Kathy Jarosz LCSW, "Marriage-Friendly Therapist"
I will help you save your marriage!                                          Phone: (415) 482-9796
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About Kathy

Photo of Kathy JaroszKathy Jarosz, LCSW is listed on the only registry for “marriage friendly therapists” (www.marriagefriendlytherapists.com).  This registry lists only therapist who have had advanced training and experience in therapy for couples. This is significant because many therapists providing couples therapy have had very little training in that area.

From Kathy:

I am an expert at helping couples, even those who think they cannot be helped!

I enjoy educating couples about the benefits of getting through their marital difficulties.  What has more influence on you than the state of your marriage? The research shows that it is pivotal to your mental and physical well-being.  I take couples beyond just learning communication skills.  They learn which stage of marriage or development they are in, how to create an intimate vital partnership using full proof skills, how to stop conflict from getting out of hand, how to prevent affairs, and how to let each other be an individual as well as your partner.  Sexual and intimacy difficulties are common and I am trained in helping couples sort through these issues.   I have had special training in the most common sexual difficulty:  differences in levels of sexual desire.   I am also an expert in drug and alcohol issues and working with couples where one or both partners have/had a problem.  I am a 12-Step supportive therapist.

I make no bones about taking the stance of helping couples really think long and hard before deciding to separate or divorce.  There is so much at stake and the vast majority of couples divorce without really trying to save the marriage whether they attend counseling briefly or not.  I give my clients the information they need to make a sound decision for themselves.  In their hour of need, I respond swiftly to their most pressing concerns and I don’t give up on them.  Clients often tell me that they really appreciate my forthright style and the ample feedback I offer, unlike other therapists they have seen in the past.

I am passionate about helping couples.  I help my couples get better faster by giving them between session homework.  I get them dating and having more quality time together.  I have done couples therapy for over 25 years so I have studied most of the methods out there.  But, what is most useful, says the research, is an approach that meshes well with the particular client and their expectations. So, I check in a lot with my clients about what they expect from therapy and what they are finding most helpful.  In this way, I succeed more often and my clients are more relaxed about talking about their needs with me.

I am a heterosexual married woman of 13 years, a feminist from youth, a spiritual person and someone motivated to grow personally for the rest of my life.  I enjoy working with all types of couples and over the years I think I have.  If you are wondering about your situation, please feel free to call me to discuss it.  I am here to help and would welcome your questions or hearing about your particular situation.

Please continue reading below to find out about my qualifications and then, if interested you can read on to “My Story,” which is more personal notes about my life.

(Please go to www.marriagefriendlytherapist.com for more information on this orientation to couples psychotherapy).

I hope the above information is helpful to you in your search for the right therapist.  Please read beyond the “My Qualifications”“My Story” section if you would like to learn more about me as a person. Or you can now review my “Services” or “Articles”.

Here are two examples of what the media has to say about 'Marriage Friendly Therapy' :

Washington Times Article      Chicago Tribune Article

My Qualifications

A therapist’s qualifications are, of course, necessary, but they are not sufficient to ensure that a therapist has the skills you need. This year I celebrated a quarter century of experience as a psychotherapist!  What a mouth full!  I am happy to be able to tell prospective clients that I have been a therapist a long time, and that I still love the work.

I initially specialized in psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At this time, I couldn't wait to sign up for another Psychology class.  I am happy to say, I still feel that way.  I then proceeded on to acquire a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.  That program is internationally recognized and when I moved to the United States in 1989 I immediately became licensed in California.

I launched my professional career in Canada at a nonprofit agency working with individuals, couples and families in a highly collaborative environment with multiple services offered such as individual therapy, group therapy and education classes on such things as stress and communication.  I quickly began to see the enormous benefits of having my therapy clients also participate in group therapy or join community support groups.  To this end, I am always thinking of other resources I can refer my clients to, to ensure that their problem is truly resolved and that they have ongoing support long after the therapy is over.  My goal as a therapist is to have the therapy end a success, as quickly as possible,

One of the major realizations that I had early in my career was that there were a number of my clients on my caseload with undisclosed chemical dependency problems.  Often these clients came to me for reasons other than their drug and alcohol issues, such as marital or family problems, or depression.  After I had been practicing for about a year or two, back in 1985, it began to become more common to train therapists in drug and alcohol issues (now this is a state requirement).  As I became trained, I was struck with the number of clients on my caseload in denial of their drug and alcohol issues.  At that time, I vowed to become more skilled at helping those clients and when I did, I found the work very rewarding.  At that time I learned about Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps.  I became a 12 Step supportive therapist and continue to be.  I went on to hold management positions in three drug treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

My Story

When I was teenager, I made up my mind that I wanted to be a therapist.  I didn’t know why specifically, but to me, it definitely seemed like the most interesting occupation one could have.  My thought was that I would learn the most about people through this occupation and I was eager to start!  I enjoyed my schooling but I was never more excited than to begin my work with real live clients.  Every client was a mystery to solve, I felt.  I found it endlessly rewarding and worked tirelessly.  Luckily, my early jobs provided ample supervision, training and development and this helped me develop and made it much easier.

As I worked, I saw that many people were victimized as children and that this had profound effects on those individuals.  I still recall some of the early childhood abuse experiences of people I saw over 20 years ago.  Sometimes the abuse was the result of moving from one abusive foster home to another and those stories were very dramatic.  Other times, a client was abused in equally dramatic ways by their own parent(s) while no one picked up on it.

In either case, treating individuals with abuse in their past, which is very common, became one of the most difficult aspects of the job.  Another difficult aspect of the work, was finding ways to help empower the client in their life.  My basic orientation in life was one of empowerment, rather than blame or victimization. To help my clients find their way from victimization to empowerment turned out to be not only gratifying to watch, but life changing for me the therapist, the facilitator.

Therapy is probably the singular experience in life where the client gets to focus only on their own needs, and not that of another person, and the therapist is only there to bounce their feelings, perceptions, and beliefs off of.  In that way, it is a highly unique experience.  In that way, it is very healing.

I believe, and it is a fact, that no matter what I do as the therapist, the credit for the therapy belongs with the client.  I am thrilled when my clients are happy but I always know the credit belongs to them.

I am continuing to learn and I am having a great time doing it.  Science has now proven things that before we only knew intuitively.  We are better prepared to help people in many areas.  There are all kinds of resources for couples and ways for people to enhance their marital bond.  It is very gratifying to help couples do that.  I continue to look for the best books, resources, and group programs for the couples that I see.

When I work with people, I give it my all, and then I let go to see what the clients wants to do with the input.  This is always fascinating because I learn so much about my client and people and myself.


For more information, please call Kathy at 415-482-9796

or email her at:  

kathy@couplescounselingworks.com


One of my current areas of exploration is transferring my clinical knowledge to working with organizations. I always felt I was meant to extend my practice beyond the family unit. Please refer to www.mvpconsultinggroup.com for more information on my executive coaching and organizational change work.