How I Work in Therapy

Stanley Wipfli, Psychotherapist
San Francisco, CA

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Philosophy and Approach to Therapy

Deciding to see a therapist indicates that you're unhappy, and want to feel better about yourself and your life.

It takes courage to take this important step. It means that your healing journey begins when you book your first therapy appointment.

A positive therapeutic alliance is key to your growth. I create a trusting relationship with you where you'll feel safe to discuss difficult and painful topics while you work towards creating a more fulfilling life.

I'm intuitive, empathic, and authentic. I'll be honest and show compassion for you and your struggles at all times.

I meet you where you are at, and then together, we'll set goals for the changes you want to see in your life. I aim to ensure you get the results that you're seeking.

Who I Work With - Areas of Speciality

I work with adult professional men and women of all ages, races, cultures, and sexual orientations.

Most of my therapy clients struggle with depression, high stress, anxiety, chronic relationship problems, or addiction issues (e.g., alcohol or drugs, gambling, gaming, porn, sex, etc.).

Many clients have experienced trauma in their past. Trauma is often the root cause of their struggles, whether they realize it or not.

Since I am a trauma-informed therapist with expertise in treating PTSD, many of my clients have had ongoing or multiple traumas in their lives, and some suffer from PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD Due to Traumatic Experiences

You may have PTSD and not be aware of it. Below is a list of symptoms that indicate you likely have PTSD.

The symptoms below need to last for more than one month and cause difficulties in how you function in your life for them to be considered criteria for PTSD:

1. Experienced a stressful or traumatic event(s) in childhood or adulthood (e.g., death, threatened death, actual or threatened physical, emotional abuse, or actual or threatened sexual violence).

2. Persistent intrusive symptoms (e.g., nightmares, upsetting memories, unpleasant emotional or physical reactions).

3. Avoidance of people, places, or anything that reminds you of the troublesome experiences.

4. Negative thoughts and feelings that were not there before the traumatic event(s) (e.g., inability to recall specific details of the event, fears, negative thoughts about yourself or the world, lack of interest in activities).

5. Intense Reactivity (e.g., irritability or aggression, startle easily, sleeping problems, difficulty concentrating, etc.).

Therapy Treatment Methods

The treatment approaches I use are evidence-based, which means they are shown to be statistically beneficial in reducing symptoms. They are used by many therapists all over the world.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

In part, psychological problems are based on unhelpful or faulty ways of thinking. These thinking patterns were learned, often early in life.
CBT helps you become more aware of your thoughts. Once you gain more insight, you can develop better coping skills and create more helpful and positive thoughts.

This, in turn, assists you in living a more effective and fulfilling life.

CBT is often used to help people with stress, anxiety, depression and trauma.

Provider Status in Cognitive Process Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that offers an effective and systemized step-by-step approach to treatment for those who have experienced a traumatic event and may have PTSD.

CPT is offered over 12 therapy sessions and is highly recognized nationally by therapists providing trauma therapy.

As with CBT, the end goal of CPT is to reduce your distress and enhance your quality of life.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is an offshoot of CBT. It goes beyond CBT to focus not only on thoughts, feelings, and memories but also on body reactions.

ACT incorporates mindfulness and acceptance techniques. It examines your relationship to the traumatic experiences more so than the actual content of the incidents.

Like CBT and CPT, ACT aims to free you from your troublesome symptoms so you can live a more enjoyable and meaningful life.

Certified in Master Addiction Counseling (MAC)

I offer specialized counseling to those who have an addiction or who are in recovery from addiction. Most clients who've had an addiction also experienced a series of multiple traumatic experiences in their lives.

As you can see, my approach to therapy is compassionate, highly skilled and highly effective.

Ready to get started on your journey to a better life?

Contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.

Together we'll determine if we are a good fit to work together.

“What I feel stands out about Mr. Wipfli is his exceptional clinical abilities.  Regarding his therapeutic abilities, I have often described Mr. Wipfli as a “natural” to other people.  I admire the skill and ease with which he is able to apply the most important skills of our profession – his genuineness, ability to empathize, and his non-judgmental stance.”

- Dr. B, Staff Psychologist and team leader, Trauma unit, Dept. of Veteran Affairs, West Los Angeles