Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis

People come to treatment because they want to feel better, and because they realize that feeling better will necessarily involve changing the way in which they approach personal challenges.

Psychotherapy, above everything else, is a collaboration between two people, in which the patient gives the therapist permission to facilitate a very unusual and mutually respectful form of dialogue.  This conversation is unlike any other form of discourse: its purpose is to bring into focus those thoughts and feelings that get in the way of being successful and forming strong, enduring, and mutually gratifying relationships.

A person does not need to be unwell to come to psychotherapy; in fact it takes courage, not sickness, to decide to do psychological work. Therapy is also an important treatment for anxiety, depression, bipolar and borderline personality disorder.

Common questions about psychotherapy:

“Does psychotherapy make people dependent on the therapist and unable to be self-sufficient?” Psychotherapy promotes genuine maturity, which includes being able to discern what we can do for ourselves, and when it is appropriate to rely on someone else (e.g. a physician would not perform surgery on herself.)

“Does psychotherapy affect relationships?” Psychological treatment strengthens relationships and promotes the ability to form enduring connections.  It also gives courage to know the difference between healthy and destructive bonds.

“Is psychotherapy incompatible with spirituality and religious practice?” Genuine respect for the patient includes true regard for his/her beliefs. Everyone’s internal world has its own foundations, and the task is to strengthen them and to build upon them.


Psychoanalysis is an in-depth form of psychotherapy: it is built on the same tenets of respect, compassion, and thoughtfulness. In psychoanalysis it is possible to address the deepest worries that a person has about herself/himself and to make the most profound changes. Contemporary psychoanalytic approach is open-minded and collaborative, and it draws on the most vibrant aspects of psychology, philosophy, sociology, biology, and literary criticism. Psychoanalysis unlocks creativity and allows a person to bring meaning and vitality into both personal and professional spheres of life.

Creative, non-judgmental thinking and the ability to pay close attention to the patient are the most important attributes of a psychoanalyst, in addition to professional experience, training, and expertise. Dr. Bonner draws on almost three decades of work in medicine and psychoanalysis. If you are interested in psychotherapy/psychoanalysis with Dr. Bonner, please contact her by telephone 650-323-1851 or email to set up a consultation.