Counselor / Therapist in San Diego, CA

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Dr. Barbara Cunningham, Psy.D., MFT

Dr. Barbara Cunningham, Psy.D., MFT photo
Thrive, Don't Just Survive!
As a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in couples therapy as well as divorce therapy, I am expert in helping marriages and individuals to thrive, not merely survive! By understanding yesterday, people can be empowered to gain more fulfillment in the present and realize dreams into the future.

As a clinician with training at the doctoral level, I have assisted married and divorcing couples, families and individuals for years. I address numerous concerns, including marital problems, family conflict, parental issues, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, substance abuse, and aging issues such as empty nest adjustment, to name a few. I am passionate about my work in the fields of individual counseling, couples counseling, and family counseling. I am very respectful of the notion that it takes great courage to embark upon a path of personal growth and change.

In working with couples, I believe that two strong "I's" make the strongest possible "we." Because I am a systems therapist, I also believe that it is possible to do couples therapy with only one partner. In systems thinking, if there is a change in one person, the relationship will be impacted and change as well. Thus, if one partner is resistant to couples counseling or counseling that moves a divorcing couple toward an amicable conclusion, the other partner may still positively impact the relationship by doing individual work.

I bring with me rich life experience and clients have often noted my warm, nurturing style of practice. I am easy to talk to, supportive, and not judgmental. While working toward change is serious business, humor has its place in my sessions as well. I bring a wealth of knowledge that I have acquired through my doctoral studies, teaching, and life experience. I am a firm believer in the notion that we are always "becoming," and adversity offers all of us the opportunity to become stronger, not in spite of the adversity, but because of it!
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California (#44053). I have rich clinical and life experience and have counseled couples, adolescents, and families since 2001. I began my practicum training as a clinical intern at YMCA Youth and Family Services in San Diego. For five years, I received stellar training in a model of therapy known as Bowen Family Systems Therapy. Since then, I have also taught graduate and undergraduate classes in marriage and family therapy at Alliant International University in San Diego. Alliant International University is a COAMFTE accredited school, the highest accreditation a school can receive in training MFT graduate students. I have taught classes such as spiritual and developmental aspects of aging, parent child therapy, MFT techniques, and MFT theories. Recently, I guest lectured to graduate students on Bowen Family Systems Theory at San Diego State University. Additionally, I have recently completed a manuscript detailing a family systems treatment for the impaired physician and his/her family. This manuscript is a chapter in an updated academic textbook on special populations suffering from alcoholism and addiction. The textbook is entitled Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Diverse Populations, Second Edition (eds. Gary W. Lawson and Ann W. Lawson). The chapter is entitled "A Family Systems Treatment of the Impaired Physician." This book has already been used in many training programs for graduate students. I became fully licensed in 2006 and am now in private practice in the heart of the Mission Valley area of San Diego. As a professional who specializes in marriage counseling and relationship counseling, I view my model of practice as more of an approach to life than a toolbox of techniques. How one lives in relationships depends on the way one thinks about one's own part in any dynamic.
Practice Areas
 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy-Alliant International University, 2003
Psy.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy-Alliant International University, 2006
American Association of Marital and Family Therapy
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
2835 Camino Del Rio South, Ste. 120-C
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