Psychotherapy & Personal Growth
Dave Cooperberg, MFT12549, CGP

The Practice

      I have been practicing psychotherapy and personal growth work in private practice in San Francisco since 1978. My work is eclectic, informed by a variety of approaches including Gestalt, Modern Analytic, Psychodynamic, Humanistic, and the Transpersonal. I am licensed by the state of California as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). Having led groups for over 30 years, I am also certified as a Group Psychotherapist (CGP) by the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
    Perhaps as much as approaches to psychotherapy, my work is also informed by both the practice and study of Buddhist meditation, mostly from the Zen, Tibetan and Vipassana traditions. No I don't wear saffron robes or have a shaved head--although my natural hair loss may eventually lead there.
Buddhist silent meditation practice teaches being fully present with all that is present, both within ourselves as well as in the external world. But we rarely are simply present. Consciously or unconsciously we are often either rejecting or grasping onto whatever we encounter, distorting our ability to perceive things just as they are.
     As we understand how our feelings, judgments and projections can distort our perceptions of things and people, we can also learn to step back from them. Without losing our values, we become more aware of them in ways that they don't interfere with our ability to perceive things as they are. In addition, understanding our own limitations helps us be more compassionate when we perceive similar limitations in others.
The Person
Originally from a New York City suburb, I lived through, enjoyed and survived the 1960s, before moving to California in 1971.
    I received my BA from New York University in 1971, and my MA in Psychology from University of California, Sonoma in 1977. I was a bit of a hippie, a dishwasher and then a baker in the interim. I also worked in a nursery school while doing my Masters. Moving to San Francisco, I worked in a day treatment program for people just out of, or trying to avoid going into a mental hospital, for Berkeley Mental Health, from 1973 to 1978.
    I now reside in the Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco, where I have lived with my spouse Allen, since 1980. I helped him raise his daughter from age 12. (And, of course, she also raised us.) Cheerios joined us in June, 2011 as an 8 weeks old, energetic puppy. She doesn't run everything ;)
    I have had two chapters published in 101 Interventions in Group Psychotherapy, edited by Scott Simon Fehr, PhD, Taylor & Francis Group, New York & London, 2008, entitled: "Using Humor to Advance Group Work," and "To Err Is Human: Turning Our Mistakes into Useful Interventions."
    I also organize a small, twice a year, mostly silent meditation retreat.
    For several years I have been active with Unity San Francisco, a spiritual center and community based on the theme of "One god, many paths." Unity emphasizes our inner connection with the Divine rather than some external, paternal force. In 2013 I become a prayer chaplain, a practice where I help others connect with their inner expression of God or highest good, particularly in times of stress or need. I am studying Unity metaphysics and practices which I find enhance my therapy practice as well as my life.

Dave Cooperberg, MA, CGP, MFT12549

(415) 431-3220

link to my blog Truth&Compassion

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