Dr. Perlmutter is a California licensed clinical psychologist (PSY 25112) who provides individual psychotherapy, family therapy, and couple’s counseling to people experiencing significant life disturbance. With offices in Marin County and San Francisco, Dr. Perlmutter works with clients to address difficulties with relationships, partnerships, marriages, parenting, teen and young adult development, family patterns, moods, thinking, and behaviors including substance abuse and various addictions.
Sessions via Skype or telephone can be conducted with California clients though these work best when supported by periodic in-person sessions. A key tenet in Dr. Perlmutter’s treatment philosophy holds that all interventions and change processes can be conducted kindly and with dignity and respect for all involved. Clients are helped to express their needs and limits, especially in wounded family relationships, by combining truth with grace. Seeking stillness, finding acceptance, and putting into words what once seemed too terrible to face or to know, helps clients to develop reliable change plans and discover sustainable solutions.
With more than 24 years of experience, Dr. Perlmutter combines psychodynamic, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and psychoanalytically-informed techniques to:
- Bring understanding and build connection (including to self)
- Translate complex emotions, ideas, and relationships into easy to understand terms
- Restore balance in partnerships and families
- Clarify limits and express the emotional truth with grace and dignity
- Implement sustainable coping mechanisms and problem-solving strategies
- Effectively manage resources and minimize further losses of money, health, sanity, freedom, serenity, and quality of life which most clients have been experiencing
- Gain freedom from disabling thoughts and fears by seeking stillness and putting into words what once seemed unspeakable or too terrible to face
Individuals seek help for a variety of reasons including:
- Substance abuse and addiction including relapse after long-term sobriety
Relationship conflicts especially in intimate partnerships and the family
- Work place challenges particularly around leadership, authority, and performance
- Young adult failure to thrive and failure to launch
- Behavioral problems including impaired coping, self-harm, self-defeating patterns, insatiability, hostility and compassion fatigue
- Longstanding patterns of loss including unresolved grief or childhood interruptions of the sense of safety (trauma)
The family is a system reliant upon the participation of each member to maintain its balance. The system may be balanced toward health or toward illness and loss. Family therapy explores the system and invites members to consider how they are each participating within the system. Myths are examined and dispelled, power struggles and authority dynamics are shifted away from conflict and control, trust begins to rebuild as members create a safe space to express and hear each other’s emotional truth. Bringing forth each member’s authentic voice (from which many have been disconnected) serves as a unifying and confidence-promoting shared effort. Moments of joy and harmony can be again experienced.
Families use systems work to restore balance when:
- A member has been experiencing addiction, compulsion, or severe mental illness
- A member is returning from or requiring intensive treatment
- Members are suffering and disconnected in the face of recent or chronic losses
- Criminal behavior, betrayal, violence or other trauma occur in the family’s midst
- Disorder, distraction, disconnection, or deprivation saturate the family environment
- Uncertainty and doubt cannot be effectively managed
Troubled couples need help when their intimacy and partnership has been wounded by losses, illness, distractions, and turmoil. Couple’s therapy begins with an examination of these wounds as well as the articulation of the couple’s goals, hopes, intentions, and values. Typically, the work revolves around developing an intimate partnership characterized by trust and honesty. A protective “membrane” will be developed to surround the partners, across which only selected and permitted others and events are permitted to intrude. In this way a “sacred coupleship” can be launched, dedicated to the promotion of the entire family’s wellness and connection.
Couples can restore intimacy when it has been corroded or distracted by:
- Substance abuse or addiction in one (or both) of the partners
- Parenting challenges with a troubled teen or stuck young adult
- Sexual compulsivity or loss of attraction/interest in sex with each other
- Major losses including suicide, loss of a child, chronic illness