Maria Sobol, Ph.D.
417 Spruce Street (@Sacramento)
San Francisco, CA 94118
Sessions available in person, by video, or by phone
I specialize in working with Adults, Children/Adolescents,
Couples, and Families
Adults and Couples
I believe that change is possible and most likely to occur when people feel comfortable and safe in relationship, both with themselves and with another. My approach is relational, warm, collaborative, and accepting. I will work together with you, focusing on your strengths, to help you make progress and find success in therapy. I use an integrative style to fit your specific and individual needs, drawing from a variety of approaches, including: Psychodynamic, Person-Centered, Attachment Focused, Narrative, Somatic/Sensorimotor, Mindfulness, and Psycho-education.
I help clients learn effective coping strategies for managing difficult emotions such as anxiety, depression, sadness/grief, fear, anger and general overwhelm. I help individuals and couples improve their communication effectiveness to help deepen their connection in relationships and facilitate intimacy.
Children, Adolescents, and Families
I work with children and adolescents and provide individual and family therapy to fit the needs of the child and family.
My work with children is focused on helping them learn ways to express their feelings and inner experiences, regulate their emotions and behaviors, and process difficult and painful life experiences. I will work to find an approach that fits each individual child and family. My interventions include play therapy, sensorimotor/somatic approaches, mindfulness, and expressive arts. Treatment is designed to increase each child’s sense of self-awareness, ability to self-regulate emotions and behaviors, improve self-esteem, and strengthen social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. I meet with parents/caregivers initially before meeting the child and encourage regular participation in collateral meetings as needed. I am interested in understanding your child as an individual and as a member of your family and community.
My work with adolescents is guided by their challenging developmental task of navigating the major life transition from childhood into becoming a young adult. The process of separating while simultaneously trying to stay connected often results in intense and painful feelings and interpersonal conflict. This can often be one of the most difficult times of parenting, particularly as adolescents are faced with navigating issues in the world that may not have existed for their parents/caregivers (including internet, gaming, social media, and substance use). Often families find themselves at a loss with their adolescent and are concerned about their emotional and psychological well-being, safety, and their future. Parents often feel inadequate and unable to set limits, connect with, and comfort their children as they were previously able to do. I work with adolescents and their families to support these challenges. I seek to strengthen adolescents’ emotional and social development by providing a safe relational space to explore the social, academic, and societal pressures they face. I work with parents/caregivers to develop strategies to create age-appropriate boundaries and to support them as they struggle with the challenges that come with this stage of parenting. I support adolescents together with their families to navigate the power struggles that are common in this stage of development and balance the need to take risks as a part of growth, while staying safe and connected.
Parent coaching is different from therapy. While therapy tends to focus on making positive changes, improving relationships, and increasing general well-being and can be especially helpful when unresolved past experiences impact the current functioning of the family, parent coaching helps parents focus on establishing and developing more effective skills for parenting. In my parent coaching work, I provide education and help parents build mindful parenting skills, gain clarity around developmental needs, set appropriate boundaries, and strengthen their connection with their children. I will collaborate with parent(s) or caregiver(s) and, as appropriate, child(ren) to develop a parenting plan that will best serve your family.
Some areas in which parent coaching may help are:
Setting limits without yelling, spanking, or nagging
Increasing your child’s self-esteem
Managing temper tantrums
Teaching/disciplining with love and empathy
Managing sibling conflict
Helping yourself and your teenager manage the adolescent years
Parental separation and divorce results in some level of stress in most families. This stress can show up in children emotionally, behaviorally, academically, and socially. Parents may notice their children displaying regressive or rebellious behaviors, falling grades, difficulty with social interactions, withdrawal, isolation, changes in sleep and appetite, depression or anger.
Co-parenting counseling is a method of helping divorced or separated parents improve their shared caretaking of their child(ren). It is a conflict resolution process in which my role as an impartial third person is to help you as parents negotiate an agreement about parenting. My work in this area is focused on helping you create and implement a plan for raising your child(ren) by establishing agreed-upon goals for your co-parenting relationship. In addition, I will help you as parents increase your understanding of your children’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to help improve family functioning.