Bram Fridhandler, Ph.D.

(415) 409-9800


Populations Served

I provide individual therapy for adults and also offer couples therapy.  I am a "generalist."  That is, I do not specialize in specific populations or problems, but rather work with a wide variety of people and issues.  This reflects my belief that each person should be approached in individual terms and that specialized techniques for different groups and psychiatric diagnoses are of less value than general training and experience. 


My theoretical orientation is psychodynamic.  In my view, this means that the problems that bring people to therapy emerge from conflicting feelings and our ways of responding to these within ourselves.  Discouragement, depression, fears, anxiety, blockages in work, repeated disappointments in relationships, are often the result of less-than-ideal ways of dealing with underlying, conflicting feelings.  Therapy is often most powerful when these conflicting feelings and the habitual ways of handling them can be brought to light.  Over time, this often leads to significant improvements in the problems that brought someone to therapy, and in other areas of life, as well.   

No single approach is right for everyone.  Psychodynamic therapy involves an unstructured approach in which the patient talks about what comes to mind and the therapist offers ideas about how to understand what is coming to mind and how it may relate to the patient's concerns.  I often work in this way.  However, there are situations and problems that respond better to a more structured, "cognitively" oriented approach, and I often work in this latter way, as well.  The length of therapy varies widely.  Therapy lasting for years can offer great benefit, if the patient's situation makes this possible.  But this is not always appropriate or necessary.  In some situations, even a few sessions is appropriate, and other situations respond well to a few months or a year of therapy. 

Starting Therapy

I am happy to discuss my fees and therapy recommendations by phone before scheduling an initial meeting.  The first visits usually focus on gathering history and developing a shared understanding of the issues and the best way to proceed.  Sometimes, of course, there are urgent issues, such as depression and anxiety that are making it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis.  When this is the case, we focus our initial efforts on relieving such feelings. 


Insurance may reimburse you for some of the cost of working with me in psychotherapy.  I include on my bills the information that insurance companies typically require for you to request reimbursement and am glad to provide you with additional information if needed.  I am no longer on insurance "panels," that is, the lists maintained by many insurance companies of HMO providers and preferred providers. 


I received my psychotherapy training at the following institutions:

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Doctoral degree)
  • Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division (Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship)
  • California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco (Postdoctoral Fellowship)
  • San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, Extension Division (Year Long Program)


I have taught and supervised psychotherapy at the following institutions:

  • California Pacific Medical Center (where I was Director of Psychology Training 1993-2004)
  • University of California, San Francisco (Associate Clinical Professor)
  • Alliant International University--California School of Professional Psychology (Adjunct Faculty)