MRI has two clinics offering Brief Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy. Both models work with families, couples and individuals. We are committed at MRI to helping people receive the type of counseling that is most suited to their specific needs.
MRI Family Therapy Clinic Received 2016 Best of Palo Alto Award!
PALO ALTO May 18, 2016 — MRI Family Therapy Clinic has been selected
for the 2016 Best of Palo Alto Award in the Family Counselor category
by the Palo Alto Award Program
We successfully treat families whose problems resist common efforts and approaches.
We teach and inspire therapists who seek a creative approach that works.
The Family Therapy Clinic looks forward to speaking with you about problems you would like to solve. With our help, meaningful change can come sooner than you think.
Our philosophy is both practical and caring, designed to provide solutions in the here and now.
Family therapy was founded here at the MRI. With this approach, we specialize in treating all manner of problems—individual, child, adolescents, couples, and families.
We offer therapy in English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Japanese, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. We bring an open, culturally sensitive approach to working with everyone.
Enhance your life with our creative, solution-oriented therapy.
Please contact us by phone or email to set up an appointment. Sliding-scale fees are available based on income.
Ph (650) 322-2252
The number and kinds of problems that we address are as varied as the number of families and unique problems that they bring.
Here is a short list with a few examples of how we may help:
- Reconciling family conflict.
- Enhancing intimacy in couples
- Healing depression, stress, anxiety, excessive fears
- Treating self harm: suicidality, cutting, and anorexia/bulimia
- Resolving trauma such as child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual molestation
- Improving motivation, productivity, joyful living
- Overcoming substance abuse or any kind of addictive habit
- Coping with grief after loss or ending of relationships
- Developing effective parenting skills
- Counseling LGBT and Questioning clients and their families
Rates & Insurance
We recognize that effective therapy is often beyond the financial reach of many people. MRI is a non-profit research and training center offering quality care at affordable rates. The Strategic Therapy Center offers a sliding scale and hours convenient to most clients: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.- 8 p.m, Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., and some Saturday appointments.
Sliding scale $40-$140 depending on income.
Cash, check, and credit card welcome.
We are out of network providers. If you wish to be re-imbursed by your insurance company, we can provide you a monthly statement of your payments.
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be asked to pay the full cost of the session. If you are more than 15 minutes late, your therapist may ask to reschedule your appointment.
Request a therapy appointment online or by phone at (650) 322-2252
Questions? Please email us or call for further information.
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which we are required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, we must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, we will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, we will take further measures such as hospitalization, without their permission that are provided to us by law in order to ensure their safety.
MRI is the birthplace of family therapy. Since 1959, our teams have invented and improved methods in family therapy as a means to treat all problems related to individuals, couples, and families.
Terry Soo-Hoo, Ph.D., Clinical Director of the Family Therapy Clinic
Dr. Soo-Hoo has worked for over 20 years in San Francisco Community Mental Health System, prior to his moving on to university teaching. He has vast experience with a wide range of types of mental health problems and populations. He taught in the Doctor of Psychology Program at University of San Francisco for many years. He has published on multi-cultural issues in psychotherapy and consultation and the application of Brief Multicultural Integrative Therapy and consultation. In addition, he has specific interests in innovative and non-traditional approaches to psychotherapy, particularly in relations to Asian American Families. He has also provided extensive training and consultation on these topics to agencies and other professionals.
He’s an Associate Professor at the Department of Educational Psychology at CSU East Bay and a Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice. CSU website.
Reed Letsinger, LMFT, MFC #48777, Associate Director of the Family Therapy Clinic
Reed Letsinger received his training at Santa Clara University and the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, where he is Associate Director of the Family Therapy Center. He is in private practice in Larkspur in Marin County. He takes a pragmatic, problem-solving approach to therapy that integrates key elements of strategic family therapy, Gestalt therapy, emotionally focused couples therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR, and hypnosis. Reed works with adults struggling to overcome emotional blocks, such as depression and excessive worries or fears, that stand in the way of fully connecting with others and achieving their life goals. He also works with couples and families to help reduce conflict and increase cooperation and intimacy. He has a special interest in helping adults grieving the death of a close family member. Reed brings to his therapy work extensive experience in the academic and corporate high-tech worlds. Website: www.reedletsinger.com
Gloria Diaz-Arnal, MFT 78216, Spanish, Intern, Clinical Coordinator
Gloria was born in Spain and lived there until recently. She studied psychology at the University of Barcelona. She also pursued a degree in performing arts and piano at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica del Liceo. After graduating in 2003, she worked with children, adolescents and families in a private clinic from 2004 to 2008, and counseled teachers dealing with difficult students and pervasive developmental disorders.
During those years, she became interested in Brief Therapy and joined Grupo Palo Alto in 2012. She provided counseling services to the kids and Latino families at East Palo Alto schools for 3 years. She is currently teaching Brief Therapy Model in different university programs in Spain and Latino America as well as providing services for the county at the Mental Research Institute.
Together will discover and emphasize the resources you have here and now, as they will help you find the change that you need within a systemic approach. Gloria may assist you mostly in Spanish. For her every client is unique and she will pay attention to your case with curiosity and respect in order to solve the problem in a short term process.
Pierre Horvatz, Intern, Clinical Coordinator
Laurie Phuong Ertley, M.A, LMFT #85042 , English/Spanish/Vietnamese, Trainer
As a trainer of therapists, Ms. Ertley draws from over a decade’s worth of experience in family and children counseling. She uses the latest in neuroscience finding to incorporate in her therapy addressing trauma and other difficult cases. She empowers clients by helping them tap into their unique strengths and cultural wisdom.
Ms. Ertley provides therapy in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Website: www.realwordtherapist.org
Angela Zhe Wu, LMFT, MFC #53854, English/Mandarin, Website Manager
Angela Wu first came to the United States as a Chinese journalist. Through her broad experience and observation in China she was able to see the individual in a social context, i.e. family, work and society. She later earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at California State University, East Bay and received further training at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto. Her professional approach integrates key elements of strategic family therapy, Gestalt therapy, and hypnosis, emphasizing result-oriented practical solutions. She is fluent in Mandarin as well as English and is comfortable working within diverse cultural contexts. She enjoys her interactions with adolescents and their families, couples, and individuals. In her free time, she creates mixed media art. Website: www.angelazhewu.com
Kathleen Pederson, M.S, IMF 70462, English, Intern
Kathleen has extensive experience both in treating families with youth in foster care and families with children who have disabilities including ASD.
Sofía Meza Keane, M.A, IMF 84788, English/Spanish, Intern
Sofía Keane received her M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. She helps families and their children to solve trauma, self-esteem problems, and relational issues, among others. Sofía applies the strategies that the family therapy clinic at MRI employs and has taught her, along with Gestalt therapy and guided imagery. Sofia is a warm and compassionate therapist who likes to be challenged, is self-motivated, and conducts therapy guided by the needs of her clients. Sofía was born and raised in Mexico City, and brings a lot of experience to the field, having worked with parents and their children as a credentialed bilingual teacher for sixteen years. As a mother and wife Sofía understands the intricacies of family related challenges and hard won successes.
Laia Pedreño Mateu, M.A, IMF 83389, English/Spanish, Intern
Laia has a Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling from the California Institute of Integral Studies and 10 years of gestalt therapy training. She also has a passion for learning about healing that drives her to take new trainings every year. Her therapeutic style is deeply rooted in the values of kindness, trusting the process, empowerment and self-awareness, with a sprinkling of playfulness for good measure. She strives to provide a safe space for her clients to explore how to reclaim our personal power in any situation, how to generate more connection in relationships, and how to restore the flow of love in families. She loves to work with youth, couples and families.
Ignacia Peréz Botto, MFTI 94448, English/Spanish, Intern
Ignacia was born in Santiago, Chile and graduated as a Clinical Psychologist in 2011. After finishing her studies, she started working with different non-profit agencies, mostly with children, utilizing a systemic approach. During this time, Ignacia helped families and children who have experienced trauma, relational problems, bullying, domestic violence, among others issues. In this context, she started investigating about brief therapy. Also at that time, Ignacia started working in human resources, experience that today makes her feel that systemic thinking can be applied to different areas, in order to face problems more efficiently.
Ignacia is strongly committed to work towards inclusion and destigmatization, passion that made her joined W.O.M.A.N. Inc. right after moving to San Francisco in 2015. Here, she provides bilingual services to any person who has experienced Domestic Violence.
During 2016, Ignacia started her connection with the Strategic Family Therapy Clinic and also with the Brief Therapy Center at MRI, where today she provides services, mostly in Spanish, to individuals, families, couples and children. She likes to work with diverse cultural contexts, sexual orientations, and religions. She believes differences make the world more fascinating.
Diane J. Schiano, MFT Intern, English, IMF 72668
Diane Schiano received her counseling degree (MACP) from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Her counseling work is personal, pragmatic and eclectic, drawing from expressive arts, cognitive-behavioral, Gestalt and strategic/systemic approaches to therapy. Diane came to counseling after many years as a researcher, educator and mother. She works with children, adolescents, adults and families. She has a deep commitment to education and a special interest in the interplay between psychology and technology.
Jessica Teng, MFTI #95269, English / Mandarin, Intern
Jessica was born in China and started her migration journey at a very young age. She encountered many different customs and languages growing up and learned to be sensitive, respectful and understanding of their differences. These experiences inspired her to want to help and serve people of different culture, social status and different walks of life. She worked with at-risk youth and their families for many years after college. These families showed her that people may be hurt and down at some point in life, but they are resilient, resourceful and strong. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Counseling from Palo Alto University. She takes a caring approach in working with adults, youth, their families and couples. She empathizes with people’s intrapersonal and interpersonal struggles. As a wife and a mother, she understands the challenges and breakthroughs within a family.
Edwin Goei, English, Intern
Lida Sharlin, Intern
Jane Hagenau, Intern