Two Practice Locations:


110 Sutter Street
Suite 508,
San Francisco, CA
(Financial District)


415 Cambridge Avenue ,
Suite 23,
Palo Alto, CA
(Silicon Valley)


Office voice mail (new): 415-805-1296
Office voice mail (old -- will be deactivated 10-1-2015): 415-387-5330
Emergencies only: 415-310-1985



By understanding more clearly how our habits of thinking and emotional reactions cause us unnecessary suffering, we can begin to interrupt these reactions and build healthier habits that create peace of mind, clarity and wisdom.



Robert Foster, PH.D.Welcome to my web site. I hope you find the information here helpful and gain an understanding of my practice and the work that I do and love. You are welcome to contact me if you have questions or comments. Thank you!


Psychotherapy increases our awareness of habits of thinking and reacting that produce self created stress such as anxiety, unhappiness, depressed mood and irritability/anger. Emotional distress is most often caused by how we are perceiving and reacting to external situations. These perceptions come from old habits of thinking and emotional reactivity. We can learn to interrupt old habits of reacting and create more choices for ourselves. We can learn to free ourselves from the grip of anxiety, depression and stress. As we weaken the power of these old habits we can learn new practices that create peace of mind, well being and happiness.


I will help you identify the sources and causes of your mental and emotional distress. We will discover not only how to loosen up and diminish the power of those causes, but how to find the peace of mind that is already within you but covered up by emotional pain.



I have been practicing as a licensed Clinical Psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area for 28 years. My practice has included work in a variety of mental health agencies and organizations as well as a private practice. I am currently practicing full time in private practice with office locations in San Francisco's Financial District and Palo Alto in Silicon Valley.


My experience over the years has included work as a Psychologist for the U.S. Navy at Moffett Field Naval Air Station (now closed); providing family and individual therapy for the Family Service Agency of the Mid-Peninsula; Consulting Psychologist for Consultants for International Living in New York City (conducting individual and family assessments for international working and living assignments); an Employee Assistance (EAP) Psychologist for the Drug Enforcement Agency Unit in San Francisco; an EAP Psychologist for Human Affairs International; and as an EAP Psychologist for Harris-Rothenberg EAP on Wall Street, NYC.


As a Consulting Psychologist, I have assisted organizational clients, including law firms and financial institutions, in designing and conducting 360 degree individual performance assessments. These assessments were followed by individual work place coaching to enhance performance and improve leadership skills. As a presenter for the California State Bar Educational Institute I have delivered many conference presentations on a variety of topics relevant to the field of Labor and Employment Law such as Substance Abuse in the Workplace, Sexual Harassment, Mental Illness in the workplace; Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; and the Psychology of Discrimination as it relates to the elimination of bias in the workplace. As a psychological consultant in the field of Labor and Employment Law I have administered medical legal evaluations for disability cases, conducted fitness for duty evaluations and given expert testimony in legal cases. 


back to top



There are significant new developments in the field of mental health treatment in the past 10-15 years that are based on the great volume of neurological research that has been done. We now know that our brains are much more flexible and changeable than previously believed. The term for this is neuro-plasticity. This means that old negative habits of thinking, perceiving, feeling and reacting that cause emotional distress can be weakened and changed more effectively using treatment practices that directly effect how our brain functions. Based on many neurological studies, we know more precisely how to free ourselves from self imposed emotional suffering such as feelings of anxiety, depressed mood, anger, cravings, shame and self-criticism.


Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: MBCT is a newer version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT. MBCT includes some of the core practices of CBT, but expands the very effective practice of accepting awareness to change old habits of thinking and emotional reactiveness. MBCT is the practice of noticing our experience in this present moment and allowing it to be without feeding it or fighting to get rid of it. Paradoxically, this accepting awareness allows unpleasant mental and emotional states to change and diminish on their own. "The Way Out Is In" which is the title of my upcoming book about effective treatment of Anxiety with Mindfulness. I will be posting news about the book on this web site and a separate web site dedicated to the book and my blog.


Meditation:The benefits of meditation for mind body health have been proven in extensive scientific research over the last 10-15 years. Advances in brain research technologies have led to a new science…Contemplative Neuroscience. The benefits of awareness practices throughout the day as well as formal sitting meditation practice include: improved focus of attention; a clearer understanding of how to work with our stressful habits of thinking; better self care, acceptance and kindness to yourself; more compassion for others; increased energy throughout the day; improved sleep and a stronger immune system.


Meditation optimizes neuroplasticity and allows us to weaken old habits of mind (neuro networks) and to build new healthier ones. It allows us to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, conflict, anger and poor physical health. This positive shift in our attention, insight and compassion to ourselves will give us true self confidence, and a feeling of inner peace and empowerment.


Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness: There has been extensive research on what contributes to human happiness. We now know much more about how to weaken the brains negative bias toward fear, vigilance and negative thinking and how to cultivate thoughts and behaviors that lead to increased happiness, well being and connection with others. Psychotherapy involves both weakening old habits of mind and emotional reactivity and developing habits that feed peace of mind. We can call this practice "letting in the good." Much of the time we gloss over what is good in our lives. Mindfulness gives us the choice, free from old habits, to cultivate the good. Practices that develop compassion, gratitude, generosity and noticing joyful moments are an important part of therapy.


Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT: Also referred to as Energy Psychology, EFT uses self-tapping of meridian points on the face and hands to help release conditioned patterns of emotional distress and to enhance positive mental and emotional states. Current research is studying the long term effectiveness of this technique.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR: This treatment is very effective in reducing the severity of symptoms connected with post traumatic stress and phobia conditions. It uses side to side eye movements or alternate tapping with the feet and legs, called bi-lateral stimulation of the brain, to weaken the neurological network in the brain that holds traumatic memories, the beliefs and emotional reactions that are attached to them.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Both these relatively new therapies use mindfulness based practices, narrative writing and behavioral choices to change self destructive habits and patterns. DBT is used primarily in the treatment of severe personality disorders and patients with suicidal tendencies. Since these therapies use core mindfulness practices, I do not use them as much. If you need more information you can google DBT and ACT.


These treatment practices are the ones I am most experienced in and use in my approach to helping people become free from self imposed emotional suffering and experience more peace of mind, joy, contentment and compassion for self and others.


back to top




Specializing in the treatment of:

  • Anxiety Disorders: panic attacks, phobias, PTSD, OCD, and Generalized Anxiety
  • Depressive Disorders: situational and chronic depressed mood to include grief, self-critical thinking, and mood swings
  • Anger cessation therapy
  • Relationship and family issues including couples therapy
  • Recovery from addictions and compulsive behavior
  • Work stress issues
  • Insomnia and stress related physical condition


Mental Health and Consulting Services:

  • Individual Psychotherapy…Adults
  • Couples Therapy
  • Meditation Instruction and Practice
  • Leadership Coaching for Managers
  • Worksite presentations: Mindfulness Based Stress Management; Substance Abuse Awareness; Effective Workplace Communication; Conflict Resolution


back to top




I am an in-network provider for Aetna Insurance plans (except Aetna HMO) and all Cigna plans. You are only responsible for a co pay if covered by these plans.

I will bill Blue Cross\ Blue Shield, United Health Care, Covered California and several other plans, but I am not an in-network provider. If you have a PPO plan you will get coverage, depending on your company's medical insurance plan. Your insurance will reimburse you directly. Payment is expected at the time of each session.

All insurance and payment issues can be discussed thoroughly by phone before the first visit. I am happy to answer your questions.


back to top




Reviews on


back to top