San Diego

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San Diego 2017-12-01T17:30:20+00:00
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Our San Diego therapists are solution-focused, offering individual therapy , couple therapy & marriage counseling.

Our San Diego therapy office creates the ideal environment in which to work on your life issues. We offer a solution focused approach to counseling, assisting our clients in building a roadmap to create a happy life. What sets our San Diego therapists apart is a down-to-earth approach to individual therapy, marriage counseling or couples counseling.Perhaps for the first time in their lives, individuals can find a safe place to explore issues and develop a better understanding of their situation. Most people struggle from time to time, weather with depression, anxiety or relationship challenges that keep repeating no matter how hard they try to change them. Our expert therapists can offer perspective and a game plan to make positive changes in their life.Couples can benefit immensely from couples counseling. Your therapy sessions can be a safe place to talk, without blame or hurtful words, which can lead to healthy communication and deeper understanding. Your therapist will help you create tools and skills that will help you heal, connect, and find a way to be happier with each other.

Our counselors are practical and tools-based, offering direct feedback about your situation. This counseling approach enables us to help you find clarity and help you get back on your feet.

Patty Heffernan, MFT
Patty Heffernan is a licensed MFT registered in the state of Ca. In addition to her therapeutic work Patty has also been an AAMFT
supervisor for the last 13 years training new therapists to work with a variety of populations. In her 20 years in the field Patty has
extensive experiences working with children, adolescents, couples and families. Patty has specialized experience working with military
families, victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual abuse and addiction, child welfare cases, PTSD and trauma. Patty also
worked with cancer survivors with end of life issues.

Through the use a a trauma informed approach Patty works with the family system to help identify patterns we may unconsciously be
repeating and helps to develop appropriate skills that help those struggling respond in healthier ways. Patty also focuses on the anxiety
that helps contribute to these patterns.

Patty works with couples using the Gottman approach which utilizes skills to help enhance communication, reduce conflict and learn to
have as better friendship which is the basis of having a long lasting relationship. Patty also uses Imago therapy in conjunction with
Gottman to develop skills around empathy and compassion.

Individual Therapy
It is important to note that everyone runs into challenges, from time-to-time. It is normal to need extra support when you feel overwhelmed, depressed, anxious and/or confused. Our San Diego therapists have years of experience helping clients address issues and develop “workable” solutions. Psychotherapy is a collaborative process, whereby you share your thoughts and feelings and we listen, explore, ask questions and offer valuable feedback in a safe and trusting environment. The therapeutic process can be a profound learning experience for clients, who need a little extra help resolving their issues. We teach empowerment and self-awareness through a solution-focused therapy approach. Our San Diego therapy offices have licensed professionals, who have not only helped numerous people acquire clarity in their lives, but also helped them create a road-map that leads them to health, happiness, peace and success.

Video Transcript
I’ve created this video because I want to help you understand if we’re the right therapist for you and also want to give you some information about individual counseling, about the process and what you can expect, especially if you’ve never done this before. I know it can be a very scary experience reaching out to somebody you don’t know in a difficult time in your life because you need help.

First of all, I want to commend you for even getting to this point and listening to this video. Everyone from time to time in their life needs help, and it’s okay to ask for help. We all get stuck. Asking a licensed professional who has worked with a lot of people is probably one of the smartest things that anyone can do. We all may have family and friends to talk to at some level, but what’s really unique about this relationship is this is the one place in our lives where it gets to just be about you.

We get to draw from a wealth of experience and bring in that kind of wisdom, and help you in your life where it’s a very collaborative process. Most likely, it will begin by coming in and you’ll share some of your thoughts, your ideas, your feelings about your issue in your life, and we’re going to ask a lot of questions. We’re very interactive. It’s not just a one-way process. We’re getting to know you by asking these questions. We’re getting to understand what’s going on in your life. I find this kind of dialogue where both people are interactive, you get to learn about yourself in ways that you’ve never learned before. You become more self-aware about how you got here, what it’s really about, and maybe even what it is that you really want in your life.

Once we get to that place, we’re solution-focused therapists, so we really help you create a roadmap that you can begin to put out and bring to your life to create the kind of change that you want. Much like a life coach, we’re going to help you along the way and make adjustments where necessary.

A great way to get to know us could be just to start by going on our website and watching some of the videos, reading some of the articles that we have. It’s a great way to access the kinds of advice that we give to get a sense of us. Also, I recommend calling the phone number in your city so that you can talk to the therapist that you would be seeing if you decided coming into therapy. We specialize in a solution-focused approach to individual counseling, couples therapy, couples counseling and marriage counseling.

Video Transcript
Hello. My name is Sevin Philips. I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist. I’m also the founder of the Relationship Counseling Center. Most of us know that relationships are very vital in our lives. As such, they bring great joy and happiness. When things break down, it can sometimes be the most difficult time in our life.We not only understand this, we help couples by creating an environment where there’s no judgment and no blame, where you can slow things down and really understand what’s going on between you two. With this understanding, new clarity arises and oftentimes you’re treating each other better and making different decisions in the relationship. We also provide the tools to help along the way.A lot of our therapists are not only licensed and trained, but we have enough life experience to back that up. It’s important for you to know that.
We have a few principles that make us really stand out. We have an interactive exchange. We get direct feedback. We’re not only listening, but we’re actively helping you figure out how to move forward in a really good way in your relationship. We provide communication skills and we teach these not only in session, but we want for you to bring those home and work on them where it matters most.

We have a very goal-directed approach. People like this. It allows you to know how you’re doing as you’re moving session to session. Are you on the right track?
We help people along the way whether you’re coming in when you’re dating somebody and you want to make a different decision or a good choice in your life partner. Perhaps you’re coming in by yourself while you’re in a relationship. That’s a great way to get clear and figure out what’s going on for you, and hopefully not make the same mistakes and make different, healthy choices in this new relationship. Of course we specialize in marriage counseling and couple’s counseling.

The first step is usually to call me. I’ll answer your questions. After answering your questions, I usually have the therapist call you in a very short period of time. During that time, you can tell them a little bit about why you’re coming in. You get to know them on the phone, which is a great first step. They’ll tell you the times they can see you, both day and night, and hopefully get you in as soon as possible.

We see people on a weekly basis. I’d say couples typically come in six to eight times to work on a relationship issue. That’s only an average. You may want more, which is completely fine.

You’ll want to check and see if you have any out-of-network coverage through work. You might get reimbursed. We’ll give you an invoice with all the codes, so you can send it in to your insurance company. You may have some flex spending or health savings accounts through work. Sometimes people use those monies to pay for their therapy.

I have a lot of relationship videos and articles on the website. They’re free and they’re yours for the taking. Please check them out. You might find something of value that you can apply right now in your relationship. It’s also a great way to get to know us. You’ll see some of the suggestions that we may offer you.

Of course if you want somebody’s personal help, having an independent third-party, and coming in and having a session with us, please reach out. Thank you so much.

Have Fun in the Sun in San Diego

As you already know, San Diego is much more than sunny beaches, rippling blue waves, and Baywatch bodies, no; in actuality it combines big city energy and excitement with a relaxing oceanfront environment. It is literally the best of both worlds – but as I said before you already know that. But, are you actually partaking in all that your great city has to offer? More specifically are you using your city’s benefits to improve and/or strengthen your relationship? Probably not. Well, now is the time to do that. Downtown San Diego is bursting with things to do, from exciting attractions to beautiful landmarks. And, if you and your significant other are more “daytime” people versus “nighttime” people, that is ok too, because there are plenty of things to do during the daylight hours.

And, what’s best is that it is warm quite a bit of the time, so there are always things you can do with your honey – all you have to do is make time for them. Kayaking, surfing, boating, hand-gliding, touring, etc. And, if being outside in the sun, just isn’t your cup of tea, well there is plenty of things you and your partner can do indoors such as going shopping, dining at restaurants, touring museums and art galleries, spending time with nature in an oversized aquarium, and/or taking couples classes. So, what are you waiting for? You can make a difference in your quality of life and the quality of your relationship – all you have to do is shake things up a bit.

Listed below are some activities you and your honey can do to “spiff up” your relationship:

Petco Park
Are you and your partner “outdoors people?” Yes? Well, then Petco Park is calling your name! Did you know that this park is home to the Major League baseball team, the San Diego Padres? No? Where have you been? But, that is not the only cool thing associated with this park – it also offers a relaxing and fun day in the sun. Imagine sitting in law chairs or lying on a blanket with your honey, while gazing at the city’s dazzling skyline and watching the game? Sound fantastic? I know, so grab your sweetheart, and a couple of blankets or lawn chairs and head on out to the “Park at the Park” part of Petco Park. Make a deal with your partner to put aside your differences, at least for the day, and root for the Padres. So, stock up on concession food, and show your team spirit together – as one – as it is supposed to be and you will remember just why you fell in love in the first place.

Cucina Urbana
Are you looking for a place to reconnect with your partner, without the bustle of a stadium or the flurry of a beach? Yes? Well, then I have the optimal place for you and your partner – Cucina Urbana. This tasty restaurant offers a variety of Italian meals, complete with a Californian twist and craft beers and exquisite wines – all in a rustic environment. Cucina Urbana offers an eclectic menu that consists of antipasti, artisan pizzas, piatti, giardino, dolce, and pasta. It also offers a vast collection of wines, beers, mixed cocktails, charcuterie, cheeses, breads, sausages, in-house pastas, and handmade sweet treats. If you want to try something new and different, dare each other to try exotic off of the menu such as the grilled octopus or the hen eggs. The person, who can finish his or her meal without leaving any leftover food wins the challenge. This dare will surely elicit a slew of laughs and a couple of great memories.

Ocean Beach
If you and your significant other are looking for a more easy-going type of date night, try the Ocean Beach, also referred to as “OB.” Never been? Well, it is located just north of Point Lorna, just south of Mission Bay and it is beautiful, to say the least. What’s so great about this beach? Well, it good for getting out and mingling with others (think a “double date” with another couple). Sometimes being with others (as a couple) and doing something fun can decrease the stress and tension in the relationship. It is also a chance to put aside differences for at least that day or night. And, if you just aren’t ready to have a full-blown conversation with your partner and/or you are not ready to “double date,” live music is often played on the beach, so you and your sweetheart can lie back and listen to music. How is that helpful to a struggling relationship? Well, it is a way to reconnect, by being together, without talking. In fact, sometimes non-verbal communication is better than the verbal kind, because it reduces the likelihood that you will argue during the date. So, don’t worry about dressing up – just come as you are and after lying on the beach absorbing the atmosphere for a while, head over to one of the city’s popular bars such as South Beach Bar & Grille, Pacific Beach Alehouse, Newport Pizza & Ale House, and/or Sunshine Saloon.

What better to clear your head then to go back to nature? None. So, why don’t you make a trip with your honey in tow to SeaWorld? I bet you haven’t been to this place in a while, maybe not since childhood. Well, if you haven’t been in a while or ever, then it is definitely time to go. This is especially true, if there is tension in your relationship or if you have lost touch with your partner. In other words, it is time to have some fun. Every relationship needs fun and excitement, at least from time-to-time, to keep both partners happy and satisfied. Routine = boring after a while. You feel me? So, spend some time at this animal-themed amusement park and get close up to 20,000 animals that call SeaWorld home. And, if you have time visit the aquarium’s killer whale exhibit. The notorious residents: Kasatka, Corky, Ulises, Orkid, Kalia, Shouka, Keet, Nakai, Amaya, Ikaika, and Makani. Yep, they live there. And, if that doesn’t draw you closer together, I don’t know what will.

Old Town
One of the best ways to reconnect with your partner is to explore and discover something together. I know you live in San Diego, but have to ever been to Old Town? No? Well, here is the perfect opportunity to visit this historic part of the city with your loved one. Old Town harbors some of San Diego’s earliest landmarks. It not only highlights California’s Spanish origins, it also offers a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and events for California couples to enjoy together, at their leisure. So, take a trip back to the past and discover a whole new world. It may just cause you to re-evaluate life, yourself, your partner, and your relationship.

Cucina Urbana. (2015). Information page. Retrieved from
Ocean Beach. (2015). Information page. Retrieved from
Old Town. (2015). Information page. Retrieved from
Petco Park. (2015). Information page. Retrieved from
SeaWorld. (2015). Information page. Retrieved from
Wikipedia. (2015). San Diego. Retrieved from

Individual Therapy – $120 per session
Couples Counseling – $140 per session

Office Photos

Insurance Questions


Counseling Specialties

  • Interpersonal Issues
  • Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy
  • Relationship and Intimacy Issues
  • Premarital Counseling
  • Sexual and Emotional Disconnect
  • Infidelity
  • Parenting
  • Fighting and Defensiveness
  • LGBTQ Adults
  • Life & Career Transition
  • Life & Career Transition

San Diego Therapist Locations

Relationship Counseling Center
5030 Camino De La Siesta,
San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 308-6979

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User Reviews

Contrary to popular belief, my hubby and I don’t have a perfect marriage, but who does, right? There were/are several issues we needed/need assistance with; one of which was/is a nagging problem for quite some time. We’ve had several sessions with him and every time our sessions ended I felt some breakthrough had occurred, no

Karen B. March 11, 2015

Trying to find good couples counseling can be a daunting task.  Our relationship is important to us so we don’t just want your average run of the mill therapist.  I stumbled onto the Relationship Counseling Center website and found a large selection of videos about relationships issues, many where spot on for our relationship.  I

Gary P. April 5, 2015

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Individual Therapy, Couple Therapy, and Marriage Counseling.







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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.