Michael Skrodzki MA.MFT.

(Lic.# MFT30227)

  Psychotherapy and Counseling in San Rafael, Marin County          

  (415) 488 9836


psychotherapist for relationship problems,  marriage counseling, couples therapy, life transitions, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, alcohol and  drug abuse, addictions, anger, stress management, grief and loss, self development, personal growth. near Fairfax, San Anselmo, Novato, Kentfield
For Everybody
Steven C. Hayes, Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life. The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (New Harbinger 2005) - I believe this is the best, most realistic and useful self-help publication of the last two decades -a brilliant self-study workbook in a newer form of "evidence-based" psychotherapy (ACT),  synthesizing the best of several approaches (cognitive, experiential, mindfulness) into a new gestalt.  It won't substitute for the face-to-face interaction of psychotherapy, but it can accelerate and deepen your work.  As with all "workbooks", the more you put into it, the more you'll get out.

David Richo, How To Be An Adult. A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration (Paulist Press, New York 1991) 
-a small but densely packed gem of a book. Thought-provoking, highly concentrated, fabulous.

Jack Kornfield,
A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology (2009) - Our prominent local  Buddhist teacher's grand opus: several thousand year old ideas and practices to develop a wise heart and quiet mind, not just for folks interested in Buddhism.

Don Riso and Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram
(Bantam, 1999) - one of the best books on the Enneagram, an old psycho-spiritual personality typing system of somewhat mysterious origin. A good deal more complex and dynamic than personality typologies in mainstream psychology. Know Thyself with a little help from...

After 2500 years, Western mainstream psychology has finally discovered and partially absorbed the ancient practices of meditation, especially the Buddhist version known as Vipassana (insight into the true nature of reality) w/ its focus on observing sensations, emotions, and thoughts, and its overreaching value of developing compassion for self and others. Empirical studies point towards many physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits for the practitioner. I have seen remarkable results, especially in regard to anxiety and  general reactivity. You don't have to buy into notions of "Karma" or reincarnation to benefit from the practice. Caveat: this is not a quick fix.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center. www.spiritrock.org , (415) 488-0164 -a beautiful spot in the San Geronimo Valley (10 min. west of Fairfax) to learn and practice Vipassana (insight) meditation for half an hour or two months.
California Vipassana Center. www.mahavana.dhamma.org - another beautiful spot, in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite, to learn and practice Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka, usually for 10 days.  These silent meditation courses are taught mostly by video in centers all over the world, are paid for strictly by donation, and are staffed by all volunteers. The method itself is less informed by Western psychology, more strictly focused on the body, and presented more dogmatically than offerings at Spirit Rock.
Vipassana Center Manda Dhamma www.manda,dhamma.org -the newest and closest Goenka Center to the Bay Area, on Cobb Mountain near Kelseyville.  Also by donation only.

For Couples

Harville Hendrix, Getting The Love You Want. A Guide For Couples (Harper&Row, New York 2007) -
a classic of relationship self-help literature. Unlike some others in this genre, well written, not over-simplified, truly helpful.  An excellent place to start, with or without a therapist.
For Specific Issues

Alcoholics Anonymous.
www.aasf.org AA and its off-shoots are not for everybody,  and  -contrary to popular myth-  not the only way to stay sober,  BUT  if you  can make the effort and find it in yourself to "become a friend of Bill W." and of the Twelve Steps,  I  highly recommend it,  especially in early recovery .  Short of being in residential treatment, the  level of  available support  is unparalleled,  and the wisdom hidden in seemingly simplistic slogans is profound.

LifeRing. www.lifering.org , one of several 'secular" sobriety organizations, without any particular philosophy other than commitment to abstinence and to self-help.Two to three meetings per week in Marin (Kaiser, Terra Linda).Some AA-averse clients of mine like them and find them helpful.

Marin Recovery Works. www.alcoholrecoverymarin.com , a non-traditional outpatient program for substance abuse and behavioral addictions.

Gabor Mate, MD, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts : Close Encounters w
ith Addiction(North Atlantic Books, 2010) -  a very comprehensive and readable book on addiction including the latest research on brain physiology and chemistry. If you want to read only one eye-and-heart-opening book on addiction, this is it.

Tamara Penix Sbraga, William T. O'Donohue, The Sex Addiction Workbook (New Harbinger, Oakland 2003) -
a good, very practical self-help workbook, largely based on cognitive behavioral therapy, for this still under-served problem;  especially useful as an adjunct to psychotherapy and SAA meetings

Maggie Phillips, Reversing Chronic Pain (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley 2007) - a very inspiring, practical self-help book addressing the mind-body aspects of chronic pain.


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