Larry O’Connor, Marriage and Family Therapist
I work with individuals to live and relate authentically by giving consideration to their individual capabilities and intents. Too often we limit or live in isolation from ourselves, our beliefs, and zeal, even carrying this into relationships. Too often the desire for change comes as a reaction to dissatisfaction with our self or current circumstances. But this can compel us to dismiss the exceptional qualities we already possess. Change isn’t about dismissing our qualities, but accepting and realistically addressing, and actualizing them more genuinely.
My style is active, informal, and at times humorous. I don’t just listen, but try to respond in ways that clarify, before offering suggestions and strategies.
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 our prior experiences influences our current relationships. Both individuals co-create the dynamic of their relationship. The tricky part though is understanding how, and accepting its cause and effect, rather than right or wrong.
In healthy relationships individuals are able to openly communicate concerns, without reprimand, or fearing 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 is Enmeshment, becoming entangled by giving up one’s identity to avoid repercussions–and later resenting it.
My Specialties Include:
- Improving Relationships and Communication
- 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.