Larry O’Connor, Marriage and Family Therapist
My style is active, informal, and at times humorous. I don’t just listen but respond in ways that clarify, offer suggestions and strategies. I strive to help individuals understand how they can live and relate authentically, and to consider their own sensibilities and intentions with confidence. Too often we limit ourselves, live in self-isolation, in our thoughts, beliefs, aspirations, or what we want from relationships. The desire for change often comes as a reaction to dissatisfaction with our current circumstances, situation, or state. But this reaction can compel us to dismiss exceptional qualities we already possess. Change isn’t about dismissing yourself, but accepting yourself by acknowledging your desires, and intentionally actualizing these.
Individuals feel comfortable and equal with me. I believe therapy should provide solutions, improve self esteem, and realistic recognition of one’s abilities.
Improving relationships involves recognizing how each individual’s prior experience co-creates the dynamic of the current relationship. The tricky part though is accepting it as simply cause and effect, rather than right or wrong.
In healthy relationships individuals are able to openly communicate individual concerns, without reprimand, or their partner personalizing what they’ve said. When individuals anticipate reprimand or dismissal, conflicts remain un-resolved, so when new ones arise, not having constructive experience repairing conflicts only leads to more conflict. I encourage couples to develop Differentiation: in which individuality can mutually exist with commitment. The opposite of differentiation is Enmeshment, becoming entangled, giving up one’s identity to avoid repercussions–and later resenting it.
My Specialties Include:
- Improving Relationships and Communication
- Navigating Separation, Divorce, and Co-Parenting
- Successfully Managing Depression and Anxiety
- Finding Individual Meaning and Purpose in life
- Making Successful Transitions
- Men’s Issues
- Addressing Substance Abuse, and Addictions
Theories I draw from:
- Existential psychotherapy
- Humanistic psychology
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Interpersonal psychoanalysis
I have offices both in San Francisco and Palo Alto.
I always encourage you to read or post reviews on Yelp.