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Robert S. Gordon, Ph.D., M.F.T.
While Our True Nature is Already Perfect
Your Life Can Be Better
(415) 771-7377
(415) 771-7377


Allow Me to Help You

"How do I know if I really feel depressed?"
Depression is not the same thing as being sad.

"People tell me that I'm hard on myself. How do I know if this is true?"
Depression is always rooted in a form of self-attack.

"People important in my life tell me that I'm often impatient, irritable or angry. Does this mean that I'm depressed?"
An "attack" on yourself is like a voice inside of us that usually, without our knowing it, fundamentally says something like: "I'm no good," or "Life is no good (because of me)." We attack ourselves because of how our life has conditioned us to the point that we forget about who we really are.

Does anxiety get in your way?

"I worry a lot. Is this just the way I am?"
Anxiety is a state of mind that lives in the future, such as What will happen if...? Can I really know what will happen in the future? Can I really and truly know with 100% certainty anything beyond this moment? When I believe that I know that something bad will happen in the future, then I have – through that belief – a recipe for anxiety.

"Why am I uncomfortable when I don't know exactly what's going to happen next in my life?"
When we are anxious, we tend to believe what we cannot know to be true. With this collection of feelings, thoughts and beliefs that we assume to be as real as facts (and yet that we also can't prove to be true), our anxiety limits and blocks our relationship to what is truly possible for our own life.

"Why am I often uncomfortable in social situations around other people?"
By investigating, exploring and developing an attitude of curiosity toward our anxiety, we become open to the creative solutions to our apparent problems.

Do you know and do you like where you are going in your life?

"Why isn't my life as rewarding as it used to be?"
While unpleasant to not know or not like where we are at in life, there may be great value for you inside of your questions and doubts, and also in the process of sorting things out.

"How do I know if it's time for a major change in my life?"
A feeling of dissatisfaction with some aspect of our life can be actually the essential ingredient toward meaningful change.

"I worry that I may have outgrown some of my friends or ways of living."
“There are times that we do outgrow friends and certain patterns or forms of living.  While this may carry with it temporary feelings of sorrow or confusion, this does not mean that there is anything “wrong” or unhealthy with your own life and development.” 

"Is that because there is something wrong with me?"
States of confusion, uncertainty or discontent contain within them the essential seeds to their solution.
These seeds lead to our growth, maturity and transformation.

Is your work or career fulfilling and right for you?

"I'd like to do something else. Why am I afraid to change?"
A lack of self-esteem, or simply not thinking enough of or not feeling well enough about ourselves, can affect and determine how we limit ourselves in work and career.

"My job doesn't pay enough and no longer interests me."
A lack of sufficient ongoing interest, support, confidence and guidance from our parents (earlier in life) can leave us feeling "lost" (even though we may not know it) as we enter adult life.

"I kind of fell into this line of work, but I know that I can do something that's more challenging or more satisfying."
When we are not well oriented toward pursuing and persevering with a meaningful interest, we may become vulnerable toward choosing work that is really not rewarding for us.

“What should I consider in raising my adoptive child?”
I work with adoptive parents to consciously experience and mourn the loss of their fertility. Mourning, in contrast to depression, has a beginning, middle and an end. 
Especially because your child does not have your genetic coding, it is important to actually get to know your child – free of your hopes or expectations - with as much curiosity as much as possible, since your child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and inclinations may or may not resemble your own.

"I was adopted and wonder how it has affected my life."
Adopted children and adults may experience rejection more intensely.  
It is important to not take on – or believe in – the projections – beliefs and assumptions - that others have about your being adopted or about adoption itself.

"Should I look for my birth parents? How would I find them?"
First: Searching for your birthparents is a decision that each adoptee makes for herself or himself. It is like making a conscious decision of going into the "unknown" - because we do not know what the result will be. Example: "Will I be welcomed or not welcomed by my biological mother or biological father?" Or/and: "Will this be a positive experience or not for my overall life?"
For some of the adoptees, to search for one's biological parents is something that is either of no or little interest and for others, this is something that one is called upon to do, in order to uncover the story of one's origins. 
It's like making the most personal of decisions one can make. .
"Should I search for my biological child? Is it unusual that I think of my biological child very often throughout my life?"
Loss is an intrinsic aspect of life. The decision to search for birth parents or a biological child is a highly personal one. To do so can either enhance your life considerably or it can be a symptom of unresolved loss. This is something worth exploring in therapy.

"How do I know if I can stop drinking?"
If you encounter problems related to your use of alcohol within your work life, in your social life, within your relationship life or with the law (DUI), it may indicate that you have a substance dependency that can hurt your own self and those around you.

"How do I know if recreational drug use gets in my way?"
While habitual recreational drug use may be a means and attempt to mask depression or anxiety, it may also stand in the way of your growth.

"How do I deal with my partner who drinks or uses drugs too much?"
Knowing and examining your own fears and beliefs about yourself and about your partner (who drinks or uses drugs to excess) can provide you with a greater degree of freedom in life.

Who are you? Really?

"How do I know if I have a problem with self-esteem?"
When our self-esteem functions well enough, we don't think about feeling less and/or, for that matter, superior to others. We feel equal to those around us. When our heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys and other internal organs are naturally working well, do we think about them?

"Am I comfortable at social occasions, in the presence of others?"
What may seem to be an apparent social anxiety may be due to a lack of security with one's own individuality and, ultimately, with one's own being and sense of aliveness.

"Do I limit my choices in work or in relationships?"
If we do not know who we truly are, we may be susceptible to looking for confirmation of our worthiness in the eyes of others. If we don't know who we are, we may look for our identity inside the work we choose, the profession we develop or the title that we achieve in life.

"What does this question even mean?"
Asking yourself questions that are apparently unanswerable may, nonetheless, have value for your development and maturity. Can you be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs? Who is it that is aware? Who is it that witnesses? Even though I have a story that affects my life, who is it that is aware of my story?