Margaret Petersen, MFT

Counseling and Psychotherapy


"The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from, more than what you tell them. They don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
Jim Henson

Are you struggling as a parent?

Is your child disconnected from you, indifferent to consequences, having problems at school, or speaking back in disrespectful ways?

As a parent, are you sad, frustrated and angry?  Do you find yourself stuck in the same repetitive relationship patterns that don’t seem to help either you or your child?

Parenting is a nonstop challenge and you are not alone. What we know about successful parenting (meaning parenting that works for both parent and child) stems from our understanding of the power of connection.  Connection, or attachment, is the human need to hold close, and keep dear to us, the people we love and need. In psychotherapy, understanding this attachment relationship has completely changed our understanding of what is important in parenting young children.  As an emotionally focused therapist I work with parents to create tools of attachment that translate into intimate family relationships, where parents and children feel valued and loved.  Feeling valued always enables a shift in behavior, such that positive change can begin to take place.

A closer and more harmonious relationship with your child can be achieved!  I work with parents who are exhausted by the relationship struggles they have with their children.  They want to move away from blame and into a more loving connection with the family. I help parents begin to see similarities between the painful ways they were raised and the negative relationship that they’re inadvertently recreating with their own children.  If you are a parent who desires a more loving connection with your child, but were never grounded in a secure and loving connection yourself, one-on-one parenting help may be for you.


Committed relationships with kids are difficult enough, but when separation or divorce occurs, that new relationship of co-parenting can feel overwhelming and raw.  The old patterns or “dances” that eroded trust and impacted communications are now either aflame with negativity and hurt, or icy cold with emotional cutoffs of just feeling “done” in the wake of your complex history together.  Approaching co-parenting with a template of loving support for the child works best for everyone.

Co-raising your children in a cooperative and amiable way will require newfound methods to identify and manage your own triggers that can surface in the face of such change.  Co-parenting therapy has the added benefit of allowing old partners a fresh start, setting aside the old relationship and replacing it with one that is newer, and more supportive. This allows for a new relationship, one that is parent-child oriented, and not partner-to-partner reactive.

Co-parenting therapy is educational and supportive without taking sides.  It is focused on allowing your unconditional love for your child to be the catalyst for change.  With the introduction of new tools it can truly become about meeting your child’s needs, kindly and consistently, despite the ongoing and often difficult transitions in the family dynamic.

To learn more about co-parenting go to

I look forward to hearing from you.  If you would like to set up an appointment or speak with me, please call my confidential voice mail at (925) 520-5263 or email me at


Parenting and Co-Parenting

“The heart is a 
thousand-stringed instrument 
That can only be tuned with 
~ Hafiz