Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW

Individual and Couples Therapist, Educator

1050 Northgate Drive, Suite 480, San Rafael, California     www.marriagemeetings.com


If you’re considering therapy, the answers below should give you a sense of what to expect in our work together. I believe in marriage and am committed to helping people create an emotionally and spiritually fulfilling relationship. To learn more, you’re welcome to phone me for a free consultation. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What kinds of people see you for help?

Some examples:

  • Couples or individuals who want a happier marriage.
  • A single or married woman who has focused on her successful career and now wants to grow personally and improve her relationship(s).
  • Engaged couples or individuals who want to prepare for a fulfilling marriage.
  • A single woman who wants to get past her obstacles to marrying.
  • A young man with anxiety about a career decision.
  • People who are experiencing anxiety or depression.
  • People with alcohol or substance abuse issues.
  • An empty nest couple who wants to restore a positive connection with each other

2. Specifically, how do you help people like me?

First, I listen to you about what’s happening in your life now and what you’d like to be different. I respond to you as a unique person. An experienced therapist who’s been well-trained in both cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic approaches, I’ll respond to you and your situation thoughtfully and guide you toward creating practical solutions that fit for you.

3. Is therapy really right for someone like me?

Everyone can grow personally. Through psychotherapy, you can move from a mode of surviving or just getting by to more joy, meaning, and satisfying connections with others. Good therapy fosters personal growth, which we gain by facing and resolving difficult situations. I can assist you in identifying your core issues, and in setting and accomplishing your goals.

4. What happens in a session with you?

I encourage you to set the agenda, meaning you bring up what’s on your mind. If desired, I might suggest a topic that you might choose to follow up on. I listen attentively and respond as needed. My comments are intended to help you move forward toward reaching your goals. I may suggest exercises you can do on your own in between session, to help you progress more quickly. 

5. Why can’t I just handle my problems on my own?

It’s healthy to seek professional help for challenges that you haven’t resolved on your own. A skilled therapist can help you move past self-defeating patterns and into a more fulfilling life.                                                                                                                                            6. Can you make my spouse, child, or someone else change?

If you’re feeling stressed, you can learn ways to help yourself feel better, regardless of how the other person behaves. Once you commit to therapy, you can expect to experience more fulfilling relationships.

7. Why can’t I use therapy just to vent about present and past difficulties?

Some venting may help you to connect with your feelings, which can be beneficial. Using the psychotherapy time solely to air frustrations, however, can foster a sense of hopelessness. I can help you to form and implement goals for yourself, and to reverse this pattern.

8. How long does it take?

Some situational stresses are resolved within a few sessions. A longer term of therapy is generally needed to produce a lasting resolution for more longstanding issues.

9. Why did you write a book about Marriage Meetings?

I wrote Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted to give couples a simple tool to increase intimacy, romance, and teamwork, and to resolve issues more smoothly. The book gives step by step instructions for holding the meetings, which are short, gentle, loosely structured conversations that use positive communication skills. My husband and I have been holding weekly meetings for over thirty years. Political consultant Joel Blackman says: “This book opened my eyes to a new way of relating. If I had known about marriage meetings back then, I’d probably still be married.”

10. What are your qualifications as a therapist?

A licensed clinical social worker, I earned my MSW degree at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. I gained expertise as a couple and family therapist at the Family Therapy Institute of Marin’s extensive training program.  With over thirty years of experience, I’ve held senior level positions in agencies specializing in family and children’s services, alcoholism treatment, and psychiatry.



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