. we went to some who were totally unqualified to handle our needs. I was going to file for divorce. Lack of communication and suspicion of infidelity were the core issues.
I liked everything about Lisa and I have nothing negative to say. She was so helpful in the way she kept us on track and figured out what we should be working on to get the maximum benefit in the time frame we had.
We're learning to communicate about things in our relationship that were potentially going to cause the marriage to end. Now we have tools and exercises that allow us to become much closer to each other and a direction for us to grow in for a happier and healthier relationship. It was emotionally, spiritually, and physically moving. I'm very happy I did it and will always be grateful for what it did for us.
I would recommend couples therapy even for healthy marriages.
Working with Lisa stopped a divorce, improved communication, and brought us together in a way we haven't had since we first became involved with each other romantically." -Recent Marriage Retreat Participant
Lisa Lund's knowledge and skill sets were fantastic.
"Our relationship was/is good, but we are struggling with some issues. We wanted to improve our communication and address some past traumas.
We had made several connections with couples therapy in the past and predominately found them lacking. The skill of the past therapists was a real issue, and conducting the therapy sessions in one-hour increments was also a problem for us.
The track record of our therapist [Lisa Lund] was significant, and the intensive weekend, full day structure was very important to us. The Gottman Institute philosophy seemed promising as well.
Before starting, we had two concerns. One was the investment cost of the commitment, though considering the many hours our therapist worked with us, as well as the staff that supported the treatment center, it didn't seem particularly unreasonable. The second concern was whether we'd agree with the philosophy of the institute and if it was really fact-based. We seriously didn't want something that referred to a religious or spiritual philosophy in this setting. Thankfully CTI didn't.
We got a better understanding of some past traumas in our relationship, as well as some very solid tools for communicating with each other that I believe will be very helpful going forward.
Lisa Lund's knowledge and skill sets were fantastic. We feel that (unfortunately) the majority of therapists we've been exposed to in the past did not have obvious skills to be particularly helpful, nor did it feel they were doing much more than just listing to us talk. Lisa Lund was actively engaging with us with ease and skill.
I would recommend CTI to others, with the consideration of whether the expense of it was possible for them to manage. We are grateful that we were able to make it work, but it is unfortunate that this kind of one-on-one therapy is limited to those who can afford it.
We had the opportunity to have personal therapy and couples therapy, and we received tools to improve our relationship going forward. It was also nice to be in a fun city like the Bay Area for the off hours in-between our sessions.
What would you say to couples that are considering working with Couples Therapy Inc.?
This is a great opportunity to improve your relationship, and to help you get very helpful perspectives on your personal challenges. -Recent Marriage Retreat Participant
My passion is helping couples repair their relationships. I’ve been a psychotherapist for 25 years and have worked with many populations but I find couple’s work to be most rewarding. I like the energy and the challenge of holding two differing points of view without judgment (and teaching couples to do the same).
These days, I only work with couples. All couples are welcome to my practice including engaged, married, straight, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender couples. I believe all relationships are cross-cultural in that we all bring unique backgrounds to our union. What I don’t know I’m open to learning from you.
I use evidence based methods because I believe too much of couples therapy has been based on someone’s opinion of what a good relationship looks like, rather than on what research with real couples tells us works. I often tell my clients they don’t need to go to “couple nirvana” to heal. Evidence based studies tell us there aren’t any perfect couples.
I enjoy debunking the common myth that conflict is a predictor of divorce. Conflict is normal in close relationships and not an index that something is wrong. In fact, disagreements are full of existential meaning and the opportunity to know one another better, but couples need to know how to make these conversations safe. My role as a couples’ therapist is to help couples approach conflict more gently, because that’s what happy couples in the research were doing.
The happy couples in the research, though not perfect, were more mindful about maintaining their friendship, managing their conflict, and continuing to build a sense of shared meaning in their lives.
“Friendship, a gentle approach to conflict and shared meaning, when strong, are both the effects and the causes of happy relationships”. John Gottman, A Science-Based Approach
Whether you coming in for a tune-up, enhancement or repair there are many ways that we can work together to strengthen your relationship. You might be surprised at how fast things turn around by making some small but significant changes.
The Gottman Method can be integrative and some other approaches that I blend into my work are; Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Dan Wile’s Collaborative Couples Therapy and David Olsen’s Premarital (prepare/enrich).
I'm a a Master Gottman Trainer, Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist, lecturer and Rehabilitation Counselor.
Prior to working in private practice, I was a consultant with the Marriott Foundation. I educated employers about the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in private meetings and public presentations. I matched youth with disabilities to employer paid positions and provided follow up counseling to both employee and employer. My position involved direct consultation, education, presentations and trainings to youth, parents and employers on the topic of accommodating persons with disabilities in the work environment. Most of the teens I worked with had ADHD or other learning disorders. I later developed a specialty of working with adults who had a diagnosis of ADHD.
My interest in rehabilitation counseling was a result of surviving a life threatening illness as a young woman. I had just graduated college when I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. I was unable to do anything other than focus on treatment and healing for 2 years. The experience helped me appreciate the impact a life changing event has on a person, a couple and a family. I was influenced in my personal recovery by Stanford Physician and Spiritual Author, Jerry Jampolsky, whose teachings focused on inner peace and living in the present. I try to bring present moment mindfulness into my sessions with couples.
There are so many transitions in life that can be traumatic whether it’s a life threatening illness, recovery from addiction, a natural disaster or some other life changing event. The effects of trauma can hurt relationships, but it’s also true that people in strong relationships do better with trauma simply because they are not facing the “dragon” alone. It’s a gift to be able to help a couple move through a tough transition in a loving and connected way.
My favorite activity is hiking on the many beautiful trails in Marin County. I know most of them like the back of my hand and hiking with my long-term partner Jeff, my friends, or by myself is my favorite hobby. Marin County has beautiful hiking and biking trails that include vistas of Mount Tamalpais, Point Reyes and the Golden Gate Bridge. A hike through the Redwoods may lead you to a lake, a beach or a waterfall. For couples who enjoy hiking and visiting Marin, I recommend Don and Kay Martin’s Guide to “Hiking Marin”.
My favorite date night is a night out with Jeff to a SF Giants Baseball Game. To be honest, we don’t go as often as we’d like. And it seems every time we go in person, the Giants’ lose. The day before we go they win, and the day after we go they win, but the day we go they lose. I’m not sure how to remove the jinx, but we still go and we have fun. AT&T baseball park is located downtown next to the SF Bay where many “splash hits” happen. It’s a fun ballpark win or lose (...better if you are a Giants’ fan, to go when we are not there).
Jeff and I are empty nesters - almost. Four years ago, we visited an animal shelter to adopt a kitten. While there, we fell in love with a 5 year old dachshund who had just weaned her puppies. We took “Ma Ma” home and renamed her, Chloe. Did I mention that we also took home the kitten, named Jerry? Chloe and Jerry turned out to be a handful and engage in a very active love hate relationship. Volatile as they are, these two really do love each other and provide us with countless moments of entertainment.
My office is located in Kentfield, Marin County. It’s about a 20 minute drive from the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. There are many choices for lodging in San Francisco or in the Marin towns of Sausalito, Mill Valley, Larkspur, Tiburon, San Rafael or West Marin. Some of the beautiful hiking trails mentioned earlier are a short distance from my office. Phoenix Lake in Ross is about a mile away. The Marin Art and Garden Center close by is a nice place to stroll or take a lunch to eat outdoors. For couples who want to eat lunch indoors, I recommend the Half Day Cafe a half block away, or a short drive to the small, quaint town of San Anselmo.
My current office space is up a flight of stairs. Please let me know ahead of time if stairs are a problem and I will secure an office on the first floor for our meeting.
Certified and a Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute.
Executive Board Member and Treasurer - Marin CAMFT (2000)
Certified Gottman Method Couple’s Therapist and Workshop Leader (2009)
Collaborative Couples Counseling Training (2005 - 2008)
Prepare Enrich - Advanced Training (1999) - Premarital Assessment
Executive Board Member - Matrix Program, San Rafael (2001-2002)
The Art & Science of Love Workshop
Gottman Level 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm
Gottman Level 2: Assessment, Interventions, and Co-Morbidities
Gottman Level 3: Practicum Workshop
When your marriage or relationship is in crisis you may not feel connected with one another even when you aren’t arguing. The friendship may feel flat or nonexistent, and discussions about differences may be polarized and extreme; that is if you are engaging with one another at all. If this sounds familiar and you are seeking therapy, one or both of you is seriously concerned about the state of your union (a good sign) or one or both of you want to break up. Some common examples of crisis situations are:
An extramarital affair is considered by most partners to be a profound betrayal. In her book “Not Just Friends” Dr. Shirley Glass uses the metaphor of walls and windows to describe what happens when there is an affair. “In a love affair, the unfaithful partner has built a wall to shut out the marriage partner and opened a window to let in the affair partner. To re-establish a marriage that is intimate and trusting after an affair, the wall and window must be reconstructed to conform to the safety code and keep the structure of the marriage sound so that it can withstand the test of time.”
Sometimes affairs are physical and sometimes they are emotional. Both types are destructive. I help couples using Shirley Glass’s model by assisting them to repair the wall that protects their marriage, creating a strong boundary between them and the affair partner. This means ending the affair and agreeing to no more secrets. Using the structure of the Gottman Method, I will guide you to talk about the affair safely without doing further damage. Once we understand what happened with both partners in the know, we can begin to look at rebuilding the trust and foundation of the relationship. Affairs are serious, but they are not the main reason couples get divorced.
A tragedy such as a death, loss of employment or home, serious illness or other catastrophic event is challenging even for the best of relationships. If your relationship has not been as strong as it could be, a life crisis will hit you even harder. Sometimes couples shut down in their grief or hold blame for one another for what happened. Sometimes they grieve in different ways and misread one another. For example, a husband who returns to work the day after a stillborn and a wife who is left in disbelief, mistakenly assuming that her husband does not care.
We handle trauma in our own individual ways and sometimes our ways clash, leaving us feeling alone and unsupported. I will help you talk to each other about what the traumatic event meant to you.
We will establish some agreed upon ways that you can be there for one another and show support whether it be talking, or building some reliable rituals of connection.Facing a tragedy is never easy but facing it alone can feel devastating. Don’t let a traumatic event come between you. Couples counseling can help.