Holly Wilcox, MFT
Licensed Marriage + Family Therapist #119445
San Francisco Office
- Self esteem
- Generalized anxiety
- Life transitions
- Relationship issues
- Women’s issues
- B.A. in English, Cornell University
- M.A. in Counseling Psychology, University of San Francisco
Trainings + Certifications
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Gottman Level 1 Certification
who i work with
I provide therapy to adults and couples in the Bay Area who are working through issues like addiction, grief, depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship stress. I feel called to work with those who may not have been supported or validated in their earlier lives, who are now feeling the resulting anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem that often comes from not being fully seen and heard.
After seeking mental health support in my early twenties, it dawned on me how little I knew about facing my emotions. The process of learning to identify, explore, and accept my feelings (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) gave me a sense of peace and freedom I hadn’t thought possible. Ever since, I’ve been a big believer in the power of vulnerable self-exploration and expression, and I’ve found success working with those who are curious, open, and ready to look inward.
In sessions, I bring unconditional warmth and compassion while also helping clients understand the core beliefs and patterns that are causing distress. Once we have an awareness of limiting beliefs and patterns, we can work on letting go of fear, healing past wounds, expressing needs, and building healthy relationships.
My approach is person-centered and relational, meaning that I value warmth and authenticity in the therapeutic relationship. My goal is to use kindness, patience, and humor to create a space where it feels safe enough to share anything without the fear of judgement.
I rely on attachment theory and family systems theory to inform how past family dynamics may be impacting one’s current relationships and sense of self. I also pull from evidence-based modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy to provide concrete tools for a more fulfilling, liberated life.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy, and I will work with you to determine how to best meet your specific needs. My primary intent is to view and treat each client as a unique and complex individual, worthy of respect and compassion. At the end of the day, you are the expert on your own life and experience. I am here to help you short through the areas you feel stuck, while offering encouragement and guidance along the way.
I earned my M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco in 2018 and am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of people, including adolescents, adults, and families navigating issues like addiction, grief, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, trauma, and relationship stress. I have experience in private clinics, schools, residential treatment centers, and community mental health settings.
My graduate program had a heavy emphasis on cognitive behavioral therapy, which I have carried with me as a foundation in my career. I have had experiences working with bereaved family members at a hospice, which taught me a humanistic, person-centered approach to meeting people where they are — to both be able to sit with deep pain and to hold space for transformation. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve worked in faster-paced environments like substance use treatment centers that have required more concrete, solution-focused care. My past work with adolescents and families in a residential setting has also strongly influenced my use of family systems perspectives, meaning that even when working with individuals and couples, I believe in locating each person in the bigger picture of their family and community.
I have also received training on self-harm, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, personality disorders, trauma, couples and group therapy, and 12-Step recovery.
Why I love this work
I have always been interested in human behavior and what lies beneath the surface. Being a therapist feels incredibly rewarding, as it allows me to be present for others and to stay in touch with what it means to be human. One of my favorite parts about the work is that there are always new chances to learn and grow. Each experience with a client brings new insights and new perspectives, and I am often in awe of my clients’ strength and wisdom.
My goal is to use my passion and experience to contribute to the healing of my peers and community. What makes me come alive is the feeling that I can be a source of consistency, unconditional positive regard, and encouragement to those in need – especially because I know the unique pain that comes from feeling isolated and lost. I believe firmly that we are each worthy of being seen, heard, and loved in our entirety, flaws and all. Being able to be a consistent source of guidance and warmth for clients — and to see positive changes unfold — brings meaning to my life.
A bit more about me…
I strive to bring a balance of work, play, comfort, growth, structure, and creativity into my days. But I haven’t always been able to achieve this kind of balance!
As an adolescent, I couldn’t speak in front of a group without turning bright red, and I assumed without question that I was inferior to everyone around me. It took years of heartache before I realized that it was okay to express these negative beliefs and anxieties to other people. Then something wonderful happened — I realized that I wasn’t alone. I’ve learned that the more we open our authentic selves to others, the more connected and accepted we can feel. I strive to create a sense of community and liberation for those who may be in that dark place I know so well.
I also just really like to have fun. For me that means immersing myself in nature, talking with a good friend, taking a power yoga class, drawing portraits, or rewatching The Office for the thousandth time. I’ve also been vegetarian for sixteen years and will always save spiders by putting them outside. I’ve found that a little compassion for myself and others (even the tiniest creatures) goes a long way.