“Today, the door is open for all opportunities for me.”

I am so grateful to have met Vivian at such a difficult time in my life.
Her wisdom, kindness, guidance and grace were such a blessing.
  –   Amanda Tobin

Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Therapy is a rare opportunity to be understood. The more we feel understood by another, the more we are able to untangle the emotional and interpersonal knots that lead us into treatment in the first place. Rather than treating clients as diagnoses, I customize treatment to the uniqueness of the individual. I am particularly sensitive to understanding one’s ethnic, cultural, and spiritual backgrounds.

I believe that each person has to be understood within the context of his/her life history. Sometimes people come to therapy because they suspect they have a role in ‘what is’ – but can’t put a finger on how/what to do to make things better.

My role as a therapist is to help you navigate the challenges in your life, to highlight your strengths as well as the relational patterns that prevent you from living the life you want and deserve.


Mood Disorders
Life Transitions
Family Dynamics


I offer therapy services to Adults, Children, Adolescents and Families in my El Sobrante office.


Vivian created emotional stability that helped my family move on after a tragedy. She went above and beyond to provide a safe environment for my children, allowing them to open up and succeed in their recovery. I recommend her to anyone who needs support and direction.   –   Maya Olson


Children do well in therapy when their parents are involved. I find it helpful for parents to occasionally participate in a dyadic session during their child’s treatment. Regular communication is essential to understanding symptom reduction. I use a variety of modalities with children including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, play therapy, sand tray play, and Expressive Arts Therapy. Play therapy helps children move towards better social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation and trauma resolution.

Adolescence is a compelling time of life when physical and psychological growth proceed at a fast pace. When adolescents struggle with behavioral, emotional or learning issues, their success in school and in their personal lives is at risk. I see young people with complicated problems, including divorce, depression, anxiety, bullying and risky behaviors such as self-injury, suicidal ideation and substance use. The longer an adolescent struggles, the more likely his or her healthy development is compromised. Adolescents do well in therapy when parents honor confidentiality and there is a strong, trusting alliance with the therapist.

Vivian was there for us at a critical time when my daughter was diagnosed with ADD and anxiety. With Vivian’s help, I’ve witnessed my shy daughter open up, gain self-esteem and confidence, and make more friends. We’re still seeing the effects five years later. I highly recommend Vivian.
–   Berkeley Parent


I work with families seeking support and encouragement. They are ready to make changes that will improve the individual quality of their lives and that of the family system. A well functioning family is not defined by the absence of stress or conflict, but by how effectively it handles them and responds to them and the developing needs of the family members in different environments.


My diverse work history includes Contra Costa County’s Parent Child Support Services, San Francisco’s General Hospital, Egeler Correctional Facility, Legal Services for Children, the Balboa High School Teen Health Clinic, and The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts’ Wellness Center. Prior to licensure, I had a lengthy private practice internship in Albany under Alison Ehara-Brown, LCSW, where I worked with children and adults.

The San Francisco based Avery-Fuller Welch Foundation is very supportive of my interest in helping underserved populations. They have awarded me $25,000 in grants to provide psychotherapy for low-income children/adolescents in a private practice setting.

The Bay Area has been my home for 20 years. I grew up in New York City, but now live with my family in Oakland. I love to dance and I’m involved in the Bay Area Conscious Dance community. I enjoy staying active with my rescue dog and attending local cultural events.


San Jose State University
Masters in Social Welfare, 2004

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
B.A. – Creative Writing and Literature, 1996


Who comes to therapy?

People from all walks of life come to therapy. Psychotherapy is a place where you don’t have to worry if you’re talking “too much” about your situation. Sometimes the events that are bothering us are too personal and vulnerable to share with friends or family or perhaps it’s our struggle with our relationship with friends or family members that is part of the reason we are seeking other support.

What are some possible benefits of therapy?

Experience peace and calm even when your outer world is busy and stress filled.
Increase self-esteem, confidence, clarity and happiness and decrease anxiety and depression.
Heal from experiences that have been painful (both current and past) that are impacting the quality of your life and relationships today.
Help you identify your feelings and needs, and be able to express them.

How often do we meet?

In most case I meet weekly with clients. Meeting weekly is important as it creates consistency and allows trust and connection to be built. This trust and connection creates the foundation from which we can fully explore the issues you struggle with.


Vivian Ross, LCSW # 29525

415.846.0551 | vivianrosslcsw@gmail.com


Conveniently located in El Sobrante, CA

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