"The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."

-Charles DuBois




I offer general counseling for depression, anxiety and relationship issues. 


My primary areas of specialization include:


Couples counseling for all sexual orientations


  • learn to communicate more effectively
  • finally resolve old issues that seem to keep coming up
  • get reconnected, find "the magic" again
  • pre-marital or pre-cohabitation counseling
  • breaking up/divorcing in a non-combative manner    
  • healing after an affair
  • inter-faith and bi-cultural relationships


I've completed specialized training in both the Gottman and Imago methods of couples counseling, and I generally incorporate techniques from those philosophies (most notably, the Imago Couples Dialogue) with others that may be helpful to your specific situation.


Issues related to pregnancy & childbirth


  • processing traumatic or disappointing birth experiences
  • emotional preparation for labor & birth
  • healing from pregnancy loss, stillbirth or abortion
  • examining your own childhood before becoming a parent
  • coping with infertility or secondary infertility  
  • moving through postpartum depression or "the baby blues"


Parenting issues


  • "baby-proofing" your relationship
  •  redefining your  identity as a person after you've become a parent
  • using creative/effective discipline
  • communication skills for parents
  • work, family, intimacy, friendship: finding the balance
  • effective co-parenting after divorce/break-up
  • general parenting concerns & issues that arise throughout the development of your children & yourself as a parent


Chronic pain


  • empathetic counseling for people living with chronic physical pain



Sexual abuse & sexual assault


  • supportive  counseling for survivors of rape or attempted rape  
  • a safe environment for male and female adults molested as children




I believe that the connection between a therapist and a client is one of the most important aspects of therapy. It's important for you to feel as though your therapist is someone you like, someone who cares about you, listens and  understands you, and someone you feel you can trust. It's also important that you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist.


Therapists are also people, so it's true that not every therapist will be a good fit for you. We have different ideas, different philosophies about what it takes to help clients feel better, different methods and techniques, and of course, different personalities. We also have different training, work experience, life experience  and areas of expertise.


Because I feel so strongly about making sure I'm the right therapist for you  I like to have a short phone conversation prior to setting up an appointment.  We'll talk briefly about what led you to seek counseling, and I can also answer any questions you might have about my ability to work with your issues or about the process of therapy in general.


I'd also recommend that you spend some time looking around this website. I wrote everything that's here, so reading it (especially the FAQ page, Benefits of Counseling page, and this one) should give you some idea of what I'm like.


i look forward to working with you.





The following is a bit about my education and experience.  


I have a Bachelor of Arts  in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Washington State University. 


I began practicing therapy in 1993, and have worked with individuals from age 4 to age 75,  families, and couples. I've also facilitated therapy groups for grandparents raising their grandchildren, elementary aged children with social skills issues, at-risk adolescents, trauma survivors, parents, lesbian & bisexual women in early recovery (from substance abuse), and people who have lost a loved one to suicide.


Before  moving to the Bay Area, I worked at both the Student Counseling Center and Career Counseling Department at WSU. I was also an advocate for victims of  rape and domestic abuse in Washington and Idaho through a wonderful, grass-roots agency called Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse.


Since arriving in the Bay Area in 1995, I've worked as a counselor at a variety of non-profit agencies in San Mateo County including: Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center, Project FOCYS, Family Service Agency and Women's Recovery Association. 


I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2000 (California license MFC 36768), and have worked in private practice on the Peninsula since January of 2001.


In my personal life, I'm a mother of two children, so I'm really familiar with both the joys and challenges of pregnancy, birth and parenting.  I'm also a wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend (and human being!), all of which have shaped my counseling style.


I think my clients would say that I'm not the type of therapist who simply nods her head and says "uh huh." I've found that clients appreciate a therapist who can be a bit more active in sessions, and that appropriate feedback,  a different perspective, or a simple kind word given at the right moment can be powerful.  Of course, I also recognize the healing power of just sitting together in silence when necessary.







Dayna Reader, MA, LMFT

MFC # 36768


Please call for an appointment

(650) 483-8893




Copyright 2005-2019 Dayna Reader. All Rights Reserved.