Alan Rappoport, PhD
Redwood City, San Francisco
Tel: 650-556-9500
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Redwood City California psychologist home about Dr. Rappoport publications & writings control-mastery theory resources additional resources contact Control Mastery theory or Control-Mastery theory
San Francisco treatment for phobias and situational anxiety Marin County therapy for co-narcissists from narcissistic parents SF Bay Area counselor for depression and low-self esteem
Dr. Alan Rappoport, Marriage and Family Counselor in San Francisco
Welcome to Alan Rappoport, PhD, SF Bay Area psychotherapist

I am a psychologist and psychotherapist with offices in San Francisco and Redwood City, California, and have been in practice since 1980. I specialize in doing psychotherapy with adults and couples, and have been studying, teaching, and writing about this subject for many years.

While my approach to psychotherapy is primarily informed by Control-Mastery theory, I incorporate understandings and techniques from a number of other theories as well: attachment theory, cognitive-behavioral theory, family therapy, and others.
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Control-Mastery Theory is a modern psychodynamic approach to psychotherapy originated by Joseph Weiss, MD and advanced by the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group.
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Interview with Dr. Rappoport on Control-Mastery Theory

by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.: Podcast / Transcript / Synopsis
Psychologist Alan Rappoport in Redwood City California

I work with people seeking relief from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, lack of fulfillment in life, those having problems resulting from having narcissistic parents and people experiencing difficulties in forming and maintaining satisfying intimate relationships. I also work with anxieties and phobias—fears of heights, driving, markets, dentistry, and numerous other situations. I work with people in the office, by Skype or FaceTime, and over the phone.
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Marin County mental health services for depression and anxiety

Redwood City
611 Veterans Blvd, Suite 116
Redwood City, CA 94063
  San Francisco
10 Funston Ave
The Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129
  Phone: 650-556-9500

Articles by North Bay psychologist Alan Rappoport, PhD MFT

Note: The following articles have been published and are copyrighted by the journals in which they appeared. You may make copies for individual and educational use. For other uses, please contact the publisher.

Co-Narcissism: How We Accommodate To Narcissistic Parents (2005)
People who have had narcissistic parents commonly work hard to please others, defer to other's opinions, find it hard to know their own views and experience, and are often depressed or anxious. They fear being considered selfish if they act assertively. A high proportion of psychotherapy patients are co-narcissistic. This article discusses the nature of this problem and how people work in psychotherapy to overcome it. Read more (PDF).

How Psychotherapy Works: The Concepts of Control-Mastery Theory (2002)
At the heart of Control-Mastery theory, formulated by psychoanalyst Joseph Weiss, are two concepts: that people have unconscious control over their defenses, and that they have a wish to master their problems and unconsciously organize their behavior in an attempt to do so. In psychotherapy, the therapist's task is to understand the patient's unconscious plan to solve his or her problems and to help the patient to do so. Read more (PDF).

The Patients' Search For Safety: The Organizing Principle in Psychotherapy (1997)
According to Control-Mastery theory, patients organize the process of their psychotherapy in their search for psychological safety with the therapist. Understanding how patients' activity in psychotherapy is organized by their search for safety can simplify the treatment process for the therapist and help to guide the therapist's interventions. Read more (PDF).

The Structure of Psychotherapy (1996)
The view that psychotherapy patients unconsciously organize their therapy process in the service of their treatment goals has been advanced and empirically supported by Control-Mastery theory proponents. This article discusses the patient's plan according to Control-Mastery theory and shows how it is made explicit in the Diagnostic Plan Formulation. Read more (PDF).

Freeing Oneself From Pathogenic Adaptations (1996)
Two main tenets of Control-Mastery theory are that psychopathology is caused by pathogenic beliefs, and that people attempt to disconfirm these beliefs by testing their validity in their interactions with the therapist. I suggest that pathogenic beliefs are more accurately and profitably seen as pathogenic adaptations. Read more (PDF).
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