Psychotherapy

Individuals, Couples, Groups, Supervision, and Training

For inquiries about psychotherapy, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jürgen Braungardt, please send an email to Jurgen.Braungardt@gmail.com, or call us at 510-969-6090.

I provide psychotherapy for individuals, couples, adolescents, and groups. I am an active, engaged, and experienced therapist, and I am trained in many types of therapy.

Clients bring a wide variety of issues; therefore the process of therapy cannot just follow one method or theory. The method has to fit for the client, and the therapeutic relationship itself is key to the success of therapy. Talking to a therapist should feel natural and easy, even though the unfolding process will address the client's emotional pains, traumas, or difficult life situations.


Individuals

It is not easy to change oneself or one’s life. You need the help of a specialist, who will be supportive at times, and challenging at other times. Therapy requires commitment, and there are no quick fixes. The problems that bring people to a therapist often have deep roots in personal and cultural history. Psychotherapy cannot undo the past, but it will change the way you think and feel about your life, and it will change the way in which your past affects you today. It will increase your ability to solve your problems in the present and improve the way you create your future.

Psychotherapy is a “talking cure.” In the process you are invited to say what comes to your mind, and together we will explore your feelings and thoughts, your relationship to others, and the relationship that emerges between us.


Couples

Many relationships can be saved if the couple makes an effort to negotiate their differences with a professional counselor in times of crisis. Many couples are stuck in negative, repetitive patterns that turn the relationship into a trap. Frequently the children suffer most when the parents don’t get along.

I enjoy working with couples, because it is dynamic and enriching for everyone involved. The therapist acts as mediator, translator, or referee. As a therapist, I take it as my task to speak for the relationship itself, and to create the space where the conflicts can be sorted out and understood. The decision to start the therapy process is in most cases already the first step towards improving the relationship. Couples therapy oftentimes leads to deeper feelings of respect, intimacy, and love for each other.


Adolescents

Children face a complicated world, and it is incredible how much they have to learn in order to survive and thrive in their environments. The dynamics of the primary family is sometimes wounding and can lead to childhood trauma. Adolescents live in peer groups, and they get exposed to the pressure to perform and achieve. Young people are especially vulnerable: they survive the complexities and contradictions of the adult world sometimes through inadequate coping mechanisms that cause even more damage.

I have treated many problems in teens and young adults: acting out or withdrawal, depression, attention-deficit disorders, bipolar disorders, academic problems, as well as the relational problems that result from a difficult family structure. My approach is oriented towards the family system, and I will occasionally include other family members as well.

Why Psychotherapy?

People who seek psychotherapy often suffer from one or more of the following problems:

  • Anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Various forms of depression, ranging from mild symptoms to major depressive episodes.

  • Mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder

  • Addictions, such as alcoholism, drug dependence, gaming or internet porn consumption, or compulsive gambling.

  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia

  • Problems arising from personality structure, such as borderline personality disorder, forms of narcissism, or dependent personality disorders.

  • Schizophrenia or other disorders that cause detachment from reality (psychotic disorders)

Psychotherapy can be very helpful in treating these mental health problems. It can also be tremendously helpful in situations not captured by the above categories. You don’t have to be diagnosed with an individual mental illness in order to benefit from talk therapy. Psychotherapists routinely address interpersonal and social problems, and they help you to:

  • Resolve conflicts with your partner or someone else in your life

  • Relieve anxiety or stress due to work or other situations

  • Cope with major life changes, such as divorce, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job

  • Learn to manage unhealthy reactions, such as road rage or passive-aggressive behavior

  • Come to terms with an ongoing or serious physical health problem, such as diabetes, cancer or ongoing (chronic) pain

  • Recover from physical or sexual abuse or witnessing violence

  • Cope with sexual problems, whether they are due to a physical or psychological cause

  • Sleep better, if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep (insomnia)

Sometimes psychotherapy is even more effective than medications, such as antidepressants. Medication lowers the symptoms, or the emotional pain, but it cannot address the real causes. Psychotherapy can help you to find the strength to change what needs to be changed in your life, or to accept what cannot be changed any more. It will give you more personal freedom, strengthen or recover your confidence in yourself, and it can make you feel more alive.