DR. Cathy Christensen

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Individual and Couples Relationship Therapist
San Diego and Telehealth

Dr. Cathy Christensen

Becoming a Relationship Therapist

Becoming a Relationship Therapist has been a natural evolution of my own life journey with my professional development. Everything is in relationship to something. Personally, therapy has helped me through some very tough experiences, and the therapeutic relationship has been the key. When I started as a therapist in the late ‘70’s it was in the field of addictions. I naturally started incorporating family and couples work into working with substance use problems. When I obtained my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1986, I chose to be licensed as a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist because more and more I saw that this human experience is always within the context of relationships. My passions in my work are Substance Use and PTSD, and understanding and treating individuals, couples, and families whose relationships have been significantly affected by these things. My years of diverse personal and professional experience with this relationship orientation have equipped me to understand the complexities of human relationships and to be effective in working with my clients to achieve the fulfilling relationships they are seeking in their lives.

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Counseling Philosophy

I believe that a trusting and mutual relationship is the foundation of successful therapy. Safety, honesty, respect, dependability, empathy are the qualities that create this. I create a space for my clients where they can explore their thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged, where it is safe to communicate honestly and openly. Connection and collaboration are essential. We work together to accomplish your goals. By understanding the life experiences that have influenced and shaped you we work together to let go of what’s holding you back and to build on your strengths to create the quality of life you seek.

Counseling Style and Strengths

Honest, dependable, empathetic, trustworthy, understandable, and understanding, these are the elements of my therapeutic style. Drawing from 4 decades of experience I have a blend of evidence based techniques and personalized strategies. My strengths lie in fostering open and honest communication, providing education and information, and knowing the way to helping you identify and implement the changes you want to make.

Professional Counseling Background

With a rich background including psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families, treatment program management and development, private practice, teaching and training, and utilizing a broad range of therapeutic theories and techniques, I continue to grow and learn. I’m well equipped to guide your path to healing and change.

Professional Therapist Credentials and Training

I obtained my Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1979. I obtained my Ph.D. In Clinical Psychology from International College in

Los Angeles in 1986. Specialized areas of training are marriage and family theory and practice, substance use, codepency and adult children of alcoholics/addicts, and PTSD. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist trained in the Gottman Method of relationship therapy.

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