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A Concierge Mental Health Practice

Serving Adults, Children, and Families in the Bay Area and throughout California

About
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Welcome to Unfold Psychology

Recognizing the need for help is challenging enough; finding the best clinician should be simple and straightforward. This website will provide information about our techniques, experience, and central therapeutic tenets. At Unfold Psychology we work with children, adolescents, adults, parents, and families to provide both support and treatment for a wide range of social, domestic, personal, educational, and psychological concerns.

Regardless of who we are working with, our primary focus is on improving self-esteem, building self-confidence, and working to enrich the self-worth of each of our clients. The more faith a person has in their own abilities and innate uniqueness, the more they are able to engage with the world they live in, the family they belong to, and the life they deserve to experience. Put simply, we aim to improve the quality of life for every one of our clients.

OUR SERVICES

Please choose from the services or topics below for treatment options, advice and support:

OUR TEAM

The Unfold Psychology Team is comprised of knowledgeable, supportive, and empathetic Licensed Clinicians, Educational Specialists, Family Therapists, Executive Trainers & Wellness Experts

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Dr. Richard Austin Heafey, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. R. Austin Heafey, MA, MA, PsyD

Dr. R. Austin Heafey is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with children, adolescents, parents and families to provide both support and treatment for a wide range of social, domestic, personal and psychological concerns. Regardless of who he is working with, his primary focus is improving self-esteem, building self-confidence and working to enrich his patients’ self-worth. The more faith a person has in their own abilities and innate uniqueness, the more they are able to engage with the world they live in, the family they belong to and the life they deserve to experience. Dr. Heafey aims to improve his patients’ quality of life.

Dr. Heafey has experience using a number of treatment modalities including, but not limited to, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Interpersonal Therapy, Developmental Theory and Logo Therapy. Only after he has met with and had a chance to listen to his clients’ specific needs, and, most importantly, gain a sense of who he is working with, does he discuss which therapeutic technique he believes would be of greatest value towards achieving their goal. Dr. Heafey is both comfortable and familiar with both short and long term treatment modalities, and welcomes input from collateral sources, or when it is indicated, to work with other clinicians as part of treatment team.

Sammy the Support Hero

Our trusted companion is here to support you in fostering a deep sense of safety and comfort during stressful situations that can arise during sessions and help with alleviating fear and anxiety.

Two days a week, you can find Sammy in our office, happy to be here and eager to improve your day. Please contact our Care Team if you would like Sammy to join your session.

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Dr. Rachel Eelkema, MA, MD, APCC

Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

Dr. Rachel Eelkema, MA, MD
Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

Dr. Rachel Eelkema is a clinical counselor who provides individual and group therapy to adults, with a focus on women’s health, substance abuse, and psychobiology.


Quality of life is the main treatment goal in Dr. Rachel’s approach. Whether discussing difficult emotions related to women’s experience of pregnancy, relationships, or menopause; identifying possible approaches to achieve freedom from addiction; or working with clients to understand and manage acute or chronic illnesses, Dr. Rachel aims to meet clients where they’re at and allow a safe and comfortable space for them to express needs and concerns.


With both a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and Co-Occurring Disorders and a Doctorate of Medicine, Dr. Rachel is uniquely qualified to work at the intersection of biology and psychology. She will not only focus with clients on emotions related to bodily processes or illnesses, but also aid clients in obtaining a thorough understanding of their medical concerns, including communicating with clients’ medical providers and acting as their advocate as appropriate.


Dr. Rachel specializes in cognitive-behavioral, existential, narrative, schema, and inter-personal therapeutic modalities. She enjoys working with clients to find meaning in their experiences and take control of the narrative of their life, with the aim of minimizing suffering and moving toward greater happiness or contentment.

Dr. Rachel is completing clinical hours toward her California licensure. Dr. Rachel consults with Dr. Heafey on all cases which means that when you are working with Dr. Rachel, you are getting the time and expertise of Dr. Heafey in your treatment.

Maxwell Custer, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Maxwell specializes in providing therapy services to adults and couples. Through an integrated and holistic approach drawing mainly from a psychodynamic, humanistic, and existential lens, Maxwell provides support built on mutual respect and empathy to facilitate healing and growth.

 

In a safe and supportive environment, clients are able to explore the deep-rooted emotions and patterns that shape their experiences. Clients are able to express themselves authentically, developing a greater sense of self-awareness and personal growth. 

Maxwell is completing clinical hours toward his California licensure. Maxwell consults with Dr. Heafey on all cases which means that when you are working with Maxwell, you are getting the time and expertise of Dr. Heafey in your treatment.

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Maxwell Custer, MA, AMFT

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

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Dr. Vihn Ngo, MD

Board Certified in Family Medicine

Specializes in Addiction Medicine

Dr. Vinh Ngo, MD

For 20 years, Dr. Vinh Ngo has dedicated himself to improving the overall health and well-being of patients throughout San Francisco and beyond. Dr. Ngo and his staff offer a range of services, notably addiction medicine, psychiatric interventions, ADHD treatment, as well as a host of other integrated, evidenced, medical interventions. Dr. Ngo completed his residency at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Sutter Santa Rosa. He is licensed by the Medical Board of California, specializing in psychopharmacological interventions for addictions and other mental health diagnoses. With his knowledge and expertise, Dr. Ngo is able to utilize a multimodal approach to treatment. Dr. Ngo is able to consult and administer hormone therapies to promote health, wellness and proper development throughout an individual’s life cycle. Dr. Ngo considers the total health and well-being of each individual patient to be paramount! Rather than focusing on a specific symptom or complaint, Dr. Ngo looks at his patients through a biopsychosocial perspective – ensuring the most comprehensive diagnostic and appropriate medical care. Unfold Psychology is blessed to have Dr. Ngo on the team!

Dr. Gerard Chambers, PsyD, PhD

Dr. Gerard Chambers is a clinical neuropsychologist who assesses children, adolescents, and adults with a multitude of neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive disorders. Dr. Chambers has spent a great deal of his clinical experience evaluating children and adolescents who possess significant behavioral issues in both inpatient and outpatient forensic settings. Dr. Chambers trained under renowned behavioral psychologist and Autism Expert Dr. Charles Stevens. Dr. Stevens is the psychologist who worked with the original “Rainman,” the basis of the 1980′s movie that highlighted the life of the Autistic Savant. 

Dr. Chambers completed two years of HCG approved didactic training at Palo Alto University and two years of post-doctoral neuropsychological supervision with Neuropsychological Associates in Santa Rosa, California and Highland Public Hospital, part of Alameda Health Systems to become a clinical neuropsychologist.

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Dr. Gerard Chambers, PsyD, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Nicholas Ashley, DC, ART

Dr. Nicholas Ashley completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, CA after moving to the Bay Area from Austin, Texas. Dr. Nick is a California board certified chiropractor using a diversified adjustment approach to restore motion, reduce pain, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Through The Mobile Joint Chiropractic, Dr. Nick offers in-home chiropractic services. He is an ART spine Level 1 certified provider who utilizes soft tissue therapy in addition to spinal manipulation to provide effective treatment outcomes for both acute and wellness complaints. Dr. Nick treats families and athletes alike through myofascial cupping, extremity adjustments, spinal adjustments, home exercise programming, ergonomic counseling, and more. He is motivated to help each person achieve their personalized health, movement, and wellness goals.

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Dr. Nicholas Ashley, DC, ART

Board Certified Chiropractor

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Nicole McCarty, MSEd

Director of Operations

Nicole McCarty, MSEd

Nicole McCarty is a licensed special education teacher and Certified Youth Resilience Coach. With over 15 years of experience working in the fields of vocational rehabilitation and secondary education, Nicole has successfully supported adolescents and adults through their pursuits to become physicians, attorneys, developers, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, and engaged citizens. Nicole provides individualized services that are designed to address challenges arising from ADHD, learning disabilities, and emotional disorders. Nicole is trained in executive function, motivational interviewing, positive psychology, trauma-informed practices, emotional intelligence, and sports psychology.

Working closely with families, Nicole helps students identify their strengths, increase productivity, and achieve their academic and career goals. Nicole combines compassion with an outcomes-driven approach. Whether assisting students with college and career planning, supporting families to improve communication and harmony, or training corporations on inclusive hiring practices, Nicole provides personalized training and support that meets the needs of each client.

Talia Prince, MS

Talia Prince has over 17 years of experience teaching and serving as an administrator. With a Master of Science in Administration, Talia has the expertise to support families as their students navigate their educational journey. Students of all ages benefit from Talia's training in education services for students with ADHD and behavior disorders, as well as high-achieving students who experience anxiety and depression.

 

Talia provides executive functioning services to students and adults, addressing challenges with time management, organization, attention, and perseverance. Having served in school administration roles, Talia possesses unique and valuable insights. She is a able to help families navigate the process of obtaining accommodations for students, developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and tracking special education goals for students in grades K-12. 

 

As a respected and knowledgeable educator, as well as parent, Talia understands family dynamics and the unique needs of students. Under Talia's guidance, students receive individualized educational and behavior support to increase their success and self-confidence.

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Talia Prince, MS

Education Specialist

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Rachel Schwinghammer, MSpEd

Mathematics, Reading & Music Tutor

Rachel Schwinghammer, MSpEd

Rachel Schwinghammer holds a Master of Special Education and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. With 12 years of teaching experience, Rachel has endorsements in Learning Disabilities, Emotional Behavior, and Autism. From teaching in classroom settings to providing remote instruction to students in China, Rachel has supported students of all ages in their studies. From English Language Arts and mathematics to college essay prep and scholarship applications, Rachel remains committed to addressing the unique needs of her students. Recognizing that every child has unique learning needs, Rachel works directly with families, teachers, and students to design individualized plans to support learning and growth. Whether assisting students in learning new concepts to helping them organize their study schedules, Rachel creates an upbeat and welcoming atmosphere for each student who enters her virtual classroom.

 

Please send an email to Rachel at rachel@unfoldpsychology.com or call (650) 993-9321 to schedule a complimentary information session.

Alex Balasky, BS, USC

Alex is a graduate of University of Southern California, Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy where he studied Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. Alex currently works for a quantitative trading firm as a High Frequency Trading (HFT) software engineer.

 

As a National Merit Scholar and perfect scorer on the ACT, Alex co-founded a SAT/ACT test prep and college consulting company, teaching over 1,000 students all across the country. Additionally, Alex founded a tech company that enables charities to raise money through cryptocurrency donations, helping over a dozen charities raise tens of thousands of dollars for their causes.

 

Alex has an amazing ability to inspire students to achieve their dreams. He specializes in:

  • Tutoring Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus

  • Guiding students through the college admissions process

  • Providing SAT and ACT test prep in weekly sessions or during weekend "boot camps"

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Alex Balasky, BS

Education Specialist

Services

GROUP THERAPY SESSIONS

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WOMEN'S GROUPS

MONDAYS

7:00-8:30 PM @ Oakland with Dr. Rachel

TUESDAYS

7:00-8:30 PM @ Oakland with Dr. Rachel

SATURDAY MORNINGS

8:30-10:00 AM @ Oakland with Dr. Rachel

For more information, please email: womensgroup@unfoldgroups.com

MEN'S GROUPS

MONDAYS

7:00-8:30 PM @ Corte Madera with Maxwell

7:30-8:30 PM @ San Francisco with Dr. Heafey

WEDNESDAYS

7:00-8:30 PM @ San Francisco with Maxwell

THURSDAYS

7:00-8:30 PM @ San Francisco with Maxwell

7:30-8:30 PM @ Oakland with Dr. Heafey

SATURDAYS

5:00-6:30 PM @ Oakland with Maxwell

For more information, please email: mensgroup@unfoldgroups.com

PARENT AND CHILDREN'S GROUPS

TUESDAYS

7:30-8:30 PM @ San Francisco with Dr. Heafey

WEDNESDAYS

7:30-8:30 PM @ Oakland with Dr. Heafey

For more information, please email: parentsgroup@unfoldgroups.com

Services
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STATE-OF-THE-ART THERAPY FOR STRESS AND ANXIETY

More than a decade of controlled studies have shown the effectiveness and efficiency of VR-based therapy intervention on mental disorders, especially anxiety and specific phobias. The clinical effectiveness of VR-based therapy is higher than the traditional imagination exposure technique and has been shown to be as effective as "in vivo" exposure or experiencing a feared object, situation or activity in real life.

 

Many clients tend to prefer VR interventions because in vivo exposure can be too intense. VR gives your therapist more control of the environment, so that the level of exposure adjusts to your needs and the intervention process. Also, VR therapy respects your confidentiality, being that you won’t need to leave your therapist’s office like in cases of real-life exposure.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT VR THERAPY

  • VR Therapy is more effective than traditional imaginative techniques 

  • VR Therapy is less intrusive and provides more privacy for clients

  • The effectiveness of VR Therapy has been validated by more than 25 years of research

Features

Personalized Therapeutic, Wellness and Education Support
In-Home, Virtual, and In-Person Sessions in Marin County, Oakland, and Pacific Heights

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