Alex Hoeplinger


Alex Hoeplinger, M.A.
Psychotherapy for Individuals, Couples & Families
MFT Registered Intern #76155 & PCC Registered Intern #351
Supervised by Peter Coster, Ph.D (MFT #24853)
Center for Psychotherapy, Spirituality, & Creativity
Office: 510-548-1713 (ext. 5)
Cell: 510-329-8674

People come to therapy for a number of reasons that all point to one encompassing desire: change. Regardless of what specifically brings you to therapy, you are there because you are struggling with life in the present and you need or want help. I offer the opportunity for inter and intrapersonal growth – the possibility to see who you are at your essence so that you can more autonomously, authentically, and mindfully create who you become in the future. I will help you in uncovering meaning in your life and relationships so that you may have a more satisfying, valuable, and fulfilling existence. I work with individual adolescents and adults, couples, and families of all cultures. Those I work with tend to come to me experiencing the following issues, among others:

  • Life transitions: career and location changes, identity shifts, marriage, divorce, new birth, loss, starting or ending intimate relationships
  • Emotional & psychological distress: depression, anxiety, mood swings, nervousness
  • Existential despair: angst, emptiness, fear, lack of meaning, identity confusion
  • Traumainsidious (trauma we have a hard time identifying and yet dramatically influences the way we think, see, and experience ourselves, others, and our environment) and inter-generational (trauma that courses family histories from one generation to the next in a cyclical nature)
  • Unhealed wounds from childhood
  • Grief
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Paranoia
  • Anger
  • Codependency: struggling to strike a balance between individuality and togetherness with others
  • Unwanted thoughts: racing thoughts, feeling stuck, unable to understand yourself and patterns, feeling overwhelmed and helpless
  • Shame: difficulty valuing or accepting themselves; feeling unlovable, worthless, guilty, or to blame; self doubt
  • Struggling to make choices
  • Relationship difficulties: constant arguing or conflict with partners or loved ones, unhealthy communication, lack of intimacy or fulfillment, relationship transitions, premarital counseling, parenting issues, growing apart
  • Family dysfunction: unhealthy family dynamics and means of communicating, power struggles and imbalances, constant arguing, chronic tension and anxiety, anger, resentment, alarming behaviors or symptoms manifesting in one or more family members

My Approach:

My approach is grounded in an existential-humanistic psychological tradition that is inspired by relational, psychodynamic, and experiential therapeutic philosophies. What this essentially means is that I see my role as your therapist as one that tries to see you in a holistic way through dialogue so that you may better see yourself (your patterns, meaning behind your experience, etc.), and create the person that you want to become through a healthier mindset and future choices.

A lot of my approach to therapy involves getting a very rich and resonant view of your personal story, much like a reader getting to know the main character of a book. I essentially strive to see you in the complete context of your life so that you may see yourself in a more compassionate and holistic way, and have the strength to change. Therefore, I do not approach therapy with a focus on your symptoms, but rather the deeper meaning behind those symptoms. Together, we will find a basis for understanding why your story makes sense for you and fits consistently in the complex fiber of who you are.

I also believe that we most readily change through the relationships that we hold. We all know that human beings are naturally social creatures, but it can be easy to forget that who and what we are is a bi-product of our relationships with others – this is the essence of human development. As such, I believe that my relationship with you needs to be an actual relationship. By developing a close rapport, we also develop the opportunity to use our relationship as a vehicle for understanding how you interact with others in your world. I keep my relationship with my clients healthy so that we can both develop a level of closeness but also step back from the bond that we develop to understand the process between us.

Finally, I use counseling as a way to explore the internal conflicts that you might have about the hard issues that you face in your life. First, I will help you to identify this conflict. Then I will teach you how to allow the various conflicting parts of yourself to coexist – in much of the same way that two people in a relationship need to find ways to respect their differences.


My approach to couples counseling has many similarities to the approach I take with individuals. I want to help you with what you’re struggling with, fighting about, and getting stuck on by getting you to focus on how you struggle, fight, and get stuck. A large part of what I do with couples is tune in to the patterns they get into while exploring the collective and individual meaning behind those tendencies.

My approach with couples differs from my work with individuals in that I’m less interested in getting you to interact with me and more interested in seeing how you interact with each other. I see my role as your couples counselor as one that helps you and your significant other develop the skills and strengths to ultimately make your relationship more satisfying. I will work with you in discovering how you affect your relationship and how it affects you so that you may have a clearer idea of what you can do to change your relationship for the better.

Premarital Counseling is a MUST. I list this separately because it can be quite a bit different from other areas of couples counseling. Most couples that come to me for premarital counseling aren’t facing the same issues as other couples. They tend to be in love, content, and things seem to be going pretty well. They come to me because they are thinking about taking the next step in their relationship, but want to talk about their future in a constructive way before making such a commitment. They want to explore the pros and cons of committing their lives together by addressing each others fears, desires, concerns, and reasons for wanting or not wanting to wed.


Much like my approach to couples counseling, I want to help you with what the family is struggling with, fighting about, and getting stuck on by getting each member to focus on how you struggle, fight, and get stuck. A large part of what I do with families is help them tune into the patterns they get in while exploring the collective and individual meaning behind those tendencies. To do so, I start by getting a general feel for the family dynamic by observing how you operate. I then try to formulate discussion in very simple yet concrete ways so that each member can see how they are interacting with the dynamic. This allows the opportunity for each member to see the situation in a new light while creating the space for change and growth. I will work with you in discovering how you affect your family and how they affect you so that you may have a clearer idea of what you can do to change your environment for the better.

For more information about me, my approach and my services, please visit my website at

To schedule an appointment or for a free phone consultation please call 510-329-8674 or email me at

I offer a free initial session to all new clients to assess your needs and to see if I would be a good fit for you.