santa rosa psychotherapy for couples and families
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Gudrun Zomerland, MFT, CCPS
Licensed Marriage
and Family Therapist
MFC #27617
405 Chinn Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Email Gudrun

Client Resources:

addiction self-tests Addiction Self Tests
sonoma county area addiction support groups 12-Step Fellowship Links
fair fighting rules and tips Handouts and Forms

Articles by
Gudrun Zomerland:

Addiction and

shame as a defense mechanism Shame as Self-Care
internet pornography addiction The Dangers of
Internet Porn
teen drug alcohol addiction Non-Violent Communication and its Relevance for Codependents
teen drug alcohol additction Teen Addiction:
An Open Letter
prescription drug abuse Prescription Drug Abuse
windsor alcohol and chemical dependency treatment The Core of Co-Dependency
santa rosa counselor for depression and anxiety Co-Dependent Characteristics
childhood trauma and post traumatic stress support H.A.L.T.: A Self-Care Tool
family and couples counseling in sonoma county The Family Member in Denial


treatment for trauma from domestic violence and spousal abuse Non-Violent Communication and its Relevance for Codependents
attachment disorders in adult relationships Attachment in Adult Relationships
healthy communication skills in adult relationships and marriage Getting to Know Your Emotions
sonoma county marriage counselor Communication Skills for Couples - 101
treatment options for alcoholism and drug addiction in marin county Differentiation, or What Makes Relationships Work
santa rosa psychotherapist treating depression and anxiety John Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

General Topics:

narcissism Rapunzel, Daughter of a
Closet Narcissist
psychotherapy for trauma Trauma: The Shaking Of A Soul
shame as a defense mechanism Shame as Self-Care
narcissistic parents and conarcissistic children Narcissism and Co-Narcissism
counseling for sexual abuse trauma in northern california Sexual Abuse Guidelines
rohnert park PTSD post traumatic stress disorder therapy Book Review:
"Stop Gaining Weight"
The Body Never Lies by Alice Miller and Hidden in Plain Sight by Barry Grosskopf Is Forgiving Our Parents Necessary for Mental Health?
overcoming fear and phobia through psychotherapy Fear of Fear
counseling for gay and lesbian couples in sonoma and marin county Living with the Light and Dark Sides of Life




depression and anxiety counseling in sonoma countyrohnert park support group for men and women

Who I am:

I grew up in post-war Germany and moved to the US in my mid-twenties. The exposure to two cultures has given me an appreciation for diversity, its riches and challenges. Because I was affected by the immense destructiveness of war just prior to my birth, I have a particular sensitivity to personal as well as historical trauma and the deep fear, pain, rage and/or guilt some of us carry inside. I find personal self-exploration, interpersonal discovery, artistic expression, a spiritual belief, and humor of utmost importance in people's achievement of mental health. I see inner well-being as a life-long task.

Educational Background and Work Experience:

  • High school in Germany
  • 1983 BA cum laude in Psychology from Sonoma State University, CA
  • 1987 MA in Counseling from Sonoma State University
  • 1990 Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling licensure
  • 5 years as chemical dependency counselor and assistant director in 28-day Chemical Dependency treatment programs
  • 5 years as crisis specialist in psychiatric emergency departments of Sonoma and Marin counties
  • 20 years of private practice with individuals and couples
  • Training in Integrative Body Psychotherapy
  • Presentation of classes and workshops

My Philosophy:

What guides my work is the belief that all human beings strive to be loved. I explore with clients how they are trying to get their need for love or sense of inner well being met. Often, what prevents a constructive attempt to get these needs filled, are old childhood patterns and wounds that need to be recognized, acknowledged and nurtured until a person finds more constructive ways for self-fulfillment. This journey toward self-love, albeit painful and scary at times, is also exciting and exhilarating. It's an honor for me to be present in the face of another human being's struggle and search for self. I function as a mirror, witness, and coach.

Specialty Areas:

Diagnostic Specialties:

  • Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency
  • ACA, PTSD, Sexual Abuse
  • Codependency
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Grief and Gender Issues

Professional Affiliations:

  • CAMFT (California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists)
  • RECAMFT (Redwood Empire chapter of CAMFT)


I believe we live in a society that fosters addictions. Most of us at some time of our lives have engaged in some addictive process or substance. Chemical dependency, including alcoholism, tends to be the most obvious. But we can be addicted to food, TV, the computer, gambling, sex, and an infinite number of other things. What all addictions have in common is the pull away from self-awareness and into unconsciousness. Since I worked for a number of years in chemical dependency treatment centers, I have gained a tremendous respect and love for the power of the 12 Steps. I have worked "the program" myself. I am also aware that the 12 Steps are not for everyone. Other self-help programs are available. Whether working the 12 Steps or another program, individual counseling or group therapy can be helpful and in some cases a necessary adjunct.


Codependency is a learned behavior. We grow up thinking that we are not allowed to have our own feelings and processes, and that we have to help others to stay away from their feelings and processes also. For adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families, and for the partners of those afflicted with alcoholism and chemical dependency this is familiar territory. However, most recovering addicts and alcoholics discover that underneath their primary addiction lurks the same dynamic, and that codependency treatment is necessary for full recovery to take place. I provide individual psychotherapy and/or couples counseling that may enlighten the dysfunctional dynamics and bring newfound inner peace.

Childhood Trauma:

Childhood trauma is so pervasive that few of us go through our growing up years unscathed. The degrees may vary, as well as whether we experienced one or a few incidences versus ongoing trauma. The result, however, is the same: something inside us freezes. Later on in life, this may appear as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress, dissociation, and/or addictions. Learning to be present in the body is a must in order to recover from childhood abuse. As a coach, I can teach a client how to do that. In addition, I provide the therapeutic environment in which a client may experience the benefit of having a witness to the trauma, grieving the losses, and gaining a belief in his or her lovability.


Sexual Abuse:

Among childhood trauma, incest and molest tend to be shrouded with secrecy. This creates an extra burden on the sexual abuse survivor. A sense of shame and of being an outcast is often more deeply ingrained than in survivors of other types of childhood trauma. However, the road to recovery is the same as for other childhood abuse survivors. Foremost is the need to come back into the body. I teach grounding exercises and mindfulness training to help a client accomplish coming back to a felt sense of the body. Then a client, with me as a witness, can proceed with work of grieving and establishing a belief in his or her worthiness.

Attachment Disorder:

Research over the last 30 years has established that the age at which childhood trauma, such as physical negligence, emotional abandonment, physical or sexual abuse happens is absolutely crucial in determining how well (or not well) a person functions later in life. If any childhood abuse happened before age two, the child's brain development is adversely affected and later abilities of discernment, decision-making, and self-soothing are either not present at all or only in rudimentary stages. The dysfunctional coping mechanism the child develops in order to survive can be so deeply ingrained, that as a grown-up the person may not even know that a different way of life is possible. However, research has also shown that in many cases long-term psychotherapy can stimulate brain development even in adults and a much more satisfying life with genuine connections with others is possible.

Couples Counseling:

Two partners in a relationship often find themselves in a rut, a lack of passion, or an outright dislike for certain aspects the other shows up with. Each partner in a relationship invariably brings along his or her demons from the past. A relationship can be a vehicle for healing, if both partners are committed to this path and are willing to do things differently even if only slightly. I teach communication skills to help clarify what the demons are and emotional skills to navigate them. With increasing loving attention that two partners bestow on each other, demons can actually vanish.


Pre-marital Counseling:

I belief most of us wish that we would have had certain relationship skills or would have known about certain aspects of the other at the beginning of a romance. Pre-marital counseling can be the best gift any young couple (not necessarily in age) can receive. If you have family members or friends who are engaged, consider giving them the best relationship possible. Gift them with my pre-marital counseling package of eight counseling sessions.

Please note: I answer clinical or personal questions only in the context of a scheduled appointment.

©2005-2015 Gudrun Zomerland, Chinn Street Counseling Center; all rights reserved.

Gudrun Zomerland MFT is a marriage and family therapist