Welcome to My Kentfield Office!
Colleen Russell, M.A., LMFT, CGP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC29249), since 1997
Certified Group Psychotherapist (41715), Since 2008
Individual, Family, Couple, Group Therapy
Certified Grief Counselor
Certified Domestic Violence Advocate
Nationwide Expert in Cult or High Demand Group Education and Recovery
Motherless Daughters Individual and Group Therapy
Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area
and Telecommunication on Secure Zoom or Doxy.me
email: [email protected]
As a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC29249) I am trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustment. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or two-year master's degree, passage of two comprehensive written examinations and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience.
I am also a Certified Group Psychotherapist (41715) with the American Group Psychotherapy Association (since 2008). A Certified Group Psychotherapist is a clinical mental health professional who meets nationally accepted criteria of education, training and experience in group psychotherapy. A CGP is an expert in group psychotherapy and an ethical practitioner who is committed to group psychotherapy as an autonomous treatment modality.
I have over 25 years of professional experience in Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area, providing successful general psychotherapy, counseling and consultations to individuals, couples, families, and groups. I have maintained a general psychotherapy private practice in Marin County, CA, SF Bay Area. I facilitate supportive, exploratory groups, in local and online workshops, present to professional organizations, and write on topics in which I specialize, including professional journal articles.
As a young adult, I participated for two years in an intensive acting school, "The Loft", in Los Angeles, CA, with acclaimed acting teachers, Peggy Feury and Bill Trainer.
07/1992 – Present. Private Practice in Kentfield, CA (Formerly Mill Valley, CA)
General psychotherapy practice with individuals, couples, families and groups, working with adults and older adolescents. One of the few clinicians nationwide specializing in treating families and former members affected by abusive, high-demand groups and relationships including those born and raised in them. Such groups are identified as "spiritual," "religious," "political," "large group awareness trainings," clergy abuse, and more.
Trauma and post-traumatic stress; loss and grief; “motherless daughters”: women of all ages who have lost their mothers through death, separation, illness (including narcissism) or estrangement
Couple counseling and relationship issues; difficult transitions or crisis; divorce, separation.
Family therapy and mediation (Certified Family Mediator); shared parenting support (Certified Shared Parenting Support Provider);
Spousal/partner abuse survivors (In addition to my private practice, I facilitate group and individual therapy at the Center for Domestic Peace for Domestic Violence/Abuse survivors).
Adults abused as children;
Young adults leaving families of origin; "empty nesters", school and work issues; meaning of life concerns.
- Groups for Former Members affected by High-Demand, Abusive Groups including Clergy Abuse (since 2003)
- Motherless Daughters Group (since 1997)
- Women Older & Wiser (55+) Group
- Grief Support Group (Waiting List)
- Domestic Violence Survivor Group (Center for Domestic Peace, San Rafael, since 2014)
- Online Educational/Interactive Workshop for former members/partners of High Demand Groups and Relationships (Not a therapy group)
- Psychodynamic; cognitive; relational; family systems
Domestic Violence Advocate/Therapist at the Center for Domestic Peace shelter for survivors of spousal/partner abuse. (2014 to present). Past Team Program Developer and Group Facilitator at The Center for Domestic Peace for non-abusive parent and child witnesses, 2014 to 2016.
Previously, I have worked at the following organizations:
Primary Therapist at Wellspring Retreat for survivors of high demand groups or spiritually abusive groups.
- Assessment, treatment planning
- Intensive counseling and psychoeducation
- Workshop facilitation
Director/Primary Therapist, Center Point Adolescent Outpatient Drug Treatment Program, San Rafael, CA; Member of the Marin County Juvenile Drug Court Team, Marin County Juvenile Court, Civic Center, San Rafael, CA.
- Facilitated weekly adolescent psychoeducational groups and multi-family groups.
- Provided individual counseling using a biopsychosocial model of addiction, emphasizing cognitive/behavioral and motivational enhancement therapy.
- Served with the Marin County Juvenile Drug Court Team, Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
Case Manager/Counselor, Housing Specialist at the Marin Assisted Independent Living Program (Buckelew) for those diagnosed with severe mental illness, San Rafael, CA
- Individual and group counseling
- Assessments, treatment planning, symptom management for clients and families
- Crisis Intervention
- Life Skills Support
Primary Therapist. Adults, children, and adolescents, Clement Street Counseling Center, San Francisco, CA.
- Psychotherapy for individuals and couples
- Hospitalizations, community referrals
Group Facilitator. Adults and Children, Center for Attitudinal Healing, Sausalito, CA.
- Co-facilitator of group for terminally ill children; group for children whose parent died; bereaved adults; terminally ill adults; parents of terminally ill children
Primary Therapist. Children, Adolescents and Families. Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Child Crisis Services of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
- Crisis intervention at scene of child-related crisis; hospitalizations
- Assessment, diagnosis, treatment plans
- Individual psychotherapy
Primary Therapist. Children, Adolescents and Families. Community Mental Health Services, Family and Child Division, San Rafael, CA.
- Individual psychotherapy
- Conjoint therapy with parents
- Weekly community consultation to teachers at Marin City and Mill Valley public schools.
Primary Therapist. Adults. John F. Kennedy University Community Counseling Center, Concord, CA.
- Individual psychotherapy
Milieu Counselor. Assisted Independent Living Program, San Francisco, CA
- Milieu and individual counseling with adults diagnosed with severe mental illness;Co-facilitator for several household and community groups
M.A., Clinical Psychology, 1987, John F. Kennedy, University, Orinda, CA, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
B.A., Psychology, San Francisco State University, 1982, Dean’s Honor List.
Continuing Education and Training
- 36-hours of CEUs for every two-year licensing period.
- International San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group nine month training and education, (2009).
- Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society, yearly institutes, didactic and experiential training (since 1997).
- Trauma treatment, symptoms, causes trainings with Bessel van der Kolk, John Briere, Janina Fisher, and other leaders in the field, 2006-present.
- Attendance and presentations at conferences with the International Cultic Studies Association, Marin California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and the International San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group.
- Marin California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- CA Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society
- San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group
Presentations and Journal Articles Including:
- "Behave, Believe, Become: Recovering from High Demand Groups or Cults," Presentation at Marin CAMFT, February 2015
- “High Demand Groups and Abusive Relationships: Healing From Trauma and Pursuing Healthy Goals,” Presentation at the Central Oregon Clinicians Network Luncheon, February, 2012.
- “From Cults To Group For Former Members: Opportunities for Healing and Change”, Presentation at the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Institute, June, 2010.
- Facilitated Workshops for Former Members (including those raised in them) and Families Affected by extremist/ high-demand groups including clergy abuse. January11, 2014, San Anselmo, CA; December 5, 2009; March 15, 2010; June 27, 2010, Mill Valley, CA. Co-facilitated two workshops with Janja Lalich, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, CSU, Chico, co-author of "Take Back Your Life: Recovering From Cults and Abusive Relationships".
- “Understanding Cult Involvement”, Panel presentation at the Mosaic Law Synagogue, November, 2009, Sacramento, CA,
- “Cults and Creativity” Panel presentation and “Disconfirming Inaccurate, Self-Limiting Beliefs Internalized From Thought Reform” Individual Presentation at the International Cultic Studies Association Conference, June, 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Published Journal Article: “Touched, Disconfirming Pathogenic Beliefs of Thought Reform”, Cultic Studies Review Journal, 2010, special edition on cults and creativity.
Certifications and Post-Graduate Training
- Certified Group Psychotherapist, American Group Psychotherapy Association
- Certified Domestic Violence Advocate, Center for Domestic Peace, San Rafael, CA
- Certified Grief Specialist, Our House Grief Support Center, Los Angeles, CA
- Nine Month Post Graduate Training with San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group, San Francisco, CA
- Mediation Training with Steve Rosenberg, Attorney, Mill Valley, CA
- Shared Parenting Support Program with Frank Leek, Sacramento, CA