Education & Certification
Alliant International University - Los Angeles (1976)
National Register Member Since
Richard Riemer, PhD
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: WHAT I DO
The healing art I practice flows from two main sources: my presence with you moment-to-moment seasoned by more than 35 years of accumulated experience as a Clinical Psychologist. That combination heals and revitalizes.
I specialize in PEOPLE IN CRISIS and COUPLES IN DISTRESS. I am active in the session, listening and responding to your experiences and their meaning. By focusing on “what is” (vs. “what if” or what should be), we stay rooted in the present where change happens. We only delve into the past when your present feelings and associations point there.
My approach is collaborative, relational, and experiential. We listen to the body, paying attention to your bodily sensations and their meaning. I consider myself a body therapist who doesn’t touch the body. Together we explore the Unconscious as it manifests itself in embodied feelings, impulses, dreams, and spontaneously-retrieved memories.
We work collaboratively to:
1) Overcome self-sabotage
2) Foster more secure attachments
3) Redirect relational maladjustment towards mutual enrichment
4) Cope functionally with life’s transitions and losses
5) Resolve the dilemma of feeling successful yet unfulfilled
6) Realize the opportunity for transformation in a life crisis
To guide my clients through corrective emotional experiences that heal is a deeply gratifying privilege. I feel energized by the personal connection we forge. My work is my calling. What I do remains intrinsically rewarding and vitalizing.
PEOPLE IN CRISIS & THE PROCESS OF CHANGE
My paramount specialty is my work with PEOPLE IN CRISIS: those upon whom the Dark Night of the Soul has descended following major attachment loss. Our wounded brothers and sisters feel lost, scared, often alone with feelings of shame and despair. Suicidal thoughts may wash over us. We are in danger.
I know this emotional and spiritual terrain from the inside, having survived two separate Near Death Experiences.
Thus, the first step of treatment consists of guiding our wounded brothers and sisters through the dangers and pitfalls of the Dark Night so that we survive our ordeal. The ordeal itself cracks us open, making accessible our gifts, our medicine, what we have to contribute to the community from our Real Self.
Transformation unfolds as we discover and then live from our emerging life direction. From this challenging, sometimes harrowing, yet ultimately rewarding change process emerges a person who feels different… who experiences him/herself as more solid, relaxed, and present; whose freedom from self-sabotage heightens productivity and self-esteem; whose spontaneity and aliveness gives rise to creativity; and whose enhanced capacity for authentic relating allows for both the giving and receiving of love.
Shepherding others through the process of birthing their Soul’s calling is deeply intimate and mutually rewarding. So much so that after more than 35 years of practicing this collaborative form of art and healing, I continue to feel vitalized — and blessed.
I do not aspire to retire.
COUPLES IN DISTRESS
Relationships are difficult. We find ourselves repeating old and dysfunctional patterns: needing to be right rather than staying relational, living at the effect of the other vs. responding for ourselves with our own truth, or conversely, making our own feelings and needs so important that we neither stay attuned to our partner nor to our shared experience as a “we”.
In addition to such interpersonal issues, we face work/financial pressures, parenting challenges, and lack of community. As we look to our significant other to meet all our needs, we end up overloading our primary relationship. No wonder couples get distressed.
I approach couples in distress with curiosity and compassion. I then seek to foster those same relational attitudes in the partners themselves, in spite of their often considerable hurt and distrust. Our goals are collaborative and reparative. We clarify what is and then proceed from there, not from what used to be, nor what partners wish might be. We move forward with clarity from a solid emotional foundation. That allows us to work through unresolved pain and conflict while re-establishing and deepening connection and intimacy.
ACTIVE RELAXATION FOR ANXIETY & STRESS
Anxiety, uncertainty, and stress pervade the spirit of our times. The speed of our
information-saturated culture disrupts our connection both to the rhythm of nature and
to one another. We feel dislocated from a sense of community, and lonely. Our body
politic has become susceptible to the shocks that assault us, to “the slings and arrows of
I work particularly well with the high stress/high anxiety/ and high performance person.
Usually such people have abundant intensity that they do not know how to use for
themselves. Re-channeling their intensity functionally is one of the major goals of our
work together. I teach my clients new personality skills that improve performance, and
lead to ACTIVE RELAXATION.
My emphasis on ACTIVE RELAXATION as a beneficial consequence of learning to use
personality differently makes my approach for coping with anxiety and stress different
from other techniques. My approach is especially useful for individuals who lead busy,
demanding, and fast-paced lives. Instead of feeling tense and distressed, people feel
energized, clearer, alert, and more responsive. In addition, they find themselves handling
situations more effectively instead of getting overwhelmed or feeling stuck.
Areas of Expertise
- Gender Issues (e.g., gender roles and equality, prejudice, male vulnerability and masculinity, feminist principles)
- Anxiety (e.g., generalized anxiety, phobia, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- Couples Therapy (e.g., relationship communication difficulty, premarital consultation, divorce mediation)
- Depression and Other Mood Disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder, major depression, bereavement)
- Medical Diagnosis Adjustment (e.g., diabetes, cancer, hypertension, weight issues, other chronic illness)
- Adults (18-64 yrs.)
- Adolescents (13-17 yrs.)
- Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
- Children (3-12 yrs.)
Languages Spoken Other Than English
- Psychodynamic Treatment
- National Register of Health Service Psychologists
Fee Information/Office Policy
structure vital to effective treatment.
All information between Psychologist and patient is held strictly confidential unless:
(1) the patient authorizes release of information with a signature; (2) the Psychologist is
ordered by a court to release information; (3) the patient presents a physical danger to self or
others; (4) child abuse or neglect is suspected. In the latter two cases, I am required by law to
inform potential victims and legal authorities so that protective measures can be taken.
services such as report writing, attendance at meetings, and telephone conversations longer
than 5 minutes are billed on a prorated basis.
Because the appointment time is reserved exclusively for you, you are responsible for it, and
will be charged for any missed appointments and for cancellations with less than 24 hours of
advance notice. In the event of a late cancellation (with less than 24 hours of advance notice),
it is to your benefit to notify me immediately: If I am able to fill your appointment time, you
are no longer responsible for it. Of course, there is no guarantee I will be able to fill your time,
and if I am unable to do so, you will be charged for the late cancellation.
Health Care Plan Participation
insurance company. The insurance company will then reimburse you directly, according to the
terms of your contract.
3625 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Westlake Village, CA 91362
P: 805-379-5154 (Office)