Andy Weisskoff, LCSW

On May 1, 2014 I opened a private practice in Sebastopol, CA. My website for this practice is Phone is (707) 799-4125 and email is In January 2015 I started working for the West County Health Centers, in their Gravenstein clinic, walkable from my house. For those who have been told otherwise by their Kaiser supervisors: we therapists can have meaningful and successful careers outside of Kaiser.

I received my BA from Brown University in 1988 and a Master’s in Social Welfare from the University of California–Berkeley in 1997. I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, licensed by the State of California to diagnose and treat mental illness, since 2000.

I have worked in a variety of clinical settings, from residential treatment centers to outpatient health and mental health clinics to private practice. Most recently I was a therapist in the adult psychiatry department at Kaiser Permanante’s Santa Rosa Medical Center. From the time I was first trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in 2005, I was fascinated by this strategy as a way of treating trauma. For the nearly eight years I worked at Kaiser, it was my primary tool for helping clients.

I live in a household of writers. In 2012, I self-published a novel for fourth to sixth graders called Glass Palace (see Kirkus Reviews). Available from Amazon, Glass Palace has been used as a resource by grief counselors working with children and adults. You can read about its therapeutic value in The Therapist, the professional magazine of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. My wife, the writer Carol E. Miller, recently finished her memoir Every Moment of a Fall, the first book-length account of recovery from childhood trauma using EMDR. (I was not her therapist!) Watch for its release in the Spring of 2016.


21 thoughts on “Andy Weisskoff, LCSW

  1. Andy,
    What you are saying makes complete sense.. Sorry that it had to reach this critical point.
    A one time visit with a patient in need of treatment, without being able to schedule prompt followups as needed, seems very unprofessional,medically speaking. Think that Hippocrates would be turning over in his grave if he weren’t buried so far from Santa Rosa.
    Good luck

  2. Amazing! Thank you for this blog. I quit Kaiser in December for similar reasons. There came a point when I realized that I was the hands doing the dirty job and no matter how big the paycheck, I had to walk away. Patient care is priority.

    • I’ve spoken to other ex-Kaiser therapists who’ve walked away for the same reason. Lately, I’ve spoken to several current Kaiser therapists who’ve expressed the same sentiments. Even my Kaiser general practitioner told me that this “is a known problem.”

  3. Andy,

    Thank you for standing up for patients’ rights! Without healthcare professionals like you, Kaiser would be permitted to run rampant in its efforts to make billions without providing necessary care to its most vulnerable members. My office has already filed a lawsuit on behalf of an amazing Kaiser psychologist who was retaliated against due to her complaints regarding access to care and I know she is not alone. If you or anyone wishes to talk and assist in providing information regarding similar complaints and the ensuing retaliation, please feel free to contact my office. As you will see from our website we have taken on Kaiser dozens of times.

  4. As a patient at Kaiser I know the lack of one on one therapy is a problem. Instead of feeling like I’m being listened to, and getting help to heal, I feel like I’m being directed to one group or another. These groups might help, or eventually touch on an issue that is relavant to my case, but they have often made things worse. Groups are not a comfortable place for me to open up, so I don’t feel like I actually say what I need to. I’m sure this is frustrating for everyone, but as some one who’s finally taking necesarry steps to get help, Kaiser is making it very hard to feel like they care.

    • Thanks, Heidi, for being the first Kaiser member to speak up on this website! The drop-out rate for our groups makes it clear that they’re not for everyone. I hope you’ll be willing to air your views to the Department of Managed Health Care’s Helpline. Instructions on how to do that are under the tab: Kaiser Mental Health Clients, Family Members and Friends, Speak Up. Good luck to you Heidi!

  5. Well, I have been trying to get the help I need for a very, very long time. I had to file a complaint with Dept. of Managed Healthcare in order to be seen for a few weeks on a regular basis. I am now being told Kaiser doesn’t offer weekly therapy I can only be seen intermittenly once again. I am so frustrated. I am tired of fighting with Kaiser about everything. It’s bad enough to have health problems physical, and mental/emotional but to have to be stressed out about getting the help I need for everything is just ridiculous. Regarding mental health I have spent so much money on outside therapy and have had to quit going on a regular basis (which is what I need) due to financial problems. Our benefits through Kaiser only provide mental health “classes”. 3 visits to a therapist if your lucky or intermittent therapy once a month.
    Physically I have had several illnesses and other health problems that I had to actually complain to member services to get the help I need. I was accused of doctor shopping and of trying to tell the doctor what to do. I brought in books to try and show doctors what I have learned thinking that they might be able to help me better. One doctor noted in my records that I had the nerve to do this. So…. after 10 years I have had several physical problems addressed and resolved. Right now I have the best doctor I could find at Kaiser. (I’ve been through about 10 or so, maybe more).
    Still having trouble getting the mental health services i need though. Andy Weisskoff has helped me more than anyone, I am very disappointed that he is leaving Kaiser.
    As I said earlier, I filed a Department of Managed health care complaint. The person I spoke to on the phone said they have so many complaints about the same thing with Kaiser that it is ridiculous and that everyone he works with knows this. Since the complaint was filed Kaiser psychiatry agreed to see me regularly for an 8 week time frame. The time has come to an end.
    The Department of Managed Care told me to let them know if this would happen so I am thinking about calling them again. After this last 8 weeks of therapy I have found that the person who has helped me the most is leaving. The psychologist I saw as well has helped me quite a bit but there were some things that weren’t handled properly. Things that I knew that he said to me were wrong. So, I don’t think I want to fight anymore. I am going to try a, once again, a low -cost clinic until I get the benefits I need to pay out of pocket. At this point I need a really good provider like Andy but I know it will be hard to find someone like that when I have no income and my husband supports me. We barely squeak by as it is.
    Thank you for setting up this website.

    • You’re welcome, Suzanne. And it breaks my heart that we can’t provide the most basic thing that people need, one on one time. But I’ll see you as much as I can before I leave while you’re still on Kaiser’s dime!

  6. Hi Andy,

    Thank you for taking this conscientious action on behalf of your clients. I feel very moved by your action. I am a private practice psychotherapist (I met you last Thanksgiving. I have had referrals made to me by Kaiser therapists because Kaiser does not provide adequate services and holding for clients with complex trauma, attachment issues, depression and anxiety. Clients have complained of being sent to groups which were inadequate to address their needs.

    I also have Kaiser therapists in my practice and they are often sharing the same concerns as you. They have a level of burnout due to being caught between the actual needs of the client and the limited service delivery system of Kaiser. I actually have been appalled that the clinicians are required to be on call overnight, often up all night, then required to work their usual shift. This has to effect both the sleep deprived clinician and the quality of work they can do with their clients. I can’t help but think so many practices at Kaiser are oriented toward profit rather than care for their employees and patients. I know there are really conscientious therapists like you at Kaiser and their hands are tied.

    I hope your clients find their way to you and your actions bring attention to Kaiser’s mental health ‘treatment’. Good luck with your private practice.

    Trisha Rowe, LCSW
    Oakland, CA

  7. You helped me through one of the worst times of my life. No group could have done for me what you and EMDR has done. I support your bold move and admire your guts to speak out.
    I hope I can do that where I work too! All my best to you Andy.

  8. Thank you so much for this site!

    Kaiser will provide me with anti- depressants and Ativan, but they refuse me therapy even though I am on long-term Social Security Disability for my depression, PTSD, and DID.

    Does anyone know how I can find an advocate to help me fight Kaiser? I really need weekly therapy.

  9. I filed a complaint with the CA board of Managed health care. I received 8 weeks of therapy and that’s it. They told me they could only see me monthly or every 5 weeks. I don’t have energy to fight anymore so I am seeing a sliding scale intern and paying $30.00 per week. I don’t beleive Kaiser provides the kind of care I need anyway.

  10. my child was brought into kaiser e.r. for symptoms of anxiety..hours later put on a 5150 hold against my will..which he suffered long term trauma from the mental hospital..scared to open up to kaiser psychologists..i was forced to pay out of pocket outside of kaiser so my son could start recovery..kaiser is quick to start medication but not once in a year and a half has anyone checked in on my son from the psychiatry department…i did all i could do for justice for my son..and was turned down by kaiser!!!!

  11. I found your blog after reading about KP paying the $4 million fine. I hadn’t heard that KP was being investigated for poor access in their mental health program but as a person who has used those services, I was not surprised. I am also a KP employee and as I read your blog I was waiting for the post where they escort you out before your official resignation date. I was not surprised to read that they did but only that it took them so long to do it. It seems to be the standard practice for those that rock the boat and try to change things for the benefit of the patients instead of for the benefit of KP. I hope you are happy in your new practice and am sorry to hear that KP patients lost such a valuable therapist.

  12. Dr. Weisskoff,
    I recently stumbled on I wish that I had learned about it sooner. I’ll admit that I have not yet finished reading through the entire 180 days. I keep having to take breaks to calm myself down.

    It is interesting to read about what was happening behind the scenes this whole time. I knew that the adult psychiatry department at Kaiser was ineffective. I knew that treatment was not being taken seriously and that Kaiser was and continues to be corrupt. I knew in my gut, but I did not know for absolute sure yet because I could not see what was happening inside the building from the parking lot.

    My mom has had untreated psychological problems that she refuses to acknowledge. People close to her see it, but she does not. A few years ago I begged my mom to seek treatment. After an overwhelming amount of kicking and screaming I had finally convinced her to call Kaiser and seek psychiatric care. I convinced her that she needs to get help. She needs to talk to a doctor and trust that the doctor will help her get better. I told her that what happens at her appointments will stay between her and her doctor. I did not ask how things were going and I did not pry information about her treatment. My only concern was her getting better and modifying her destructive behavior. I did however insist on driving her to her appointments.

    After a few weeks she did start to change. She seemed happier for a week or two. She did open up and tell me that she was in a group therapy session. She talked about how sad and pathetic the others in the group were and that, if nothing else, she was glad that she did not have their problems. This was my first clue that treatment was not going well. I asked her why she was in a group and why she wasn’t talking to a regular psychiatrist one on one. She just said that, that is what Kaiser set up. After several weeks and months there was still no epiphany or revelation concerning what she needs to do to take care of herself. I asked her if she was being honest about her problems and letting the doctor listen to her so they could try to help. But she just kept talking about group exercises. She talked like showing up to her appointments counted towards getting better, but in fact she was getting worse because she was not receiving treatment at her appointments.

    I had also noticed that weeks would go by before her next appointment. The group thing seemed to be pretty regular but there was no evidence that she was being treated individually for her problems. It was unclear if any doctor even knew what her problems were. She would continue to get confused and if I pushed for an answer she would ultimately just insist that Dr. Ho from neurology said that he would be her psychiatrist now because the psychiatry department doesn’t work. She had obviously lost faith in the psychiatry department and had no intention of going back. (at the time I argued that she needed to continue to try to make it work, but now I see how pointless and destructive those appointments really were)

    Turns out that she was telling the truth about the psychiatry department not helping her, but It still seems wrong for Dr. Ho to take on the role of psychiatrist. It is not his job. A couple years ago I wrote to the psychiatric department. I begged them to help her. I didn’t expect a reply nor did I need one. I just wanted my mom to get the help she needed. With her unwillingness to admit that she needs help and Kaiser’s unwillingness to help her, it is no wonder that her life got worse.

    She continued on a downward spiral. She is now in the final stages of losing everything. She will end up on the street soon and there is nothing that I nor anyone else can do about it.

  13. I am an MFT and kaiser patient in Northern California and have personally encountered all of this . issues and blatant discrimination when I have asked for mental health services. I finally got a one week approval with “value options” and was given a list of therapists not with kaiser who basically told me that kaiser doesn’t reimburse them enough and they wouldn’t take me. When I went back and relayed this to “value options” they found only one therapist for me. Being in mental health myself, I visited her website and had a discussion with this one therapist myself. One of her most compelling coping mechanisms as advertised on her site, was looking a cute animals. Exhausted….

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