About Me


San Francisco Psychotherapist Pearl D. Werfel, Ph.D.I am a licensed psychologist with over 25 years experience working with individuals, couples and groups. My PhD. in Psychology was awarded in 1985 and my MS in Psychology in 1981. I have been a psychotherapist in private practice since 1993.

Currently, I am Chair of the California Psychological Association CARE (Colleague Awareness Resources and Education) Program, Co-Founder of Bay Area Wellness Associates, Adjunct Faculty at California School of Professional Psychology and a Past President of the San Francisco Psychological Association. I am also a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, NCA Chapter and the San Francisco Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team.

In addition, I have co-authored a book for mental health professionals on Multiple Sclerosis and and developed an online program for pain and stress management.

I have led numerous workshops and presented at professional conferences on anxiety, pain and stress reduction, chronic illness and wellness, self-care for professionals and substance abuse recovery. In addition, I have provided training and consultation for business executives and licensed psychotherapists, supervised doctoral level Psychology interns and developed and taught a graduate-level class.

My past experience includes positions as Staff Therapist for San Francisco Community Mental Health, Clinical Coordinator of Larkin Street Youth Center, Family Program and Aftercare Coordinator of John Muir Medical Center’s Addiction Recovery Program, Organizational Coordinator of PsychHealth and Adjunct Faculty of the Wright Institute.

I very much enjoy being a psychologist. I maintain my own work-life balance by allowing time for exercise, meditation, traveling, volunteering, enjoying nature and gathering with family, friends and colleagues. In addition, I continue to pursue training in psychotherapy techniques and theories that will enable me to stay current and be a better help to my clients.

EDUCATION

1985 Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical/Community Psychology
The Wright Institute
Berkeley, California

1981 Master of Science, Clinical Psychology
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, California

1977 Bachelor of Science, Special Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

1993 to date Private Practice
San Francisco, CA
• Individual, couple and group psychotherapy with adults
• Workshop development and facilitation
• Consultation and Supervision
• Areas of focus: chronic illness, multiple sclerosis, wellness; anxiety, stress and pain reduction; mind/body interventions; caregiver stress management

1988 to 1993 Family Program Coordinator
John Muir Adolescent Treatment Center, San Ramon, CA

1987 to 1988 Clinical Coordinator
Larkin Street Youth Center, San Francisco, CA

1983 to 1985 Staff Therapist
IAL Adolescent Day Treatment Program, Mission Mental Health,
San Francisco, CA

1981 to 1982 Post-Masters Internship
Center for Special Problems, SF Community Mental Health,
San Francisco, CA

CLINICAL SUPERVISION AND ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

2013- Present Adjunct Faculty
California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant, San Francisco, CA

2007-2009 Adjunct Faculty, Clinical Supervisor
The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA

ORGANIZATIONAL EXPERIENCE

1995 to 2001 Organizational Coordinator
PsycHealth, A Medical Corporation, San Francisco, CA

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION AND APPOINTMENTS

2013-present Chair: Colleague Awareness Resources and Education Program (CARE)
California Psychological Association

2013 Past-President: San Francisco Psychological Association

2012 President: San Francisco Psychological Association

2010 Chair: CLASP Committee, San Francisco Psychological Association

2000- present Committee Member: Healthcare Advisory Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Northern California Chapter

2006- 2016 Member: Disaster Mental Health Team, American Red Cross, Bay Area

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

2015 National MS Society Volunteer Hall of Fame for Healthcare Professionals

2014 Partner in Care: National MS Society

2013 Outstanding Volunteer- Health Services: American Red Cross, Bay Area

2012 Volunteer Service Award: National MS Society, Northern California Chapter

2005 Trainer for Mental Health Professionals: National MS Society

2002 Community Service Award: National MS Society, Northern California Chapter

RESEARCH

2011-2014 Project Author, Developer and Coordinator
Title: Internet-based Intervention for Pain and Stress Management with MS
Lead Researcher: Rhoda Olkin, Ph.D. Collaboration with National Multiple Sclerosis Society and California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University

PUBLICATIONS

Werfel, P., Durán, R., & Trettin, L. (2016). Multiple Sclerosis: Advances in psychotherapy, evidence-based practice. Cambridge, Mass: Hogrefe & Huber.

Werfel, P., Crim, E. & Lew, D. (2016). When self-care and diversity converge. California Psychologist, 49 (3) 31-32.

Werfel, P. (2015) Seeking a new definition of self-care. California Psychologist, 48 (2) 33

Werfel, P. (2009). Self-care: How important is it? San Francisco Psychologist, (pp. 9, 17)

Werfel, P. (2008). Trauma and self-care. San Francisco Psychologist, (p. 7)

Werfel, P. (2006). Why I became a psychologist- Working with katrina evacuees. San Francisco Psychologist, (p. 1, 10-11)

Cooper, J., Mohr, D., Werfel, P., Foti, D., Lily, A., Figueirdo, C. (2004) Multiple Sclerosis: A practice guide for primary care physicians. Oakland CA: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and National Multiple Sclerosis Society

PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Olkin, R., Werfel, P. & Trettin, L. (2016, August) Empowering Clients with Chronic Illness/Disability. American Psychological Association Conference: Denver, CA.

Werfel, P. (2016, April) Empowering Clients with Chronic Illness/Disability. California Psychological Association Conference: Irvine, CA.

Olkin, R. & Werfel, P. (2015, March) Empowering Women with Chronic Illness/Disability. Association of Women in Psychology: San Francisco, CA.

Werfel, P., Pinterits, J., Ross, C. (2014, April) Towards a New Definition of Self-Care. California Psychological Association Conference: Monterey, CA.

Werfel, P., Bortell, L., Bhatia, G. (2012, April) Self-care from Diverse Perspectives: California
Psychological Association Conference: Monterey, CA.

Werfel, P. (2012, Nov) Review of Research on Pain and Stress Management for People
Living with MS. Invited Presentation, Annual Meeting: NMSS Northern California Chapter.

Mohr, D., Werfel, P., Rothman, J. (2001, October) Disability and Chronic Illness: An Integrative Approach to Identity, Coping and Acceptance. National Association of Social Workers Conference: Oakand, CA.

SEMINARS, COURSES AND CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES

Olkin, R. & Werfel, P. (2016) Working with Clients with Chronic Illness/Disability (CID): Advanced Clinical Class, Alliant International University, online course

Werfel, P. & Olkin, R. (2016) Empowering Clients with Chronic Illness/Disability (CID). Invited Presentation: CE Workshop, San Jose State University Counseling Center, San Jose, CA

Olkin, R. & Werfel, P. (2015) Working with Clients with Chronic Illness/Disability (CID): Advanced Clinical Class, Alliant International University, online course

Werfel, P. (2015) Wellness and Self-Care for Mental Health Professionals. Invited presentation, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco, CA

Werfel, P. (2015) How Mental Wellness Contributes to Physical Wellness. Invited presentation, San Francisco State University, Osher Lifelong Learning, San Francisco, CA

Werfel, P. (2015) Pain Management for Clients with Chronic Illness. Invited presentation, Psychological Services Center, Oakland, CA

Olkin, R, Werfel, P (2013) Working with Clients who are Living with MS: Advanced Clinical Class, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco, CA

Serlin, I, Werfel, P., Pinterits, J. (2012) Self-care from Diverse Perspectives. CE workshop, San Francisco Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA

Werfel, P.(2012, 2011) Living Well with MS. Invited Workshop for National MS Society, Northern CA Chapter, Oakland, CA

Werfel, P. & , Serlin, I. (2011) Understanding Self-Care and Compassion Fatigue. Invited Workshop. California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco

Werfel, P. (2010) Stress and Pain Reduction with MS. Invited presentation: National MS Society, Northern CA Chapter

Serlin, I., Werfel, P. (2009) Wellness and Self-Care for Psychologists. CE Program, San Francisco Psychological Association. San Francisco, CA

Werfel, P. (2008) Stress and Symptom Management. Invited presentation, National MS Society, Northern CA Chapter

Kalb, R. Cox, D. Werfel, P. (2007) Psychosocial Interventions with MS: Strategies for Mental Health Professionals, Invited Workshop for CE Program, National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Pleasanton, CA.

Werfel, P. (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) Moving Forward: Newly Diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. Invited Workshop for National MS Society, Northern CA Chapter

Werfel, P. (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005). Next Steps for the Newly Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Invited Workshop for National MS Society, Oakland, CA