Photo of Gertie Hernandez

Inspired by teaching pre-schoolers at a Montessori School, I decided to take an additional degree in Psychology.  After earning my master’s degree, I accepted an undergraduate teaching job at a private university in Manila, Philippines.  I then proceeded to finish my graduate studies and obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology.  I graduated with academic excellence.  This achievement allowed me to better understand myself, gain more self-confidence and most especially,  build a strong desire to help others find a way to have a more meaningful life.

After earning my Ph.D., I focused on my consultancy practice, where I did psychological assessment and evaluations for elementary school children.  Simultaneously, I was employed as a Human Resources Director of a prestigious medical center in the Philippines.  There, I was responsible for the recruitment and hiring process, which involved administering competency and personality tests for potential candidates for nursing and ancillary personnel.

While in these jobs, I also continued my teaching job and I taught Organizational Behavior classes to master-level graduate students at a prominent university in Manila, Philippines.

Before pursuing my post-doctoral studies in the United States, I was an active member and a Board of Director of the Psychological Association of the Philippines and was involved in community projects.

As a psychological post-doctoral intern in an accredited APA program in New York, I received extensive training:  using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individual clients, family therapy applying family systems, group therapy applying Yalom principles, performed a battery of psychological tests and prepared reports, attended psycho-educational classes and participated in treatment team meetings.  I also provided supportive therapy at a group home for girls.

After finishing my internship, I found a job as a counselor/social worker at a skilled nursing facility in Livermore, California, where I performed psychosocial assessments, provided art and music therapy, reminiscence therapy, and memory-enhancement skills group therapy to frail elderly and memory-impaired individuals.  I also provided support and education to caregivers and loved ones, focusing on how to prevent burn out while caregiving and understanding the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.  While at this job, I also volunteered at a non-profit organization, providing individual, couples and family therapy.

Currently, I am an individual therapist at the Adult Outpatient Treatment Center at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, CA.  I work with clients who have mild to moderate depression and anxiety.  I also work with clients who have eating disorder issues.  I facilitate groups for the outpatient eating disorder clients.

Prior to working at Kaiser Permanente, I was a group therapist in an inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. I worked with patients with a variety of presenting problems:  eating disorders, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, behavioral issues and personality disorders.  I was actively involved in the eating disorder program, assisting with the re-feeding process, providing emotional support to patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating Disorder. I developed the Chemical Dependency Workbook for teenage clients. Other assignments and tasks that I provided were psycho-educational groups and skills training groups on assertiveness, anger management, coping skills and social skills, individual sessions on body image issues and one-on-one interventions using CBT and DBT. I also provided training on the basic knowledge of CBT and DBT to all the nursing personnel and other mental health providers.

In early 2011, I opened my private practice to serve clients who are seeking help with eating disorders, aging, family consultation on issues of aging and elderly parents, assertiveness training, relaxation training and stress management. I practice the following techniques: brief therapy, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), supportive therapy and rational-emotive therapy.  I have a variety of clientele including young children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, couples and families. I strongly believe that listening, understanding, providing empathy and compassion are ways that one can become more aware, gain clarity and find a balance between acceptance and change.