Career and Honors

Beliefs about Counseling and Coaching


Our offices are located in Santa Monica, California. The building is approximately one mile from the beach. If you request an appointment or a consultation, we will give you detailed directions to our premises and information about parking.


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Most Recent Paper:

After Separation: Reflections on the Plight of the Alienated Child

SERVICES | Parent Counseling

There is no greater life challenge than that of parenting children across the transit from birth to emancipation while at the same time being involved in the rigors of having to meet career or job requirements; needing to take effective care of relationships with a partner, with friends, and with members of extended families; and still finding enough time to nourish one’s own being. What makes the parenting challenge even more difficult than almost any other is that the requirements of what constitutes reasonable parenting continue to shift as offspring mature and enter successive developmental eras. What infants need from us as parents is quite different from the parenting challenges posed by toddlers, and this, in turn, gives way to new demands through each subsequent period until at last we have to establish adult-to-adult relationships with our emancipated and separated grown children. The following brief descriptions of the journey and its demands might be informative:

  • The latter stages of the pregnancy - Achieving emotional readiness for parenting
  • Birth to eight months - Bonding and recreating womb-like security
  • Eight to sixteen months - Emotional attunement and the management of separation rhythms
  • Sixteen to forty months - The struggles over socialization: teaching with kindness, patience, and support
  • Forty months to kindergarten - Overseeing the learning of early sex role behavior and gender requirements free of shame and guilt
  • Kindergarten to pre-pubescence - Learning to support and to guide entry into the community with a light touch
  • The dance of adolescence - Turning over authority and responsibility for the young person’s life at a rate and in a fashion that neither suffocates nor leaves the adolescent unbounded
  • Managing emancipation - Making a transition plan
  • Establishing adult-to-adult relationships - Differentiation, disengagement/reengagement, and the achievement of mutuality

Every one of these shifting demands on parents is fraught with challenge and difficulty. Depending on a particular family, in moving through developmental eras one or more of the following signs of family stress may appear if proper attunement is not occurring:

  • Continuing dissension between parents or between one or another parent and a child
  • Defiance, stubborn behavior, willful disobedience, temper outbursts
  • Failure to learn, to progress, to make use of obvious talents, underachievement
  • Fear of going to school, new experiences, challenge
  • Eating disorders
  • Fearfulness, overcautiousness, hesitancy about growing up
  • Reclusiveness, lack of interest in social relations
  • Vague and continuing physical complaints
  • Premature “sophistication” and pseudo-sexuality
  • Alcohol or chemical dependency or abuse

IF YOU SEE YOURSELF OR ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN IN THESE DESCRIPTIONS - OR IF YOU SIMPLY WANT COACHING TO PREVENT LATER PARENTING PROBLEMS - COUNSELING OR PARENT TRAINING CAN BE OF HELP. In the supportive, understanding, and information-rich family counseling relationship, you can be taught practical skills for rising to and overcoming the parenting challenges that now may appear to be so daunting. When necessary, family counseling sessions can also be made part of the learning plan so that all members of the family can be heard and find ways to have their needs met. Please consider using one of the links provided below...