Richard Doleman, MA, MFT

Richard Doleman View Specialties

In my late thirties, with a painful history of failed love relationships, and moving towards a career change, I returned to school. I was drawn to psychology mainly to understand why my relationships had been so hurtfully difficult. Relationship therapy subsequently became my focus, my fascination and my life's path.
As I evolved into this treatment specialty over the years, I tried a number of relationship-oriented approaches. I experienced some success mixing and matching what I perceived were the best of these offerings. However, I had only  moderate success with my couples, which was disappointing considering how much energy I spent learning. A relatively recent study shows that couples therapy, on a national average, has only about a 33% success rate: dismal!
Fortunately, in 2004 I discovered Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, or EFT, developed by Dr. Susan M. Johnson. It was such a compelling modality that I totally jumped into the training. My excitement grew as my success rate climbed.
From the first session you begin to see that neither you nor your partner is ill-intentioned or pathologically impaired. Both of you are acting in ways that make sense, in that you are each in your own way trying to create a better relationship. You then come to understand that the way that you are bouncing off of one another in these well-intentioned efforts is sadly tearing your relationship apart. Once you see the steps of this destructive dance and get in touch with the emotional music underneath that tells you that you can't be loved by him or her, I help you to feel and move to the deeper music of longing that reconnects you with your partner. You begin to dance together again, stopping the old hurtful pattern, and moving in a new way that makes you feel safe and close, and in love again.
The focus of EFT is to change the nature of the emotional experience which you have with your partner or family member. It is based on doing, rather than insight or education. This is what creates such rapid and lasting change and such a high success rate. New meaning comes out of the new emotional experiences that I help you have in session and that you repeat at home during the week. 
This is deeply transformative therapy: it moves you. It empowers you to be an ongoing agent of change in your relationships. The few therapists who have made the considerable effort needed to learn EFT are absolutely passionate about it because it is so emotionally compelling and effective. I love this work. You will love this work too, once you begin to experience the power of authentic emotional connection. 
The stats for EFT are phenomenal: 73% to 75% of participants in after-treatment studies scored as happily married, while 90% scored as significantly improved. In subsequent studies, at intervals of months following the completion of EFT treatment, couples score progressively higher, indicating improvement over time. Nothing else in the couples therapy world comes even close to these results.

I am certified as an EFT therapist and supervisor. I teach and supervise other therapists who are learning EFT. I also have advanced training in AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), an attachment-based, emotionally focused, experiential approach which works as well with individuals as EFT does with couples. Twenty-three years of marriage, plus my experience as a father and a grandfather, inform my therapy work as well. This, combined with over 27 years of doing psychotherapy with a diverse population of clients in Sonoma County, makes me especially qualified to help you with your relationship difficulties.  

Richard Doleman Reaches

Santa Rosa CA