For almost 30 years, as a Marriage & Family Therapist, I have been walking alongside and helping clients as they pursue their goals of improving their relationships and healing from painful life experiences.
I have experience working with adults with relationship issues, depression, childhood abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, life transitions, and with couples at all stages of their relationships. I especially enjoy working with pre-engaged, engaged and early married couples to provide help before ineffective patterns get established in the couple relationship. Almost every client can benefit from improving communications skills and that is often a practical part of the therapy work I do with clients.
How I Work with Clients
Therapy is all about making change in your life. It requires motivation and effort both in the counseling sessions and outside of the sessions. It requires taking risks to try new ways of being and behaving. It is often uncomfortable to feel the pain or discomfort of change. My part is to help you see your patterns of behavior that do not work for you, to see how and where you might be stuck, to guide you through a change process and to walk alongside during this time of change. In addition, I often recommend targeted practice or homework to supplement the work done in session and to reinforce any gains.
Individuals: My approach to working with clients is determined by your unique needs and concerns. We will first discuss your goals and the symptoms of your current problems. We will explore your issues in depth, your history, and what you have tried that has not worked. Some of the interventions I use are from the approaches of Object Relations, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Communication Theory and Family Systems, and Family-of-Origin dynamics. Our relationship is important and needs to develop into a trusting relationship where you will feel safe.
Couples: Helping couples usually require a more directive approach, yet integrates interventions from the above mentioned therapeutic approaches. I integrate communication skills as an important component in improving couple relationships.
Families: Family-of-origin conflicts (current or past) are often a source of the current issues that clients bring to the counseling session. Resolving or coming to terms with those conflicts may be a part of the change needed for individuals and couples to move forward.
I am sensitive to your desire to integrate your faith into your therapy. We will discuss your needs related to your faith and how they intersect with your concerns. Or, you may prefer not to discuss spiritual matters and I respect that choice. The use of spiritual disciplines in the therapy sessions, such as prayer and scripture, is by mutual consent.
My training includes a variety of psychological testing tools including the MMPI, the MCMI-IV, the 16 PF (Personality Factors), the Self-Directed Search and PREPARE/ENRICH Inventories.
PREPARE/ENRICH is a registered trademark and is used with permission.
I am a native San Franciscan and love the cultural diversity of our city. My contact with people of many different cultures has brought an element of understanding of many cultural issues that are brought into the counseling room.
I have been married for more than 40 years. We have two sons, one daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.
Myrna L. Klassen, M.A., MFT