Contact

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: 415-387-5330
Emergencies only: 415-310-1985

 

Email: rfosterphd@comcast.net

By understanding how our beliefs create our emotions and behavior and using the transformative power of intention and awareness, therapy will help you stop the causes of suffering and discover true peace, clarity and wisdom.

 

Introduction

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 is about understanding more thoroughly how our thoughts and beliefs effect our feelings and emotional states and thus create our behaviors. It is very important to separate expectable upset over life's many built-in challenges such as loss of a loved one, a job loss, or sickness, from our own self induced suffering caused by how we are thinking and perceiving the outside situation. Once we begin to use our natural gift of non-judgmental conscious awareness, we can watch self-defeating thoughts and beliefs without building a bigger negative story around them. Psychotherapy builds awareness of your experience in the present moment in a way that causes anxious and depressing thoughts to be much less powerful and controlling.

 

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 yet covered up by your emotional pain. 

 

Experience

I have been practicing as a licensed Clinical Psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area for 24 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. 

 

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Philosophy

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 the newer version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT. MBCT uses insight into the universal causes of our emotional distress, teaches us how to use non-judgmental awareness of our present experience, along with positive intention, to change old painful patterns and instead experience more peace of mind. Mindfulness is based on the principals and practices of Buddhist Psychology and is being used widely for pain and stress management, emotional healing and long term well being. There are many ongoing neurological and treatment effectiveness studies using mindfulness based cognitive therapy.

 

Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness: Another very important neurological discovery is that our human brain has a negative bias toward fear, vigilance and negative thinking. This bias comes from evolution and survival – the need to be acutely aware of both danger and food. How does this relate to the study and practice of positive emotion? We now know much more how to weaken the old instinctive fear reactions of the brain and build neuro pathways that produce peace of mind, relaxation in the body, contentment, and compassion for ourselves and others – in other words, more long term happiness and well-being.

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT: Develops insight into our human tendency to avoid unpleasant mental and emotional states and guides us look at them, to feel and accept them as they are in the present moment, without fighting them. In this way, unpleasant emotional states dissipate on their own. What we experience is freedom and peace of mind. ACT uses many of the experiential practices of mindfulness.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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Specialties    

 

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

 

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Insurance    

 

I do bill your insurance company for you and, if I am a provider, you would have a standard co-pay. If I am not a provider for your insurance, but you have a PPO plan, you will have coverage in most cases. It is best to inquire about your specific benefits to be certain. The most common insurance companies that I bill include:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross/ Blue Shield PPO
  • Cigna
  • Great West
  • Health Net/ Managed Health Network
  • Magellan
  • Medicare
  • United Behavioral Health
  • Value Options

 

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Reviews    

 

Reviews on Yelp.com

 

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