Holly Forman-Patel

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Certified EMDR Therapist and Approved Consultant

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin

Are you experiencing anxiety, depression, or having difficulty in relationships?

Have you or your child experienced a traumatic event and need support moving forward?

Is your child/teen acting out or withdrawn?

Is your child struggling at home or socially?

Has communication become difficult between you and your teen?

If any of these sound familiar, then individual or family therapy can provide invaluable help.

Let us work together to gain a better understanding of the difficulties you are facing and create strategies for positively influencing your future.

Holly Forman-Patel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC #52308) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC #763). She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Her professional experience includes a varied range of areas, including in-patient and out-patient substance abuse and dual diagnosis with teens and adults, working with children in pre-schools and elementary schools and working with homeless youth.

She currently sees children, teens, young adults, families and couples in her private practice. Her theoretical orientation is an eclectic mixture of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Psychodynamic theory, Attachment theory and EMDR therapy.

Holly has provided clinical supervision to other therapists while she served for four years as Project Director at Fred Finch Youth Center at a housing program for homeless transitional aged youth and to graduate students through the University of San Francisco's Child and Family Development Center.

Holly is a certified EMDR Therapist and Approved EMDR Consultant, supporting therapists currently becoming trained in EMDR along with newly trained EMDR therapists in honing their skills and building EMDR into their practice. She currently volunteers through the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (HAP) as a Facilitator at EMDR Part I & II trainings. Additionally she volunteers as the coordinator for the Oakland/East Bay Trauma Recovery Network which responds to local crisis by connecting impacted individuals with local EMDR therapists who provide up to 5 sessions of pro bono therapy.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

As a Certified EMDR Therapist, Approved EMDR Consultant, and EMDR Facilitator I utilize EMDR extensively in my work with children, teens and adults.

EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (eye movements or tapping) to assist individuals in processing past traumas (big and small) at their core and in a way that often takes traditional talk therapy much longer. It is highly researched (please see below) and offers a faster resolution than other traditional therapies.

EMDR is not a magic pill and works differently for each person. The more trauma one has experienced, the more there will be to work on. This is okay! There is no right or wrong with the process and it is important to not judge one's self in the process. We will not know how you respond to EMDR until we try it.

Now, can EMDR work quickly? Definitely! This is especially true for children or those with few traumas, including a simple incident trauma, due to having less connected experiences.

What to expect in sessions with EMDR therapy

The first few sessions will be reviewing your history and beginning to help you learn and utilize mindfulness and grounding techniques. Concurrently we will be exploring what memories might be related to your current challenge(s). Once we identify how many memories we will need to target, we will create a plan to target each memory (eg to assist you in being able to look back at the memory without eliciting a strong negative emotional response).

EMDR Therapy is finished when none of the target memories illicit a strong emotional response and you've learned skills to help manage feelings if similar challenges occur again in the future.

I use EMDR to help with the following (but not limited to):

  • car accidents
  • abuse (physical, mental, sexual)
  • hospital trauma
  • phobias / fears (such as needle)
  • work related trauma (first responders, military members, toxic work environments)
  • test anxiety
  • performance anxiety
  • overall anxiety
  • other traumas not listed
  • addiction


EMDR is widely accepted as one of the gold standard treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please visit the EMDRIA site for extensive information on EMDR research. Along with treating PTSD, you will find many other studies that qualitatively show the large array of implications for EMDR Therapy.

I help children, adults and families with all of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Parent Coaching
  • Trauma
  • Phobias / Fears
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Self-esteem
  • Substance abuse
  • Grief and Loss
  • Transition

Using clinically-proven therapeutic techniques, together we will work towards gaining a better understanding of difficulties in your life, develop a plan to address needs you have and transformations you wish to make and work together to create positive and impactful changes.

Additional Information on Specific Therapies

Play Therapy

Play therapy is used with children ages 3-12. Adults come to therapy to talk about their thoughts and feelings, are able to process current stressors in this way and create changes for their future. Children often are not able to do this, however, they are able to process current stressors and traumas through play. Through a combination of non-directive (child led play) and directive (therapist led) play therapy, children are able to process events and learn positive coping skills for the future.

The time it takes each child in therapy can vary widely but will range from 20-70 sessions. It is important that this is kept in mind and your child does not feel the stress from the adults in their life to change quickly. When children do feel the pressure, the therapy process takes much longer.

It's very important that parents and myself are in close contact during the therapy process. The younger the child, the more contact I will have with parents, specifically around applying parenting strategies to support their child through the process. Additionally, for parents of children up to the age of 9, you will receive contact from me ranging from weekly to once a month.

When I work with children 7 and under, I meet with the parents first for 3-8 sessions to explore the root cause of behaviors and assist parents with making necessary shifts that will help support their children. Following this, if play therapy continues to be warranted, then I will begin to work one on one with the child, with interspersed parenting sessions and joint parent/child sessions.

Additionally, I make use of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), an empirically evaluated assessment, which assists in looking at all the factors that are occurring at home and at school in a child's or teen's life. This also supports whether or not a diagnosis is necessary.


Often, young children's behaviors can be improved through parenting interventions in lieu of weekly sessions.

I offer one time and short-term parenting consultation (2-8 meetings) that are tailored to the specific difficulties you are having with your child. I will assist you in methodically identifying difficult behaviors, assist in developing strategies tailored to your child and support you as you implement them in your day to day life.

Adolescents and Teens

Shifting engrained behavior patterns in adolescents and teens is different in that changing behaviors of older children often takes collaboration and support from parents as opposed to punitive punishment. I can assist in helping you identify the language to use with your adolescent/teen as well as appropriate and effective parenting strategies tailored to each individual.

Parenting Couples Counseling

Being a parent is one of the most important and rewarding jobs. It is also one of the most stressful, especially on the parental relationship. I offer couples the space to explore the sticking points in their relationship that stem from parenting and assist them in creating a balance in their lives with respect to how they parent and their overall relationship satisfaction.

Each individual therapy session is 50 minutes long and is $180. Any session or phone contact for longer or lesser periods of time is pro-rated based upon the 50 minute fee.

Completion and analysis of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is provided gratis as part of our work together.

I am not in network with any insurance panels at this time. I can provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance company, which may lead to reimbursement depending on your insurance plan. Additionally, I can provide a sliding scale fee at times.

Please feel free to contact me to set up a time for a free 15 minute call to answer any questions you may have.

I have two private practice locations. One is located in Berkeley, close to Albany and El Cerrito. The other location is in Oakland, just south of the Temescal neighborhood.

Shattuck Commons
1400 Shattuck Avenue, Suite #7
Berkeley, CA 94709

Click here for a map.

Dahlia Therapy Center
471 34th Street
Oakland, CA 94609

Click here for a map.

Two hour street parking is easily accessible as well as metered spots at both locations.

I am reachable at

Phone: 510.677.9264
Fax: 510.695.2324
Email: therapy@hollyforman.com

I have office hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Please call or e-mail me to talk further about services or to request an appointment.

Holly has helped different organizations, both those in the mental health field as well as elementary, middle and pre-schools, in a variety of areas to further their ability to support clients or students. Holly's experience previously as a pre-school teacher and as a therapist in pre-schools and middle schools has provided her with insights into the unique dynamics that are present in these environments.

Trainings provided are but are not limited to:

Working with Challenging Behaviors

Play Therapy 101

How to Support the Unsupported

Trauma and Attachment

Parenting and Attachment

Assessing and Managing Risk Behaviors

Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) in Children and Teens

Additionally, she provides small group or one on one assistance to therapists in learning and implementing the necessary skills to build a thriving private practice.


Holly provides consultations to other therapists in a variety of areas, including working with children, honing EMDR skills, as well as structuring, organizing and growing private practices.

Holly offers in-person, video and telephone consultations for therapists trained in EMDR. She is an Approved Consultant and can provide the required needed consultations for individuals during the training process and for individuals who are wanting to become Certified EMDR therapists or Approved Consultant.

She additionally helps therapists who have been trained and are having difficulty integrating EMDR into their therapy practice.


Holly provides weekly supervision for interns who are seeking a more specialized supervisor or for those who are at placements which do not have on-site supervision.