David Montgomery

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist #108403

How I Work

My approach to therapy is informed by the perspectives of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and third-wave cognitive behavioral therapies, especially Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These perspectives lead me to see suffering as ubiquitous and normal, and to understand that we can learn skills that can transform that suffering and support us in moving toward creating the life we want.

I start by seeking to understand your experience and your perspective – what you're struggling with, what you care about, and the obstacles you're facing. Beyond understanding, my aim is to provide a space in which you can be seen and heard and know that you matter no matter what you may be going through.

Building on this, together we'll discover and plot a course toward what's important to you, activating and making use of your own resourcefulness, strengths, and inner wisdom.

In following this path, inevitably difficulties will arise, so an important part of our work will be to develop new skills that will support you in pursuing what matters to you and allow you to respond more effectively to challenges like painful thoughts and feelings. I'll help you develop these skills in session, and support you in practicing them outside therapy, so that you can find more choice, freedom, and empowerment in your life.

I aim to approach our work together with kindness and humility, seeing it as a collaborative process in which we discover wiser ways to live – ways to live that are workable, sustainable, and meaningful for you.

About Me

I graduated from San Francisco State University with an MS in Counseling in 2017. While in school I completed two years of clinical traineeships, working with undergraduate and graduate students at the Peggy Smith Counseling Clinic at San Francisco State University, and with children at Contra Costa County Mental Health Services. I am currently also an Associate Grief Counselor at Hospice by the Bay.

My clinical training has focused on third-wave cognitive behavioral therapies. This training has included fourteen days of in-person workshops with the developers of ACT and seven days of workshops on related approaches such as Compassion-Focused Therapy, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, and Clinical RFT. I also participate in a monthly ACT peer consultation group.

I am a long-time student, practitioner, and trainer of Nonviolent Communication. Currently I am a member of a team that teaches NVC in San Quentin State Prison as part of the BayNVC Safer Communities Project.

Prior to becoming a therapist I earned an MS in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, and I worked as a Software Engineer with several Bay Area technology firms.

I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), and I serve as the Treasurer of the local ACBS chapter.

David is an employee of Kip Williams Psychotherapy (A Marriage & Family Therapy Corporation). He is supervised by Kip Williams, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #93170. His office is located at the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center.