Esther Lerman, M.A., M.F.T.

Esther Lerman View Specialties

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Are you struggling in your relationship?  Do you feel alone or alienated instead of connected to your partner?  Do you wish you could get past the same old stuck places of cold distance,  passive emptiness or heated fighting?  For over 25 years I have been helping individuals and couples with their relationship struggles.  Individual therapy can help you to feel better about your self, your relationships and your life.  Couples therapy will bring renewed energy and better communication to your relationship.  You can reduce the fighting and/or the shut down alienation between you and your partner.  You'll gain greater intimacy through my facilitating your conversations and empathy for each other.
I offer a safe space to feel heard and understood in order to explore your issues.  With empathy, gentle guidance and insight, I will help you get to the root of your difficulties.  When you understand the deeper, often unconscious, layers of your problems, doors open and change becomes possible.  As we un-pack the sources of your problems, the solutions become more apparent.  There is no magic, it is hard work, but well worth the effort.  The key is building empathy and compassion for yourself and for others.

With couples, specifically,  I focus on building communication skills, analyzing the repetitive patterns of interaction (so as to break them), and looking at the "baggage" that each person is bringing from the past to the present relationship.  You'll become aware of the relationship dynamic as the problem, not the person, and that is what we will work on changing.  And the changes will be so rewarding.  The miscommunication, distance, constant conflict or infidelity that may be plaguing you can be transformed.  
With both couples and individual clients, I will meet you where you're at, move at your pace, while also offering encouragement to speak about whatever is troubling you. I'll work collaboratively with you using empathy, intuition, understanding of the unconscious and, at times, my sense of humor.

I work with:

- Couples struggling with communication, intimacy, cross-cultural issues, infidelity, hurt, anger and other kinds of disconnections.

-Women's issues, especially self-esteem, co-dependency,
aging and grief.

-Men with issues of depression, isolation, self-esteem and relationship issues.

- Sand tray therapy for those who wish to explore their inner world through a non-verbal path using small objects to create a scene with symbolic meanings, known and unknown.

In 25+ years of practice, I have helped a great many clients of varied ethnicities, disabilities and sexual orientations.  I have been honored to be trusted to share in so many clients' journeys.  I hope to share in yours, too.

Esther Lerman Reaches

Oakland CA
Berkeley CA