Coaching is great if you need ongoing support on one or more specific issues but feel therapy is not needed. Consulting with me on career path issues, family challenges and goal development, work/life balance, and time management (to name a few) is a great way to keep on track and have someone to touch base with on a regular basis.   

I started my coaching practice as an alternative or supplement to my therapy practice for people who wanted a different level of care and flexibility. I see many students, parents and busy professionals who may or may not be able to come to my office in person on a regular basis.

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My specialties include:

Anxiety, Bi/Multi-racial issues, Career Change, Chronic Pain, Depression, Existential Questions, Fertility Challenges, Gender Identity (Trans*, Intersex, Queer, and Cross dressing), Goal Development/Time Management (students/professionals), Lawyers and Law Students (and those who love them), Mid and Quarter Life Crises, New Parents (including prenatal and postnatal consults), Parenting/co-parenting (including parenting contracts), Professional Challenges, Sexuality (Straight, LGBT and Questioning), Sex-Positive Relationships, Talking to Kids/Teens about Gender and Sexuality, Women’s issues, Work-Life balance.

Besides therapy/coaching, I am a certified Mediator which allows me to mediate conflicts which might otherwise be litigated. I serve people in person in my San Francisco Bay Area office(s) and via the web. New parents may schedule an in home visit. An initial phone consultation to assure a good fit is essential and is always free.

  Coaching | Felicia Ortiz JD MFTBi/Multi-racial issues Being a mixed race person allows me to understand the complicated dynamics in growing up in several cultural “worlds”. This only becomes more clouded as one matures into adulthood and everyone confidently wonders aloud “what ARE you?”. The dynamics of parenting, being a professional and even being an adult child can be affected by this type of childhood experience as it shapes our understanding of self. Together we will work on ways you can feel confident in being uniquely you in all situations.

Coaching | Felicia Ortiz JD MFT

Career Change

Your career shouldn’t always feel like work. The goal is to find a synergy with a project or coworker(s) and even enjoy your job. If you have started to feel like you might be in the wrong place professionally, I can help. I made a big career change and know that beyond planning, it takes facing judgment from others and sometimes yourself. Coming out on the other side I hope to show you that it is worth it, that you are in the right place and that the hours spent in your professional endeavors are less about feeling struggle and more about feeling harmony and progress.

Existential Questions

Coaching | Felicia Ortiz JD MFTDeep questions often begin to nag us at various times of life or during certain transitions. Others start ruminating on them early in life and it doesn’t ever seem to let up. Assessing your dreams (figurative and literal), hopes, fears and goals with an open minded professional can allow for exploration in a confined way which can allow the thoughts to have a place but not take over in everyday life.  



Fertility Challenges

Being able to discuss the emotional rollercoaster of fertility with a sympathetic ear can be invaluable. Feelings of fear, grief, judgement, and jealousy can all be present during this journey. Sometimes we begin to lose ourselves, and our relationships can become a bit warped when considering all the options while also feeling helpless. This is only amplified when hormones and other medications are on board. Finding a way to cope and remain grounded in yourself during this time is vital for your physical and mental health. Additionally, a therapist’s assessment can be relevant or required if you are hoping to utilize surrogacy, IVF or adoption services.

Gender Identity (Trans*, Intersex, Two-Spirit, Queer, and Questioning including Cross-dressing)

If you are struggling with gender or need a safe space in which to talk about your own self knowledge, I welcome and honor you. Are you in the wrong body, or does the current system of gender classification simply not cover your experience? Do you wonder how this will affect your family or your future family? Do you wonder about your options? The sky’s the limit. I am a cis gender woman committed to affirming your experience and exploring what it means for you. Together we explore your insight, your historical/medical messages, and your future goals. We work together on choosing the right path for you via exploration and experimentation in the world to navigate meaning in context. Working outside of the gender box can mean forging new alliances and making new interpretations. As a mentor of mine says “that allows you to be gender creative!”. Together we will work through this journey to craft the life you’ve always wanted.

If you are the parent, partner or family member of someone working on their gender identity it can be a confusing time. This might affect your anxiety about their health/safety, your meaning about yourself, your concerns about how to respect their experience, or all of the above. I am here for you. I will honor your experience as well. From grief to relief, we will explore your range of emotions and what they mean for you while gaining new knowledge and insight about what your loved one might be experiencing. You are also on this journey as well, and we will assure you have a place to determine how to support both your person and yourself on this ride.  

Working with trans* and intersex folks has been a rewarding part of my professional and personal life since 2001. I was honored with the ShEro award from the National Organization for Women for my work exposing how the medical and legal establishments historically treated gender difference in 2002 and wrote and edited more research in 2005 via the Berkeley Law of Gender, Law and Justice. From 2008-2012 I focused on providing services to Trans* youth and adults in Berkeley at the LGBT center, Pacific Center for Human Growth. I now welcome all genders in my private practice in the North/East SF Bay area and via the web anywhere in California. I also consult on youth cases across the US. I am an active member of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center’s Mental Health Wing (Gender

Goal Development/Time Management (students/professionals)

Where did the time go? How do I get to where I want to be? Do you find yourself constantly behind on a to do list or even wondering where that list got away to? I can help you set in motion skills and structure that can help you to feel more in control of your own time and goals. We will regularly check in to see how things are going and adjust as needed to work through making your hopes a reality. I have worked one-on-one and in groups with many students and professionals to get through big projects or conquer ADD/ADHD. Together we will see how to help you put your focus to a single direction catapulting you into your future with both energy and clarity.  

Lawyers and Law Students (and those who love them)Coaching | Felicia Ortiz JD MFT

As a law school graduate and veteran of different types of legal work, I understand the “culture” of the law. Law school and legal practice purposefully changes your mind to be analytical and adversarial, but how does this change your life? Lawyers, law students and their families are affected by this change. I have worked with legal professionals across the lifespan from those considering law school to high level managing partners and solo practitioners. The stresses involved in the profession are often hard to explain or quantify to non-lawyers but, as a one time insider, I truly understand your struggle. Substance abuse, divorce, loneliness, anxiety and even suicide are off the charts for lawyers. It took plenty of blood, sweat, tears and time to get where you are today, so together we will honor your sacrifice and your contribution by putting you on the road to wholeness. We can find ways you can be the best lawyer you can be and still remain the best human you can. I can help. Refine your role as parent, spouse, or adult child. Be more connected to yourself and your family. Whether it is long term goals of making partner, hanging out your own shingle or being more comfortable in your current role, we can work together to truly discover what is right for you. It is time to look at your own needs because it is not possible to be your best self or the best law professional if your tank is empty. Together we will consider your goals, ways to attain them and work through the plan. Think of me as the expert witness who can help you find out more about your own strengths and lead you to a better solution for yourself. You have come this far. You have jumped through so many hoops. Let the law be your life’s work, not your life.

Mid and Quarter Life Crises

Big questions can become nagging quandaries at various times in life and during certain transitions as we mature to become more closely aligned with our purpose. If you are struggling with deep questions and big thoughts, let’s talk. I am an open and non-judgemental sounding board and have a background in many different philosophical traditions which I often blend in my own understanding of the world.  

Pain/Invisible Disability

Pain is no laughing matter. Following a severe injury, I struggled with debilitating pain for several years and had to go through arduous treatments for any relief. Being unable to participate in activities you once loved, explaining to doubting co-workers that your pain is real, and feeling separate from family and friends can take its toll. I would like to support you in living fully and with joy again while facing your physical pain and embracing your abilities.

Parenting (including prenatal and postnatal consults)

Parenting can be the best or worst project in your life. New parents feel off balance, sleep deprived and often wonder what is “normal”. Parents of toddlers report feeling frustrated and triggered by their child’s fearlessness. Parents of school aged children struggle to maintain their value as their children begin to explore the broader world and wonder if this person will ever be free of the hormones running their life. No matter what stage of parenting, you can benefit from support and a touchstone for regularity and structure. Ditch parenting strategies that make you feel like your own parents (in a bad way) and do what feels right for you and you child. Together we can discuss your parenting challenges and help you return to your own inner guidance.

Besides my MFT training, another experience that colors my view of parenting and birth is my work as a hospital doula in Davis, CA at Sutter Davis Hospital Birth Center. Participating in numerous births has put the process in special context and I welcome talking to you about your birth experience or expectations.

Co-parenting (including parenting contracts)

Parenting is hard enough without having the challenge of communicating with a hostile co-parent. Making decisions about your parenting plans before questions come up is a great way to moderate conflict and assure that you are a united front with the kids. I have worked with divorcing couples, diverse family groups parenting planning pre-conception, and family members adjusting custody.

Professional Challenges

Professional challenges are some of the most common issues that bring people to therapy. Be it dreaming of a career change, feeling stalled in your advancement or planning out new goals, exploration of these issues is fundamental. After all, we spend over one-fifth of our life at work, so don’t allow youself to be miserable or meandering. Let’s chart a better course with which you can feel comfortable.

Sexuality (Straight, Asexual, LGBT, Queer and Questioning)

Coaching | Felicia Ortiz JD MFTSexuality is a deeply personal part of one’s psyche. Often people describe knowing they are X, Y or Z from an early age but determining what that really means in the world can be a long process and something that requires time and focus to uncover. I can be an active guide in helping you find out more about yourself be you 14 or 40. I have worked with clients at the very beginning of exploration, when the time came to reveal information to one’s family/friends, or to family or friends later in life.

We will work together in a non-judgemental safe space where you can share your understandings of yourself as they reveal themselves. Together we will make meaning for you out of these insights. Love is love. You deserve to be yourself in all of you relationships. I will meet you there.

Sex-Positive Relationships

The international society for sexual medicine says “For most, {being sex positive} involves having positive attitudes about sex and feeling comfortable with one’s own sexual identity and with the sexual behaviors of others.” No matter your sexual orientation, partner or partners constellation, or your history, you can feel comfortable honestly discussing the issues present in your sex life in therapy. Whether you would like to discuss a sexual condition that is making sex less than pleasurable, or wish to explore ways to deepen your intimacy with your partner, along with medical referrals, I am happy to discuss your options, and give suggestions to deepen intimacy. This is especially relevant for LGBT persons and their partners who have an added dimension of forgoing historical societal expectations and forging their own meanings in the sexual arena.

Talking to Kids/Teens about Gender and Sexuality

Having age appropriate conversations with kids about sex and gender has never been more important. This is especially relevant when these issues come up at home or at school. If you would like help planning for these conversations in a way that reflects your own parenting values, this is the right space. We can work together to find ways to talk to your children about risks/rewards and your own goals for them. I have assisted those earning their teaching credentials and Montessori educators to craft professional, accurate and age appropriate educational conversations on these topics.  I am also an active member of the UCSF Child and Adolescent Gender Center’s Mental Health Wing as well as a referral source for the North-East Bay Area.

Women’s issuesCoaching | Felicia Ortiz JD MFT

Women’s issues can be vast and varied. Parenting issues, trauma, coping with aging parents, romantic partners, and professional challenges can be relevant for all genders, but women (and those raised as women) often view these in a way that has deep effects. For example, women are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. In addition, we often have predisposition (and sometimes what feels like societal encouragement) to put our own self-care last in the priority list. Having a non-judgemental place to discuss your relationships, choices, fears, and challenges can make a huge difference. As a Women’s college graduate I know the value of being in community with other women, sharing perspectives. Boosting confidence, self worth and inner security while strategizing work/life balance and self care are just a few benefits of our work together.

Work-Life balance

The US has the highest hourly work week and lowest vacation time used of any developed country. Cell phones, projects, and non-stop connectedness to email has made work-life balance something that must be diligently maintained for your family and your physical and mental health. All professions risk imbalance, but for some (eg Law, Medicine, Tech and Dentistry) lopsidedness is part of the work culture. Strategizing ways to cope, manage time, meet your own professional goals and assess the reasonableness of your work responsibilities are just a few subjects we might tackle.

Let's Connect

I offer mediation, active collaborative coaching, and therapeutic counseling for families of all kinds, alternative couple formations (both professional and personal), children and teens, and individual adults. 

I serve people in my San Francisco Bay Area offices (one in the south bay and one in the north bay) and online via telehealth. Please contact me for a free initial phone consultation.

Please note that email is the quickest way to reach me.

Mailing Address: 1440 Military West, Ste. 103, Benicia CA 94510

Office Locations: Benicia CA and Santa Cruz, CA


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