Doug Ronning, MA, LMFT, RDT/BCT

Licence: LMFT 51086
Phone: 925-954-6229, ext. 4

Schedule an Appointment

As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I work with individuals (children, teens and adults), couples, parents, and families, to uncover and surpass the challenges that make it difficult to maintain meaningful relationships or achieve life goals.

We will begin by identifying your strengths as well as exploring the difficulties in your life, then tailor a plan to best suit your needs, assets, and objectives.

I Offer Compassion and Respect (and Expertise!)

As an experiential psychotherapist, I offer interactive sessions to guide you towards greater self-awareness, increased self-regulation, effective communication, and responsible choice making.

As a clinician, I am attentive, sensitive, compassionate, respectful, and direct. I am deeply committed to providing quality care and resources to help you (and/or your family member) lead a more productive, connected, and authentic life.

My Approach

In my practice I utilize both brief-focused (short-term) and growth-oriented (long form) psychotherapies.

brief-focused approach is useful for crisis intervention. Time-limited and short-term, the focus is on cultivating tools to resolve problems or reduce symptoms quickly.

growth-oriented approach is ongoing and depth-focused. This approach is useful for persons who are committed to living a more meaningful life by improving their work/school, social, and intimate relationships through expanding awareness and cultivating deeper understanding of one’s own conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, attitudes, and behaviors.

Integrative and Evidence-Based

As part of a multi-disciplinary approach, I integrate evidence-based interventions with well-known therapeutic orientations:

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy uses the principles of cognitive therapy, which teaches positive behavioral alternatives for anger management, anxiety reduction, problem solving and effective communication, and combines them with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness.
  • Gestalt Therapy is an experiential therapy which focuses on the whole of the client’s life, accentuating present moment awareness, self regulation, and personal responsibility.
  • Narrative Therapy offers a unique way of looking at a person’s problem(s), as separate from oneself but as part of one’s life story, in order to increase self-mastery and encourage behavioral change.
  • Drama Therapy utilizes embodiment, enactment and roleplay to invoke body awareness, situational clarity, and deeper emotional understanding.
  • Expressive Arts Therapies emphasize creative and emotional expression through alternative and nonverbal means using techniques such as sand play, art making, music, and photography.
  • emWave HRV Biofeedback is a training tool used by Stanford, Duke Medical Center, Kaiser, and many other top medical centers to help persons manage emotions, reduce stress, sleep better, and shift away from compulsive behaviors.  It instills the use of breath and emotional physiology to achieve heart coherence for greater calm and focus.


My Groups

Wisdom Through Games

A highly experiential group that uses thought-provoking themes from game play to foster engagement, participation, collaboration, insight, and creativity:

  • To explore identity, aspirations, and personal responsibility.
  • To cultivate wisdom to navigate relationships and life transitions.
  • To learn personal strengths and tools to build positive communication.
  • To honor non-conformity and build empathy.

For more information about this games group click here.

Drama Therapy Group for Teens

A highly experiential group that uses thought-provoking themes to foster engagement, participation, collaboration, insight, and creativity:

  • To explore identity, aspirations, and personal responsibility.
  • To help improve emotional regulation and reduce anxiety and/or depressive symptoms.
  • To discover personal strengths and try out new behaviors.
  • To cultivate authenticity, wisdom and tools to navigate relationships and life transitions.
  • To honor non-conformity, build empathy, think deeply and have fun.
For more information about this drama therapy group for teens, click here.

My Background

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Registered Drama Therapist/Board Certified Trainer recognized by the North American Drama Therapy Association. In addition to psychotherapy services, I also provide clinical supervision to pre-licensed practitioners and offer professional consultations.

I hold a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I have been practicing psychotherapy since 2005 and working in private practice since 2009.

For over five years, I worked with individuals, couples and families through Ohlhoff Recovery Programs, as Program Director for Ohlhoff Outpatient Programs in San Francisco and as a Counselor at the Skip Byron 28-Day Residential Program.

Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, I worked as a professional screenwriter, as well as in event planning and project management. Through these work experiences, I utilized some of the tools for creativity building, effective communication, and stress management that I use with clients today.

In addition to my work as a clinician at TheraThrive, I teach therapists-in-training as an Adjunct Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In association with Teresa Brown, Certified Nutritional Consultant, I co-created and co-facilitate the Couples in the Kitchen workshops. I also produce the event series Monster Movie Salon.