Community Partners

At the Bayview Hunter' s Point Adult Day Health Center, interns from the Elder Psychotherapy Program provide on-site services to senior participants in the adult day program. Individual therapy, group treatment and neuropsychological assessment services are provided by the interns who also provide consultation in team meetings. Mental health intervention not only has reduced mental suffering, depression and anxiety among clients but also has decreased the overuse of medical services.

At Grattan School, and Hillcrest School two K-5 public schools in San Francisco, on-site therapy helps some of the neediest students work through their underlying emotional issues, in turn, improving their behavior and overall well-being, both at school and in the home. Interns work at Grattan and Hillcrest providing therapy, consulting with teachers and parents, and participating in monthly Care Team meetings regarding the children.

Through our partnership with Open House we provide a weekly grief support group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender seniors.

Working with the City College of San Francisco's Guardian Scholars Program Access Institute provides pro-bono mental health care to foster youth who have aged out of the system and are working to complete their education.

Access Institute is a founding sponsor of Reflective Spaces/Material Places a group supporting community mental health practitioners-- our brothers and sisters who work under constant pressure to deliver more services with ever fewer resources and at the same time confront increasingly complex and challenging social problems. By making connections and creating innovative platforms for presentations, the group seeks to carve out the vital spaces (mental, physical, relational) we all need to thrive in our work.

Psychological Services for our Community

Listen to "Psychotherapy 101", a radio interview with Dr. Bart Magee, Access Institute's Executive Director

You can afford good therapy

Access Institute offers quality psychotherapy on an income-based sliding scale (per session fees start at $30). All you need to do is call our intake team at (415) 861-5449. We’ll do a brief telephone intake where we listen to you, ask a few simple questions and refer you to one of our therapists.

We offer a full range of psychological services

Psychotherapy Services
Family, Adolescent and Child Therapy
Individual/play therapy for children ages 3-12
Individual therapy for adolescents ages 12-17
Family Therapy

Adult Psychotherapy
Individual therapy
Couple/marital therapy

Individual therapy specialized for older adults
Family therapy, and caregiver support

LGBTQ Focused Therapy
Access Institute provides therapy and mental health care specifically focused on the needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. Our therapists are trained to work with issues related to coming out, sexual orientation/identity and/or gender identity, HIV, same sex relationships, problems with one's family of origin and other stressors and psychological difficulties unique to LGBTQ individuals as well as with general mental health problems (i.e. anxiety, depression, etc).

Initial assessment in therapy
After meeting with you to discuss your situation, your therapist will work with you to form an individual treatment plan. This plan includes understanding your goals for treatment and designing a structure for reaching them. For individual psychotherapy, 50-minute therapy sessions may be scheduled weekly or more frequently if needed. Depending on your needs, your treatment may be brief (fewer than 20 sessions) or longer-term. If medication is an appropriate addition to your therapy, consultation with the staff psychiatrist can be arranged. At Access Institute, we work to ensure that your therapy is tailored to your needs.

Medication Consultation
Our staff Psychiatrist provides psychiatric consultation and recommendations for medication as needed for clients in ongoing therapy at Access Institute. (We cannot provide medication services to patients not in therapy at Access Institute.)

DBT Skills Group - Fridays at Access Institute (from 6:30pm - 8pm). The group will begin Oct. 11 and run for 25 weeks. Cost is $25 per session and is facilitated by Frank Lawatsch, M.S.W. and Omyda Hernandez.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a compassionate type of therapy designed to help people who have trouble regulating their emotions. People who suffer with this difficulty often feel hurt, angry, misunderstood, or afraid others don't or won't like them. DBT is helpful for people who:

- Have a hard time regulating their emotions and require a long time to calm down
- Have a tendency towards impulsive reactivity and self harming behaviors
- Feel empty or anxious much of the time
- Have unstable relationships with others
- Have a fear of being abandoned

For more info or to register, contact Todd Troutman at (415) 861-5449 ext. 389.

Psychological Testing Services
Access Institute for Psychological Services provides comprehensive neuropsychological and psychological assessment and testing for children, adults and seniors at affordable sliding scale rates. Testing can be useful in understanding how cognitive and psychological factors such as memory, attention, planning, organization, perception, and emotion can influence learning, behavior, and one's general capacity for work, school, and daily activity.

Psycho-educational testing for children and adolescents
Children are often tested in school to assess their overall abilities, strengths, and weaknesses related to learning. Often these school tests don't go far enough in helping us understand the whole child. A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment combines tests of learning and achievement with tests of cognitive ability that evaluate brain functioning. A psychological assessment is included to determine how social and emotional issues may affect classroom performance. In addition, the assessment will integrate interview data from family members and educators to get the most complete understanding of the problem. As part of the final report, recommendations are given with the goal of helping develop the most effective strategies for learning and development.

Diagnostic testing for adults and children
Psychological diagnostic assessment is useful in situations where making the most accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment. By using the most advanced tests and the employing comprehensive approaches (extensive interviewing and battery of multiple tests) diagnostic questions can be accurately resolved. Getting the diagnosis right is essential for effective treatment. For example, the treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder differs from that of Anxiety Disorder yet they can often present in a similar manner. A thorough evaluation can help identify the source of a psychological or behavioral problem, whether it is cognitive, emotional, social/relational or a mixture. If requested, reports can be submitted to the referring provider, and in addition, the final outcome of the assessment can include individualized advice and treatment recommendations.

Psychological and cognitive assessments for seniors
Older adults require assessments that are specifically tailored to their needs. Aging presents psychological and medical issues that are interrelated. Cognitive changes, medical illness, social disruption, emotional turmoil can overlap with one another and present a complex picture. Testing can help tease out these various aspects of the situation and help focus an approach for intervention. An example of this is the question of differentiating depression and dementia in an older adult. The symptoms of each are similar, but the treatments vary greatly. A thorough assessment that includes tests for dementia and more general psychological and emotional problems can help make an accurate distinction. Assessments of older adults will include, as needed, interviews with the patient, family and caregivers, as well as a review of medical data.

Quality treatment from well-trained therapists
Access Institutes psychotherapists are experienced and talented graduate and post-graduate interns who are supervised by licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and marriage/family therapists. Access Institute therapists commit to a two year training, giving our clients the opportunity to see the same therapist for up to two years. Our therapists understand the needs of our economically, racially and culturally diverse city. We believe in a future where Access Institute staff—including our training-program graduates—will be key participants in creating a new, affordable mental health care infrastructure for San Francisco.

Please call
(415) 861-5449 if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Community Services

Boys Home/Girls Home
California College of the Arts Counseling Center
Dore Crisis Clinic - Progress Foundation
HealthRIGHT 360
Haight Ashbury Psychological Services
Harm Reduction Therapy Center
Langley Porter Psychiatric Services
San Francisco State University Counseling Center
Women's Community Clinic