Profile image of Michael  Matthews

Michael Matthews(He/Him/His)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT
Bipolar disorder- Existential crisis & challenges-Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-Suicidal ideation-Mood disorders-Climate anxiety-

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This therapist is currently not accepting new clients. Find available California therapists on Zencare.

AboutSpecialtiesLocationsInsurance & FeesTestimonials

Professional statement

I began my career as an environmentalist in Humboldt County when attending Humboldt State University from 1972. I contributed to the expansion of Redwood National Park by 46,000 acres., investigated the seismic problems at the Humboldt Nuclear Power which closed in 1976; edited the eco-journal at the Northcoast Environmental Center in Arcata, and I was named Humboldt State Student of the Year in 1976.

Then I worked as a rehabilitation counselor with the industrially injured from 1983 through 2007. Then I worked 2007 to 2021 at the California Department of Rehabilitation in Berkeley at the Ed Roberts Campus, a unique center for the disabled. I was appointed to the State DOR Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and retired in 2021.

I have been a therapist since 1983 interning at Crossroads Counseling, the Institute on Aging Crisis LIne, San Francisco Suicide Prevention and with the UCSF Therapy Internship Program at Everett Middle School for two years in the Mission District.

I have always been a client centered rehabilitation counselor and therapist studying Dr. Carl Rogers, Dr. Heinz Kohut, empathic attunement, Jungian Dream Therapy, Solutions Therapy and Murray Bowen Family Systems Therapy. I have been with Path/Rula Mental Health since September of 2021.

I have almost 36 experiences professional and lifetime of experience within myself coming from a family with sudden loss, trauma, alcoholism, depression, divorce, and emotional abuse and denial and shame. My mother was in AA. My father was manager of the Inglewood Social Security Administration office. I bring all of this experience as a therapist and I am always a strong advocate for those with mental health issues.

Message to clients

I do my best to provide excellent therapy to anyone who seeks my help. I come from a client-centered approach and I have 35 years in rehabilitation/disability counseling which is similar to solutions-focused therapy. I am very informed about vocational, educational, and placement services and career counseling for those with mental health disability with the state department of rehabilitation.

I believe our clients need understanding, empathy, emotional support and validation in therapy. My clients tend to come from similar traumatic, abusive, and neglectful and alcoholic families where they were singled out as somehow "different." I always refer to a new book from the latest neuro-biology research called "It Didn't Start with You." I realized in 1980 that my mental health issues were inherited from my family. This book shows clearly how mental health is inherited through the generations, and has origins in genetics, DNA, pregnancy and birth, complicated by drug addiction and trauma. I always encourage my clients to not blame themselves for any mental health struggle they did not create. So together, we can Walk the Walk, and Talk the Talk.

Work and Education

Years of Experience: 29 years

Path to Mental Health, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

St. Mary's College of California, MA Marriage & Family Therapy 3.90, 1995
Humboldt State University , BA Political Scientist, 1976


California: 37632




Bipolar disorder - Developing coping and preventive strategies to stabilize extreme mood swings, including manic and depressive episodes; increasing effective strategies to regulate emotions and maintain a healthy daily routine

Existential crisis & challenges - Supportive exploration of meaning and purpose in one’s life; finding one’s path in the face of existential anxiety, dread, and feelings of meaninglessness

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Healing painful experiences and memories from the past

Suicidal ideation - Support living with intense pain, distress, and feelings of persistent hopelessness; strengthening meaningful relationships and experiences in one’s life

Mood disorders - Clinical depression, persistent depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders that cause disturbances in the client's mood, causing mood swings, restless sleep, and/or elevated mood

Climate anxiety - Coping with the unique stress created by climate change, including managing any overwhelming feelings of impending disaster and finding outlets for advocacy


  • Adults (24+)
  • Young adults (18-24)

Locations & Hours

I am not accepting referrals through July 2024


  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Optum
  • Southern California Kaiser HMO
  • Southern Kaiser California PPO
  • University of California Berkeley Student Health Insurance (Wellfleet Student)

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions:$150 (60min)
  • Sliding scale:$80 - $150

Client testimonials

"very empathetic and present - one of best i’ve had in thirty years of therapy for depression and anxiety, including at least six different therapists for more than a year."
- Zencare client January 2024