You may be an artist. You may be an academic. You may be an activist. I have been all three of these, and I speak their languages: of creativity, intellectual enlivenment, and social justice. And right now, in this time of upheaval and unrest, you may be hurting–feeling lost, adrift, burned out, under- or over-stimulated, or simply sad. I am here to connect with you. To listen compassionately. To make space for you to better hear yourself, and to encourage linkages, mentalizations, and trauma metabolizations that will allow you to better listen to the rhythms of your body and use your own mind. I offer you my mind in this pursuit.
If you and your family are out of sorts, I can help. Family is a delicate balance; like a mobile, a wind too strong can upset its delicate dance. Should you decide to contact me, we will work together to restore beauty and balance to your family. My approach in this pursuit is informed by psychoanalysis, family systems theory, and compassionate care.
Whether that be by working with me on parenting differently, or by working with you and your partner on strengthening your alliance, or by my working with your child or children on integrating their emotions, the end result will be better connectivity and more nourishment between you all.
Catherine MacGillivray, PhD, AMFT
  • Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #125775 supervised by Jeni Woodfin, LMFT #107447
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Antioch University-Santa Barbara
  • Post-Graduate training in Psychoanalytic Theory and Clinical Practice, National Institute for the Psychotherapies, New York City
  • PhD in French Literature, University of California- Berkeley
  • Master of Arts, Comparative Literature, University of California- Berkeley
  • Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies, Barnard College- Columbia University


  • Associate MFT: New Beginnings Counseling Center, Santa Barbara
  • Associate MFT, The Children’s Institute of Oakland
  • MFT Trainee: Hospice of Santa Barbara
  • Lecturer, Dept. of Feminist Studies: University of California- Santa Barbara
  • Professor of Languages and Literatures: University of Northern Iowa
  • Fulbright Scholar: Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Director, Women’s and Gender Studies Program: University of Northern Iowa


  • Couples experiencing betrayal trauma
  • Parenting support
  • Biracial and bicultural couples and families
  • LGBTQIA+ and gender affirming therapy
  • Problematic porn usage treated from a sex-positive perspective


  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


Psychoanalytic, feminist, relational and attachment


Supporting children, gender, race and LGBTQ+ identities and concerns, men who are struggling under the constraints of patriarchal masculinity, biracial and interracial families, blended families, trauma, depression, anxiety, and women’s issues.

*Supervised by Jeni Woodfin, LMFT #10744