I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California (#44053), on the cutting edge of professionals who offer psychotherapy services in the San Diego area. I am expert in treating relationship counseling issues of all kinds and also counsel individuals who are looking to improve their own functioning in relationships. I have rich clinical and life experience and have counseled couples, adult individuals, adolescents, and families since 2001. I began my practicum training counseling individuals and couples as a clinical intern at YMCA Youth and Family Services in San Diego.I am extensively training in a model of psychotherapy known as Bowen Family Systems Therapy. I continue to study Bowen theory through attending conferences, consultation groups, and in my readings. My clinical practice is also informed by existential and psychodymic principles. Shortly after receiving my doctorate in marriage and family therapy at AIU, I taught graduate and undergraduate classes in marriage and family therapy at Alliant International University in San Diego. Alliant International University is a COAMFTE accredited school, the highest accreditation a school can receive in training MFT graduate students. I studied under many fine professors, including Jay Haley, a founder of family therapy. I have taught classes such as spiritual and developmental aspects of aging, parent child therapy, MFT techniques, and MFT theories. Recently, I guest lectured to graduate students on Bowen Family Systems Theory at San Diego State University. Today I am busy in my private practice in San Diego, CA, where I offer affordable counseling for individuals and couples. It is truly an honor and a privilege to practice relationship counseling, marriage counseling, and individual counseling. Relationship counseling requires courage. It can help you achieve fulfillment and mastery. Trust the process!
It is my presence, my own Exodus, my story that reflects resilience, insight, and a playfulness about what it means to be human. My appreciation for the struggle within my own challenges and extensive life experience level the playing field with my clients. My model of therapy is very respectful of the human condition, never pathologizes or sits in judgment, and reflects an abiding passion for supporting clients' innate ability to come back from adversity and rise up singing.
In addition to enjoying a busy private practice and teaching, I have recently been published in an academic textbook detailing a family systems treatment for the impaired physician and his/her family. This chapter appears in an updated academic textbook on special populations suffering from alcoholism and addiction. The textbook is entitled Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Diverse Populations, Second Edition (eds. Gary W. Lawson and Ann W. Lawson). The chapter is entitled "A Family Systems Treatment for the Impaired Physician." This book has already been used in many training programs for graduate students. In the Preface, the editors state that this chapter best represents their own view when it comes to family systems treatment for any population, be it for the individual, the couple, or the family.
I became fully licensed in 2006 and my private practice is located in the heart of the Mission Valley area of San Diego. As a professional who specializes in marriage counseling and relationship counseling, I view my model of practice as more of an approach to life than a toolbox of techniques. How one lives in relationships depends on the way one thinks about one's own part in any dynamic.
I grew up in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I am the proud mother of two wonderful daughters and I have two grandsons. I received my bachelor's degree in English from California State University Northridge in 1970. For several years, I taught English and journalism at the junior high school and high school levels. After raising my family and launching them, I returned to graduate school in 2001. At the respective ages of 56 and 59, I earned my masters and doctoral degrees in marital and family therapy from the COAMFTE-accredited program at Alliant International University.
I am a proud member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. I am also highly honored that I was named one of the top 5 Marriage and Family Therapists in San Diego.
When I am not working, I enjoy long walks, playing piano, reading, viewing live theatre and concerts, writing poetry, and exercising my heart and mind by connecting with friends and family.
Dr. Barbara Cunningham offers Relationship Counseling in San Diego, CA, Psychotherapy in San Diego, Substance Abuse Counseling in San Diego, CA, GLBT Counseling in San Diego, CA,, Couples Counseilng in San DIego, CA and Marriage Counseling in San Diego, CA. Convenient to Mission Valley and La Jolla.