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Kristin Herbert

Specialties and Certifications
  • Couples specialist

  • Parenting and co-parenting coach

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Certificate in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Experience and training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy 

  • Specialize in blended family dynamics

  • Specializes in couples, creatives, and others who identify as “highly sensitive”

  • Specializes in couples facing challenges such as having “grown apart,” processing betrayal/infidelity, and navigating stage-of-life, co-parenting, and family changes.

  • Offers discernment counseling

  • LGBTQIA+ allied

  • Culturally sensitive approach


Life Experience
  • Has experience in multiple long-term, committed relationships, including adoption, birth-family reunion, marriage, step-parenting,  and co-parenting

  • Former careers in literary and academic book publishing, writing, and education of children with learning differences, incarcerated youth, and college students.


M.A. in clinical psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

About Kristin

Conceived accidentally during the “summer of love,” I was surrendered by my birth parents as an infant, then adopted (by way of a closed adoption) and raised as one of two adopted children in a fabled “nuclear family.” Reunited as a young adult with my birth parents and extended families on both sides as an adult has resulted in an inconclusive, ongoing self-study of nature and nurture.


Following my divorce as a young adult, I earned an MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in an effort to turn my heartbreak into poetry. My writer’s resume, in addition my own published poetry, fiction, journalism, and creative nonfiction, included working as a university instructor, in academic and literary book publishing, as a massage therapist, and at educational nonprofit for underserved populations including foster and incarcerated youth.


When I married a second time, ten years later, I became a stepmom and then a biological mom, twice. After my second divorce,  as a single parent navigating complex relational trauma recovery and learning to accommodate and support the neurodivergence in my family, I earned a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and began training to became a therapist. During that time, although I never could have predicted it, I befriended my stepson’s mom  (my ex’s ex) to maintain connection between my stepson and his two siblings.


Now, I am more than ten years along in a different blended family that includes four children and a spectrum of diverse brains and nervous systems: those of my own and my partner, our combined four children, the acutely felt presence of our exes and sometimes their new partners, and our dog and cats. Our children are almost grown, and who knows how many new people will be joining our ranks! I am looking forward to welcoming the people our children love.


I find inspiration and meaning from my ongoing work with an array of clients who share the courage to turn inward in order to better understand their experience and relate ever more deeply to themselves and the people they love most.


Parenting can feel like a job in which mastery is impossible: the minute a parent feels a sense of competence, children change! What had been working needs re-working. And on it goes. Those navigating the complexities of blended families are challenged in ways that are bravely forged, difficult to explain, and sometimes painful to live through. I’ve been there. Let me be there for you.

My lived experience comprises adoption, biological reunion, step-parenting, cooperative mothering, divorce (and co-parenting), blended family, and familial estrangement and repair. Viktor Frankl writes, “there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” In session, we will explore the space between.

Based on attachment theory, we will work together to map and understand your family of origin patterns, to express your conscious beliefs about what love means, and to explore how your behaviors reveal unknown parts about yourselves and one another. My approach is informed by curiosity as well as the ability to hold complexity and paradox.


We will work together to develop attunement with parent and child nervous systems, with divergent ways of experiencing and being in the world. Often, we can find ourselves polarized, stuck in an either-or mentality, vying with the people we love most for our goodness, our truth, our most authentic way of being and being seen. In an effort to achieve a shared perspective and increase connection, we may lose ourselves and invalidate one another. Moving from an either-or to a both-and perspective, our minds can expand to imagine another point of view without sacrificing our own.


Using experiential therapy to practice new ways of being with one another, I will help you discover the best of all possible worlds where each of you make sense, all of your feelings are valid and important, and you can turn to one another with vulnerability. We will work in session to create shared experiences of safety so your nervous systems can re-set, and your brains and bodies can form new pathways to connection.

Other Areas

Charting a New Course

When parents re-partner and form new families, children may experience a loss: the parent who had been focused on them now has a new partner and new kids. Everyone may work hard at first to prove themselves in the new blended family dynamic, but when that novelty wears off, unhealthy and divisive coalitions can form. When two households combine, rules and traditions may clash. Children can experience divided loyalties that impair their ability to accept this new paradigm, especially their new step-parent, because doing so may feel disloyal to their other parent. And being a step-parent can feel like walking a tightrope: parenting one’s own children as before, while not knowing how to step-parent effectively. All of these stresses can wreak havoc on the couple’s relationship. Their partnership may start to feel like endless and insurmountable problem-solving and fire-fighting.


As the leaders of your blended family, you will set the tone for cooperation and mutual support. During our sessions, we will identify your shared priorities and work through areas of discord. We will develop and practice a system of maintaining connection while processing whatever challenges arise so that you know that together, you will be equipped to handle whatever comes.


Respect and Equity

It’s not fair! We will explore the unique strengths and challenges of your blended family and move the conversation from equality to equity: What does each person need to be their best self right now? What are the available resources? How do we come to decisions that are better than fair: decisions that are compassionate, whole-hearted, and wise? How do we live into an ethos that works for each individual as well as the group? We will collaborate to create a new family ritual that your new family can use to communicate respectfully about these ever-changing negotiations.


Inclusion and Boundaries

Paradoxically, people with strong boundaries report more intimate, meaningful relationships. In a blended family, it’s easy to lose a sense of privacy and autonomy. Suddenly there are more people; more sharing and cooperation is expected. Parents juggling more schedules and needs and food preferences and allergies and doctors’ appointments and lost shoes may find they have less time for one another and for their children. With so many personalities and nervous systems, needs and feelings in the mix, it’s easy to feel left out and overlooked. We may become people pleasers to preserve our sense of inclusion with others, while losing our sense of self. In our sessions, we will work together to identify your family’s goals and work to identify where boundaries are working and where they may need adjustments in order to deepen your connections with one another while allowing room for each person’s unique sense of self to grow and evolve.


Highly Sensitive Nervous Systems

Whether one or more of your family members are diagnosed (or self-diagnosed) with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), giftedness, anxiety, depression, relational trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any number of other labels, including self-identified  “creatives,” many people report having sensory overload. I understand how that feels and how it can impact relationships. I will help you identify and craft ways to support your nervous system and those of your loved ones in your home, relationships, and life.


Increasing Connection

A lot of couples come to therapy because over time, they have drifted apart or lost themselves in a merged couple identity. Feeling alone or lost within a relationship is common and very painful.

People often drift apart because they avoid talking about certain things or disagreeing in order not to hurt one another. Both partners may want to have difficult conversations but simply don’t know how to avoid getting stuck in well-known cycles of conflict.


Over time, couples accrue more and more of these “danger zones,” and find themselves in a relationship that may appear to be congenial but in which both partners feel alone with the subjects they long to share with one another. When this happens, both partners are hiding their most authentic, passionate selves for the sake of preserving the relationship.


But without differences, there’s nothing left to relate. Tragically, in order to “keep the peace,” partners may share only the most superficial, flat versions of themselves and one another. Resentments simmer; pain, grief, and disappointment turn in to coping behaviors that increase disconnection. The couple’s sexual connection may suffer or even flame out, and risks for infidelity arise from loneliness or a craving to feel alive again.


Each person longs to feel understood, supported, known, and loved. In couples therapy, we will lean in to challenging, important, and difficult conversations. We will practice ways of saying the unsayable, exploring boundaries that will increase and protect your intimacy, holding differences, validating one another even when you disagree, staying curious, and savoring the energy, passion, and sizzle that lives in the space between you. We will learn to tolerate and even enjoy the differences and discoveries that keep relationships interesting, dynamic, and alive.

Other Areas of Focus
  • Increasing connection and intimacy

  • Implementing Self-Compassion and Self-Care

  • Understanding and Healing Family Dysfunction

  • Establishing Healthy Boundaries

  • Processing Relational Trauma (cPTSD) & post-traumatic growth

  • Mapping Attachment Patterns

  • Processing Grief and Ambiguous Grief

  • Healing from Infidelity and Betrayal Trauma

  • Discernment Counseling

  • Processing Grief Related to Infertility and/or Miscarriage

  • Supporting Caregivers

  • Gaining Coping Skills

  • Creating Safety Within Self and Relationship

  • Gaining Self-Regulation and Learning Co-Regulation

  • Identifying and Healing Burnout

  • Improving Co-Parenting

  • Supporting Life Transitions

  • Coaching Parents, including Single Parents, Co-parents, Adoptive Parents, and Step-parents

  • Exploring Identity

  • LGBTQIAA+ Allied

  • Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)

  • Existential Therapy

  • Experiential Therapy

  • Attachment-based Therapy

  • Compassion-focused, Humanistic Therapy

  • Culturally Sensitive Therapy

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Psychodynamic/ Relational Therapy

  • Trauma-Informed Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Coaching

  • Couples

  • Individuals including Single Parents

  • Families including blended and adoptive families


Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #141308

Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.

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