Alan Rappoport taking notes

About Dr. Rappoport

Professional Activities Bio

Psychotherapeutic Style

I have devoted myself professionally to helping people improve their lives through the practice of psychotherapy. I have studied the art and science of psychotherapy for many years, and have taught, written, and done research on the subject. My work with people is informed by a wide variety of techniques and understandings, enabling me to provide rich and individualized experiences for my clients. Whatever the approach, I find that a genuine person-to-person relationship is the foundation of successful psychotherapy. My style as a psychotherapist is warm, informal, and personal. It is very important to the success of therapy that people feel safe, relaxed, and open, and I do my best to create such an atmosphere. People frequently say that they appreciate my non-judgmental and accepting attitude, and comment on how safe they feel to be themselves in our sessions.

Most people I work with are seeking relief from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, lack of fulfillment in life, problems resulting from one’s parents being narcissistic, and/or difficulties in forming and maintaining satisfying intimate relationships. While I do brief or crisis work when appropriate, most people I work with are trying to overcome lifelong dysfunctional pattern that originated in childhood. These kinds of problems take some time to unravel, and so most of my work is relatively long-term.

I like helping people to be freer and happier in their lives, and I like the sense of connectedness that develops as I work with people in therapy. It is also very gratifying to provide an environment that people can use to become more truly themselves in life, to participate with them as they do it, and to see the wonderful effects in their lives that result from our work. I also like the intellectual challenge of understanding what has been holding people back, and of figuring out what is necessary to free them to make progress. In my years as a therapist, I have developed a profound sense of respect for people. I am often amazed by what people have been through, and am impressed by the efforts that we all make to cope with, and overcome, our difficulties.   

I am very attuned to my patients’ needs. It is important to me that my patients get better, and I make every effort to insure that they do. I pay close attention to the progress we are making. If things are not changing for the better I feel concerned, and make sure to do something to address the problem.

In addition to fostering a comfortable, friendly relationship, I pay particular attention to developing an understanding of my patients’ problems, and on getting clear on what went wrong in their lives to create their current issues. Both my patients and I find that having a clear picture of these matters is of great help in overcoming their problems. Often people blame themselves unfairly for their difficulties, and it can be very relieving and orienting to understand that these problems typically resulted from multiple factors, many of which were out of their control.

Professional Activities

In addition to doing psychotherapy, I also write and teach. I have written several articles on Control-Mastery theory and an article on the difficulties that people develop as a result of having had narcissistic parents. I have given numerous presentations on Control-Mastery theory at professional conferences and have taught many classes and workshops on this subject. 

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I am available for consultation by video and phone. Please contact me if you would like more information.


I grew up in New York City, attending Stuyvesant High School and the City University of New York, from which I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. I worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, CA for five years, and left Lockheed due to a fundamental dissatisfaction with the field of engineering as a career. I was a hippie for a few years, worked as a carpenter and studied Zen Buddhism, and got into graduate school for clinical psychology in 1975. I am one of the founding members of Palo Alto University, from which I graduated in 1981, from which I graduated in 1981. I received my license as a Marriage Family Counselor in 1981, and my license as a psychologist in 1984. I have been in private practice as a psychologist and psychotherapist ever since, primarily in Menlo Park and Redwood City, California. I moved to Corvallis, Oregon in 2019 and am currently semi-retired. 

I am married and have an adult daughter. I have a great interest in eastern spirituality and philosophy that started with an attraction to Zen Buddhism in college, and since then has taken many forms. The spiritual dimension is still fundamental to my life and work.

I have found that being married and having a child has greatly increased my awareness of couples and parenting issues. “My interest in narcissistic dynamics in families stems from having had these issues in my family of origin. Working on these matters personally has given me a great appreciation of the difficulties that arise from them, and of what may be required to overcome them.