Dear SDPA members and guest readers,

Welcome to the long-overdue  issue of the San Diego Psychologist. Clearly, we are well into summer, but the reason for this delay is that we had no content for our issue by the original May 31st publication date. Simply put, we did not receive a single response to our call for articles.  The articles that comprise the current issue with the theme of Couples or Family Therapy were directly solicited from the authors, identified as experts in their respective fields.


As clinicians, we know the importance of alliance building, perceptiveness and intuition, and the ever-changing dynamic between the self and other in any therapist-client dyad. These parameters become much more complicated when the therapist has to maintain an alliance with the couple or family as a unit while balancing an alliance with each member of the unit, and at the same time, helping them navigate through and resolve their conflict. The therapeutic process is a delicate dance that demands a special set of skills on the part of the therapist.

Each of the five articles in this issue presents either a challenging problem relevant to couples or family therapy, a focus on therapy with families from minority or underserved populations, or both. Ms. Estes, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in working with clients from the LGBTQ community and ethnic or cultural minority groups has written a thoughtful article providing basic guidelines for therapy with these highly underserved clients. Dr. Wexler, a clinical psychologist and chair of the SDPA Fellows Committee has drawn from his decades of working with couples in conflict to present his fascinating essay on helping nurture intimacy in relationships. Dr. Spring, a nationally acclaimed expert clinician and author on helping couples navigate infidelity; she will be headlining the conference on Sex and Relationships at The Relationship Training Institute in San Diego this November. Mr. Witter, a licensed marriage and family therapist has focused his article on one of his specialties, i.e., working with emotionally escalated couples. He has artfully described his use of Emotionally Focused Therapy in guiding these couples through their emotional pain and insecure attachment to a place of safety and security. Last but not least, Dr. Falicov, an internationally heralded clinical psychologist specializing in working with immigrant families has described two case examples highlighting common issues that can create conflict between immigrant couples. She describes her culturally-sensitive therapeutic process while never losing sight of the developmental cycle of couples that pervade all cultures.

I sincerely hope you learn as much from this issue on Couples and Family Therapy as I did. Our next issue, which will be published in late summer, will focus on the urgent and current topic of mental health in the current political climate. The topic was unanimously selected by the SDPA Board, in the hope that there are enough of you who feel passionately about writing about your experiences and thoughts regarding this tumultuous time in our nation’s history and its emotional fallout. The submission deadline for the Summer 2017 issue is August 1st. Please help us make this issue a success with your contributions.

Please share your feedback in the comments below, or email me at TheSanDiegoPsychologist@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading.



Gauri Savla, Ph.D. has been the editor of The San Diego Psychologist since January 2016. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice and specializes in geriatric mental health.

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