David Stone, Psy.D.
David Stone, PsyD
Individual Adult Therapy
Individual Adolescent Therapy
Individual Child Therapy
Addiction (Substance and Behavioral)
The Wright Institute - Psy.D.
50-minute in-person sessions are available in the San Francisco location.
All appointments must be scheduled in advance.
San Francisco Office
No one, no matter how much difficulty they are facing in their life, is broken. At some point in our lives, we may feel stalled, stymied, even hopeless. I work with anyone who finds themselves in emotional pain, who wants to live a life with a sense of satisfaction, vitality, purpose and meaning. Anyone who has the slightest desire to move towards something fuller and richer.
One of my aims is to help clients discover what it is they feel is missing in their lives, what they’d like to change about their behavior, and to hone in on what matters most to them. I use therapeutic interventions that are grounded in scientific research to treat anxiety, trauma, depression, grief, stress and addiction—both substance and behavioral. I specialize in working with adults as well as children and adolescents.
I am an interactive, pragmatic therapist who is passionate about learning from my clients' expertise. I maintain that curiosity, open-mindedness, and compassion throughout my relationship with my clients. I am also a creative therapist who regularly employs varying methods to help clients learn skills that will enable them to begin living the life they most desire. I primarily draw from the principals of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence-based model of therapy that has gained increasing attention in recent years due to its proven effectiveness in over 70 randomized clinical studies.
No matter how old we are, we have likely been told in a multitude of ways to avoid our most difficult and unwelcome emotions. It starts in infant-hood, when our parents and caretakers would shake a set of keys in front of us in the hopes that we would stop crying. Pop culture, television and the world at large have passed on similar messages—that our most unwanted and painful emotions should be avoided, tampered down, or minimized at all costs. However, we now understand, due to the large amount of research on the topic, that the harder a person tries to control how they feel, the more miserable they are likely to become, especially in the long run.
My aim is to help clients develop skills in order to respond more effectively to their emotions. In doing so, they are better able to treat themselves and others the way they genuinely want, and act more like the person they want to be. I am dedicated to working with a diverse range of people, within any age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic status, religion and culture. My goal is to help people create lives full of vitality that are guided by their values, enabling them to do what’s most important and meaningful to them.
WHY I LOVE THIS WORK
We all know what it’s like to struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings—it’s a response that comes naturally to everyone. I am awed and humbled when I witness the courage a client demonstrates by seeking support, by disclosing to someone else what currently isn’t working in their life, in the hopes of creating positive change. This act of self-care often takes a tremendous amount of fortitude, especially when someone is in the midst of emotional pain.
Unfortunately, there are many who never demonstrate this kind of courage and stay stuck, to some degree, for the rest of their lives. At the heart of my work as a psychologist is compassion. I hold a profound amount of respect and care for those with whom I work. With this mindset, I form partnerships with my clients to help them overcome the obstacles and barriers they are facing in their lives. It’s my strongly held opinion that there is no greater satisfaction than helping another person create a life that fills them with energy, purpose and meaning.
WHAT I WANT FOR YOU
I will help my clients develop mindfulness-based skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives. Skills that will enable them to act like the person they most want to be, and live the kind of life that they most want to live—one that only they can define for themselves.
We’ve been conditioned to internalize the idea that happiness means to feel happy all –if not most– of the time. To live in this societally-fueled and idealized interpretation of happiness, would mean to always be thinking positively and feeling good. In the real world, this is clearly an impossibility. When following the ACT principles, we know there is a very high likelihood that one’s happiness levels will increase, but that will not happen by trying to control one’s feelings. It will happen by living a rich, full and meaningful life while making room for the full range of emotions that come along with it.
MY SPECIALTIES, BACKGROUND, AND PERSONAL INTERESTS
After transitioning from a corporate job at a sales company, I earned my PsyD at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California as well as a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
My graduate training included positions in diverse settings, employing a wide range of therapy methods. I treated parents and families at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing to provide adult individual psychotherapy, as well as couples and family therapy, using a Family Systems approach. I worked in a hospital setting performing crisis intervention therapy with many dual-diagnosis adults in my position with Berkeley Primary Care Center. At the Cleo Eula Institute, I worked with high risk young men facing extended detention to address anger management, substance abuse, and issues related to gang affiliations. I spent my pre-doctorate and post-doctorate years working with parents and their children in the Alameda foster care system within the A Better Way organization. I provided individual, group, and family therapy using evidenced based-treatments such as Trauma Focused CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Parent Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT).
For the last 6 years, I’ve been working with parents in the San Francisco Bay area as part of the Safe and Sound center, primarily drawing from the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model, while also spending my time raising my daughter.
Outside of work, I have as much fun as a humanly possible with my young daughter. I also am passionate about music—there are a few songwriters who are dear to my heart and it’s always a thrill seeing them perform when the opportunity arises. I’m also a dedicated fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears, and have a wonderful little family that consists of my impossibly fantastic wife as well as our daughter, plus our two cats and a fish :).
American Psychological Association
Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
SF Bay Area Chapter ACBS Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies - UC Berkeley
Effective Clinical Applications of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Advanced Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Adolescents
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy II with Steve Hayes (creator of ACT)