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Counseling For Couples + Individuals

My passion is helping couples and individuals see, understand, and feel the cycle of conflict that’s keeping them stuck in disconnection, frustration, and unhappiness and teach them new ways to interact with each other - ways that lead to connection, emotional safety, belonging, trust, and love. Whether you’re single or partnered, seeking love or struggling in a relationship, I can help.


I am not a sit-back-and-say-nothing therapist. I want to see you get the results you want, and I will absolutely help you do that in an active, warm, loving and direct way, so you can have a different kind of conversation than you’ve likely been able to have with your partner.


Or, if we're working individually, to understand your own attachment needs and have awareness and choice about your reactive behaviors in a new way. I love working with women on issues including relationships, worthiness, boundaries, anxiety and depression, mindfulness, PTSD and complex trauma, and identifying and transforming the stories we tell about ourselves and the world that keep us trapped. 

Why Relationships?

When I was in high school, I had a keychain that was pink, white, and gold plastic and said LOVE. My boyfriend at the time noticed it hanging off the ignition as we were leaving in my car one day and he laughed, saying, “Wow, love even starts your car!” It was funny to us both because he recognized it as a fundamental truth to who I was then (and who I am now): Love and what it takes to make a love relationship work has been a central driving force, interest, and puzzle for my entire life. 

I documented love for 20 years as a wedding photographer. I learned a lot about what couples promise each other on their wedding day, when they’re at the beginning of their relationship, at a beautiful venue, dressed up in front of everyone they know and love. But I wondered, what about when things get difficult? 


Eventually I wanted more than just to visually document the beginning of a relationship. I wanted to study it, discover what made love work and what caused it to fail. And I wanted to know how to help love thrive, for myself and others. 


When I encountered Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) - an empirically validated couples therapy founded by Sue Johnson - it was like someone turning the lights on for me after a lifetime of fumbling around in the dark, struggling in relationships. I could suddenly see my own reactivity and my partner’s and most importantly, I began to understand the deeper attachment longings driving those behaviors.


What had seemed like torturous chaos now had an order and a map I could understand and use. This was nothing short of revolutionary for me in my personal life and I wanted to share it with as many people as I could. 


Click the Yelp link to read reviews for Karen!

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Karen Gordon is a Certified EFT Couples Therapist


Member of the International Center for

Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples


I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (#9560) and a Certified EFT Couples Therapist. I am an attachment-based therapist and I'm trained and certified in EFT for Couples. I am known by my clients for offering direct and honest insight and feedback with love, warmth, and humor.  I work as a couples therapist at Empathi Counseling in San Francisco and maintain a private practice in downtown Palo Alto, CA. Sessions are via Zoom only. I offer couples therapy throughout California and relationship coaching throughout the country online via video sessions. I am LGBTQIA+ friendly. 

Contact me now to book your session. 

Distressed partners no longer see each other as their emotional safe haven. Our lover is supposed to be the one person we can count on who will always respond. Instead, unhappy partners feel emotionally deprived, rejected, even abandoned. In that light, couples' conflicts assume their true meaning: they are frightened protests against eroding connection and a demand for emotional reengagement.    -Sue Johnson

Psychotherapy for individuals in Sebastopol Bay Area Sonoma California


  • Are you challenged with feeling unworthy, insecure, indecisive, or afraid?

  • Are you frustrated that you seem to keep recreating the same patterns over and over in your romantic relationships?

  • Are you in a relationship and feeling emotionally deprived, rejected, or abandoned?

  • Are you clear that you want a romantic partnership but you just don’t know how to manifest it?

  • Or maybe you aren’t sure you’re ready for a commitment but you crave more intimacy in your life?

  • Do you find yourself attracted to the same emotionally unavailable, avoidant types over and over?

  • Do you find yourself avoiding intimacy or sabotaging a connection when it shows up?

  • Are you single and struggling to find the right partner?


  • Do you find yourself stuck in a painful cycle of arguing about the same things with no resolution over and over?

  • Are you struggling to recover from a partner’s infidelity?

  • Are you frustrated by how long it’s taking your partner to trust you again after you’ve had an affair?

  • Do you wish things could just go back to how they used to be in the beginning?

  • Do you feel betrayed, abandoned, disappointed, or hurt by your partner but they just don’t seem to understand?

  • Do you feel lonely, unsupported, unappreciated, or unseen?

  • Have you noticed that the passion and intimacy in your relationship isn't what it used to be but you don't know how to fix it?

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Karen Gordon, LPCC #9560


Palo Alto, CA 94306

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