Today is the day to reach out, tomorrow is the day to feel better.

If you are ready to address the problems in your life psychotherapy can help you gain an understanding of yourself to better realize your potential and gain strength by learning alternative ways to tackle life’s challenges.

Dr. Lutfiah Milhem, San Francisco psychologist, focuses on the treatment of traumatic stress, grief, anxiety, depression, the after effects of childhood sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, and life situations such as job stress and marriage, partner, relationship difficulties. She employs cognitive behavioral techniques as well as other proven methods to form a holistic and effective strategy adapted to each specific client’s needs.

If you should be experiencing:

Insurmountable difficulties in your relationships
Family conflicts
Problems at school or work
Feelings of hopelessness or depression
Any feelings of anxiety without cause
Fears of being alone or with others
Trouble getting over the recent loss of a loved one
A lack of motivation and detached feelings
An inability to make important life decisions

Therapy can be of help, and Dr. Milhem is committed to work with you to resolve these and other problems and concerns.

I invite you to call me or email me for a consultation.

The wound is the place where the Light
enters you.


Dr. Lutfiah Milhem, Psychologist

Dr. Lutfiah Milhem, Psychologist
Licensed CA Psychologist PSY15134

Education and Training
  • Doctor of Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology; Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA, June 1991
  • Master of Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology; Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA, December 1989
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS)
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counseling; Boston University, 1978
  • Master of Education
  • Counseling and Guidance; University of Massachusetts 1975

Work Experience & Style

Dr. Lutfiah Milhem has over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. Her extensive background includes clinical and professional experience gained from psychiatric and counseling rehabilitation centers, university psychology course teaching, and public/private mental health centers providing individual, group and family psychotherapy, supervision and training. In her current practice she integrates psychodynamic, cognitive/behavioral, and other approaches in a collaborative, holistic manner to effectively address presented mental health conditions/problems.


Dr. Milhem specializes in the treatment of traumatic stress, depression and anxiety that may be related to childhood sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, loss of a loved one, job stress, alternative lifestyles, or partner/ family relationship conflicts. In addition to psychotherapy to a diverse client population, she provides personal and executive coaching to individuals aspiring toward optimal life and work effectiveness. Dr. Milhem is committed to providing the utmost professional psychotherapeutic and coaching services geared to the adult population served.


I am a doctoral-level psychologist trained in both empirical research methods and clinical practice with over two decades of experience in the mental health field. My current private practice in San Francisco, California, integrates clinical and professional experience gained from psychiatric and counseling rehabilitation centers, university psychology course teaching, and public/private mental health centers providing individual, group and family psychotherapy, supervision and training.

Practice Style & ‘Toolbox’

My style is integrative. I use psychodynamic, cognitive/behavioral, and other approaches to work in a collaborative manner with clients’ expressed issues and concerns.

My vast training and experience in the helping field for over two decades equips me with a large tool-box of techniques and methods to use with a variety of problems and conditions. My strategies involve the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual towards a holistic healing approach.

What I Offer You

I aspire to confidently provide a service that is:

Humane | Personal | Forthright Respectful | Thorough | Safe | Supportive | Professional

I actively listen, empathize, and involve my clients in a non-judgmental manner to encourage their trust and openness as a catalyst for desired change. They are offered the permission to inform me of any frustrations and disappointments when stuck in order to fine tune our work together.

I invite you to call me or email me for a consultation.


I pride myself on being more than just someone to listen, but someone to help you look at things a different way.

It’s important to face the challenges of life head-on, but with the right tools and resources in your arsenal. That all starts with a healthy mind, and a fresh perspective. From there, focusing on your well-being, mental and emotional health, and physical wellness comes into play like never before. You’re taking the first steps on a journey, but you’re not taking them alone.

Specialties & Issues:

  • Childhood sexual and physical abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Job stress
  • Alternative lifestyles
  • Partner / family relationship conflicts

As a professional therapist, my role is to guide you as you take steps towards positive life changes, healing, and a healthy mind. Together we’ll work to uncover and better understand life’s challenges and day-to-day stressors that detract from your life and focus, and begin identifying and practicing things that will make you stronger.

I invite you to call me or email me for a consultation.


Dr. Milhem’s services are offered on a self-pay or insurance contracted fee arrangement.

Callers receive a free brief phone consultation to determine the suitability of a mutually agreed upon working relationship and are then referred to other resources if a match is not found. Daytime and evening appointments are available. Taking the first step toward getting help is often the most difficult.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Milhem at 415 362 1067.

  • Please find the following helpful forms.

    Please fill out the online intake forms prior to our appointment.

    Online Intake Forms

  • Rates

    Please contact me to discuss my rates. I offer reduced fees depending on your current situation. My goal is to provide the best care that you can afford.


    Cash and checks are accepted for payment at the time of service.

    Amount: $
  • Cancellation Policy

    Please contact me within twenty-four hours of our scheduled session to avoid a cancelation fee.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

Carl Jung

What can therapy do for me?

There are a variety of benefits that can come from therapy, and they tend to be individualized. Therapists are there to provide levels of support, teach certain skills, and help patients discover new coping strategies for things like anxiety, depression, stress, or even creative blocks. You don’t need to have some kind of ‘major disorder’ to find usefulness from a therapist. In fact, if you’re simply looking for personal growth in any aspect of your life, you can typically find the skills and resources through therapy to help with family problems, marital issues, and more. Essentially, a therapist offers a different way of looking at things – perhaps a perspective you haven’t yet considered, which makes it easier to point you in the right direction, and find the solutions you’re looking for in life.

Of course, therapists can’t just ‘fix’ everything on their own. It’s about using those resources you learn in your everyday life that can really turn things around. Still unsure about what therapy could do for you? Let’s take a look a few examples of some common benefits:

– Grasping a deeper understanding of who you are
– Identifying your goals and dreams
– Obtaining the right skills for bettering your life’s relationships
– Learning resources to put an end to the issues that brought you to therapy
– Managing problem areas in your personal life, like anger, stress, depression, etc.
– Creating new patterns of behavior for yourself
– Changing your problem-solving perspective
– Boosting your self-esteem and confidence

If I feel as though I can handle my issues on my own, is therapy really necessary?

There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t experiences challenges of some kind throughout their life. Some people can simply get through them better than others, and even then, it’s never a bad idea to have additional support and understanding when it comes to the obstacles you’ve gone through. In all actuality, therapy is ideal for people who understand themselves enough to realize they actually could use some help, instead of denying it. Noticing that your life isn’t necessarily where you want it to be is a big realization and admittance, and taking the steps to change that for the better is something to be incredibly proud of. You’re taking the first step down an incredible path that can lead to long-lasting benefits for the rest of your life, even when challenges come up again.

What makes people go to therapy in the first place? How do I know if it’s the right decision?

While everyone’s reasons for coming to therapy are different, whether they’re going through a big life change, or a specific event like divorce, or just aren’t dealing with stressful situations ideally. Sometimes, the assistance of therapy can not only help with specific situations, but personal issues as well. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and even low-self esteem are often common reasons to seek out help. You may start out looking for one thing, and find on your journey that you can gain so much more through learning the right skills, and having the right kind of encouragement.

In terms of making the ‘right decision’ for yourself, of course therapy is a personal decision, but if you take a look at your life, and your desire is to make a change that starts from within, it’s likely that some form of psychotherapy could be a great benefit.

What can I expect from therapy?

Just like the reasons for therapy are different for everyone, most people can expect different experiences. The good news is that therapy is completely individually-focused, which is why everyone can get something different out of it. Generally, your life, your history, and any relevant insights will be important to the specific discussions, but in a very personal and individualized manner. Sometimes therapy can be focused on a specific need, in which case it’s a ‘short term’ solution, while in other cases, many people go to therapy regularly, each week, to simply look for more personal growth.

Again, therapy isn’t meant to be some kind of ‘quick fix’ where you simply sit back and listen. It is a participatory experience. The more you involve yourself in the process, the better results you’re bound to see. It’s a practice in everyday living, in which you take what you learn from the session, and apply it to your life. Therefore, it’s important to be mentally prepared to make those changes in your life, and desire new perspectives on things.

How should one consider medication vs. psychotherapy?

While medication has been proven to help with many different disorders, it has also been proven that time and time again, it simply isn’t enough. Medication often treats the symptoms of a problem, without getting to the root of solving it, which is where therapy comes in. The decision to take psychotropic medications or not, is a highly personal one, and your personal wishes will be honored. If in the course of treatment, you decided you might benefit from medications, I will refer you out to an appropriate provider.

People are turning more and more to holistic and natural alternatives to modern medicine to treat mental, physical and spiritual issues.  I fully support alternative options as such essential oils, chiropractic and massage care, yoga, diet/exercise and nutrition options, and other means you might explore to improve your well being.  I can refer you to professional holistic providers in the area for further consultation.

How does insurance factor into therapy?

Insurance companies are different – some offer mental health coverage, while others do not. The easiest way to find out if mental health care is covered by your provider is to contact them, to make sure you understand their options. If you’re looking for a good place to start in asking them questions, you could consider asking what their coverage amounts are for therapy sessions, what an out-of-network provider might cost, or if prior approval will be needed from your primary care physician. Don’t be afraid to ask enough questions so you feel confident in knowing how your insurance responds to mental health care.

Do the topics in each therapy session remain private?

There is practically nothing more important in therapy than confidentiality. As with any doctor/patient agreement, your privacy is of the utmost importance. A good therapist understands the vulnerability and openness that must come from each patient in order to really get through, so therapy itself can take a lot of trust, and that needs to be developed over time. Make sure your therapist offers a confidentiality agreement before you begin your sessions, typically called ‘informed consent.’ It is your choice if you’d like to have your therapist share anything significant with your other healthcare providers, but this can only be done with your written consent. Nothing you share in your sessions is to be told to anyone else, with the rare exceptions of suspected abuse of any kind (including child protection), or if the therapist has any reason to believe their patient may hurt themselves, or others. These situations are a matter of ethical procedures, and sometimes, even the law.



Dr. Lutfiah Milhem, Psychologist

870 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Located near the Powell Station.

Bus Lines:
N, M, L, K, & J lines 5, 6, 7, 9, 21, 31, & 71

415 362 1067



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Dr. Lutfiah Milhem, Psychologist Dr. Lutfiah Milhem, Psychologist

Information on this site has been compiled from a variety of resources. Nothing on these web pages is to be considered authoritative or complete medical or mental health advice. Please consult your physician or other health care professionals before making any decision based upon the information presented here.

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