office - faces artwork - family recovery instituteBegin a practice of regular professional contact to understand the setup you’ve been caught in, its effects on you and your loved one, and actively pursue healthier ways of responding that promote change

Dr. Perlmutter, licensed clinical psychologist (PSY 25112), provides individual psychotherapy, family therapy, and couple’s counseling in Marin County and San Francisco or by telephone/video conference within California. Most clients are parents or partners of individuals with complex behavioral healthcare disorders including addiction. Often the entire family participates; sometimes a subset of members or just a single member. It only takes one willing member to promote system shifts toward health. We also welcome the chance to work directly with clients who have personally experienced challenges with mental health or addiction. For out of state clients, parent or partner coaching is available remotely.


With more than 27 years of experience, Dr. Perlmutter combines psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive-behavioral, and spiritual 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
  • create an open perspective that includes exploration of spiritual values

Individual Therapy

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)

Couples Work

At the heart of any coupleship is the intimate partnership.

Couples can restore trust and intimacy when it has been corroded 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 death of parents, suicide, loss of a child, chronic illness or other trauma

Family Therapy and Parent Coaching

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.

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
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