Hello!  Welcome to my website.

I am a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco, and I invite you to explore this site to find out more about my work.  You're also welcome to give me a call at: (415) 778-5500.  I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.   I offer:

Counseling and Psychotherapy  (click here for more info)


Couples Therapy:   (click for more info)


An Initial Phone Conversation:

You can arrange an initial phone conversation by calling me at (415) 778-5500 and leaving a message. I’ll return your call as soon as I can. During our call we will talk about your situation, what difficulties you're experiencing, what you’re looking for, and the work that I do. There is no charge for this initial conversation, and no obligation to schedule a session.  These conversations generally last anywhere from 5 – 25 minutes.

Or… you can simply email me to schedule the initial phone call. My email address is:

In my practice, all ethnic and sexual identities are welcome.

Thank you for your visit, and be well.

Nick Parsons, LMFT, CHT
2140 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: (415) 778-5500 ; Email:

Google+  Nick Parsons, LMFT, CHT




For those of you who might want more information, here are answers to some questions I'm sometimes asked:

 How long does psychotherapy take?

I do both short-term and longer-term work with people, and the length of time in therapy depends a lot on the kinds of issues you want help with.  In some situations, goals can be attained in a relatively short period.  However, more complex and difficult issues require a regular commitment to psychotherapy if genuine progress is what you’re hoping for.

Can I come every other week? 

I usually don't start with someone on an every other week basis.  However, sometimes after having done a period of weekly sessions and having made progress on the main issues, it can make sense to transition to every other week.  It depends on what is needed and the nature of the issues we're working on.

Can I do some hypnosis as part of my psychotherapy?

Yes. Sometimes people start in psychotherapy and become curious about hypnotherapy, or I might suggest it because of how helpful it can be in many situations.  The most important thing is to tailor our work so that it gives you the greatest benefit.

Will you tell me if you think you can't help me?

Yes. If I don't think I can help you, I will tell you, and I will do my best to help you find a therapist who specializes in what you need.   Also, I encourage you to tell me if you think our sessions are not helping. It is crucial feedback and can lead to a reassessment and change in direction of our work.

What if I want to do couples therapy but my partner refuses to participate?

This is actually fairly common. I usually suggest that you ask your partner to come in with you for just one session to see what it is like. I also offer to talk with your partner over the phone to answer any questions about couples therapy so that he or she can get a sense of me and what it might be like to work with me. Different psychotherapists work in different ways, so even if you've tried couples therapy in the past and it wasn't helpful, it still could be worth another try with a different therapist.

If we need couples therapy and my partner refuses to do it, is it still worth it for me to come in even if my partner won't?

Yes. Exploring your experience of the relationship and the issues it brings up for you can improve how you handle your end of the communication. 

Is there a difference between counseling and psychotherapy?  

Many people use these terms interchangeably.  However, in my mind, there is a subtle but important difference.  Counseling tends to focus on offering support, suggestions, and feedback about relationships and situations in the client's life.  Psychotherapy includes these processes, but it also focuses on helping facilitate an actual change within the client.  Examples of this kind of inner change would be healing trauma reactions, decreasing anxiety and depression, becoming more confident and comfortable with assertiveness, changing a relationship pattern.   Sometimes therapy starts out more in a counseling mode and then evolves into psychotherapy when it becomes clear that an inner change is what would help the client most. 

I see on the web that people use both the terms “hypnosis” and “hypnotherapy.”  Do these terms mean the same thing?   

For ease of communication, I tend to group all therapeutic uses of hypnosis under the umbrella term “hypnotherapy.”  However,  in my mind, there is actually a small difference in these terms.  I consider hypnosis treatment  to be very short-term and focused on a single issue, and hypnosis is the central method used to help bring about change.  

I consider hypnotherapy, on the other hand,  to be more like psychotherapy except that hypnosis is one of the processes used to help facilitate change.  There tends to be more than one issue, and the process is created and tailored individually with the client as the therapy unfolds.  So I consider hypnotherapy to essentially be hypnotically facilitated psychotherapy.  

I do both kinds of work, but I group them both under the term “hypnotherapy” in my mind because it is all therapeutic use of hypnosis.  

Is there a difference between couples counseling and couples therapy?  

No.  I consider these terms to be interchangeable.