The most important relationship is with yourself.” 

The over-riding theme in the work I do is, developing the relationship with Self. I consider the relationship with Self to be the “X-factor” empowers change through awareness and action and makes transformation of one’s life and relationships possible. Whether I’m working with individuals, couples or families, 

everything I do is to lead every single person involved in the process back to their Self, so they begin developing that relationship.  

As an Addiction Specialist, I’ve developed a new paradigm for understanding and treating addiction - the Relationship Model of Addiction (TRMA). TRMA is based on the premise that addiction is an (unhealthy) relationship with a means of relief of pain from unmet emotional need; the means may be a substance(s), sex, porn and love addictions, compulsive gambling or codependency; that recovery is a transitional journey – out of unhealthy, addictive relationships and into healthy, emotionally nourishing ones; that there are three stages of recovery: I “Breaking-up;” II Developing the Relationship with Self; III Creating Emotionally Nourishing Relationships.” 

I also work extensively with those struggling with anxiety or depression, trauma, those going thorough major life changes, i.e. loss, relationship, work or health crises, as the same mindfulness-based principles would naturally apply to them as well. 


"A relationship consists of two separate, autonomous Selves, who build a bridge of understanding that connects them.”

‘Relationship training’ is a process of “disentangling” the relationship by establish clear boundaries between ‘me,’ ‘you’ and ‘us.’ You will learn how to distinguish between what your issues are and your responsibility to deal with (‘me’ and ‘mine’), what issues are your partner’s and for him/her to deal with (‘you’ and ‘yours’), and which fall under the umbrella of a ‘relationship’ issue that both of you deal with together (‘us’ and ‘ours’).   

I facilitate dialogues between two people focusing on the issues and upsets that are weighing on the relationship. I bring to light the longstanding, unconscious dynamics that create an atmosphere of perpetual tension, distance and disconnection. Both people will become more self-aware and mindful, and be given ample opportunity to practice speaking up for themselves, being honest and real with each other, and listening and responding to each other in a loving and supportive way. The goal of every session is to leave feeling closer and more connected, and a bit more hopeful about the future together.   


Relationship training and education for singles who are, or considering dating focuses how to date, relate and connect.   

The biggest obstacle is the glaring lack of knowhow. Regardless of how hopeless and inept you might feel, what you’ve been through or are going through in your life, i.e. addiction, trauma emotional instability, dysfunctional and abusive families of origin, lack of healthy relationship role models, or know only of a merry-go-round of failed relationships and/or demoralizing dating encounters, you can still develop the requisite skills and ability to create healthy, emotionally nourishing and intimate relationships.   

Dating, relating and connecting are creative processes - art forms.  As is the case with any art form, basic principles apply, specific skills are required and continuous practice is necessary to achieve proficiency. You have to be highly motivated and committed to the process of learning and practicing. 

Let’s not lose sight of the powerful dual benefit of dating; an opportunity to meet and connect with someone new, and to gain invaluable experience from every encounter. Consider dating to be an ideal training ground for the rigors of any lasting, intimate relationship.    


The best investment a young couple can make is in their relationship.”

Research shows that more than half of all marriages end in divorce.  

The primary contributing factor to relationships not working is the inability to share how each person feels toward the other and in the relationship. They are either not in touch with how they feel, don’t feel safe to share, or they get overwhelmed in the face of difficult feelings, issues, conflicts and differences and can not achieve resolution or misunderstanding, or all of the above, which continues to degrade the relationship over time.  

Pre-marital Counseling prepares those in the early stages of relationship, who are planning a future together, for the rigors of a lasting intimate relationship.  

The couple will learn and practice communicating in a way that deepens their connection to each other and fosters understanding. By being given an opportunity to openly and honestly discussing each person’s respective values, goals, needs, dreams, expectations, feelings, conflicts or any other concern, they will, no doubt, secure a brighter relationship future. 


In a safe space, intra-familial relationships (parents, siblings, parent/child, extended family members, blended families, and across generations) will have the opportunity to learn and practice sharing openly and honestly about the issues, tension and distance between them, perhaps for the first time. 

As they learn to face conflict, differences and difficult feelings, set and maintain clear boundaries, “express the unexpressed;” and get to know, understand and appreciate each other more deeply, they find the love still there in their hearts to bridge their ruptured connection. 


Are you concerned about a loved one you think, or know is in throes of an addiction (or any other mental health issue)?  

Do you have doubts about the way you are handling the situation, whether you are helping, or are wondering how to help or wishing there was a better way?

Feel free to set up an appointment for an initial consultation to discuss what is going on and the next action step, and whether further consultation would be in order, for the purposes of developing an intervention and implementation plan.  

I provide education tailored to your specific situation, about addiction and mental health, action planning and strategizing. For the purposes of an intervention for a loved one’s addiction, I generally work with the family members or significant others initially without their loved one being there, but prepare the family a powwow with their loved one when he or she is brought into the foray, all in a concerted effort to get him or her into treatment.  

However sometimes there are issues that will need to be addressed with the whole family together – the pink elephant in the room. In this scenario I would facilitate dialogues between them, i.e. moms and dads with sons and daughters, in a concerted effort to grow and deepen all of the relationships within the family system.  


The First Time You Meet Someone (TFTYMS) 

(Th 6:30-8pm beginning Th Feb 23rd 2017, 10 meetings, every other wk. $750)

(TFTYMS) is an intensive relationship training for singles who are dating or considering dating, looking for connection or hoping to land a relationship.  

You will:

  • Learn basic principles and develop those skills that will make you a more proficient ‘dater,’ ‘relater’ and ‘connector.’ 
  • Learn how to be in the world and all of your relationships, more openly, honestly and authentically. Your “connectivity quotient” (whatever that is) will rise exponentially!
  • Build confidence in your ability to be yourself and relate to others, and in knowing what you’re doing.
  • Increase your chances of making a connection by being more expressive, creative and methodical when meeting someone for the first time. 
  • Be able to learn and grow from every encounter, regardless of the outcome of any one. 

Breaking-up Mindfully

(10 wk; 1 ½ hrs 1x/wk, 10 wks; $1000)

Are you in a relationship you know is not healthy and you no longer want to be in? 

Are you in a relationship you want to “break-up”, a relationship with a means of relief, i.e. with substances (alcohol, opioids, meth, prescription drugs, marijuana, etc.), or addicted to sex, porn, gambling, or are in codependent relationships? 

Are you in a relationship because you don’t know how or are afraid to “break-up?” 

Are you wishing to learn more about incorporating mindfulness into your life and relationships?

The Breaking-up Mindfully workshop takes you through The Five Steps to Breaking-up Mindfully. The workshop combines a didactic presentation of mindfulness-based principles along with interactive exercises for each step, in a safe, supportive environment. 

Recovery is a natural progression. You must “break up” before you can begin developing the relationship with your Self. It’s only when you have a conscious, active and ongoing relationship with your Self that you are able to create emotionally nourishing relationships.   

Breaking up Mindfully is intended to be a road map that takes you out of your dependency or need-based relationship and leads you to stage II, where you discover your Self. The ultimate goal is to replace one primary, unhealthy, non-emotionally nourishing relationship with another primary, healthy and emotionally nourishing one. 

Contact: Daniel A. Linder, MFT (415) 456-0802


Bio: Daniel Linder MFT; Addiction Specialist; 30+ years of private practice experience with recovering individuals, couples and families in the SF Bay Area; author of Demystifying Addiction, To Relieve the Pain, Beyond Sobriety, Empowering the Transformation of Relationships, and most recently, The Relationship Model of Addiction, Introducing a New Paradigm for Understanding Addiction and Recovery, as well as numerous articles about addiction and recovery. I am a recovering porn addict and compulsive gambler as well. 



I conduct Live Workshops and Online CEUS 


For more information call: (415) 456-0802

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About Daniel Linder, MFT

Daniel Linder

Relationships. I was born with a keen sense about relationships, was always assessing how close and intimate people are with each other. I had a knack for relationships. The importance of relationships cuts to the core of who I am. The combination of clinical training, 25 years of professional experience treating dysfunctional, non-intimate couples and families, as well as rigorous self analysis has given me a lot to work with. I put what seemed to come naturally to me under a microscope in an effort to break the process of building healthy relationships down to concrete essentials: Understanding of Basic Principles, Communication Skills, Self-realization and Intimacy.

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