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About Me

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Julie Tapley, MFT

I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families. I believe that high quality psychotherapy has a unique and pivotal role to play in these difficult times. It can help you find the ease and strength that is needed to be resilient, effective and happy. 

I grew up in the midwest but developed wanderlust early! I lived in France, New York and Los Angeles, traveled through SE Asia and Mexico before making San Francisco my home over 30 years ago. My grandma was a big influence on me. She had an unrequited wish to become a therapist herself and would often share with me her armchair “analysis” of friends and family. When I would visit her, she’d pull out the big book of dreams so we could look up our dreams.


I started college as a political science major, very fascinated with how modern political movements change a culture, but when I got to the psychology classes and started learning about how people change, I was hooked!

Professional Experience & Training

Masters of Psychology New College, San Francisco, California, 1993


Bachelors of Art in Psychology UCLA, Los Angeles, California, 1988

Undergraduate Studies – Columbia University, New York, New York, 1983

I spent the first decade of my psychology career working with children and families in day treatment programs, community health clinics and San Francisco public schools. I ran groups for children and adolescents in the schools, and initially specialized in group therapy for youth in my private practice. I gained a lot of expertise in trauma, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, and working with families in crisis. Later, I went on to teach seminars and supervise therapists in training programs such as Oakes Children’s Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center Parochial Schools Program. I’ve also guest lectured at several Bay Area institutions such as the Wright Institute and University of San Francisco. 


It became clear that better approaches for trauma were needed so I pursued EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) training. I received full certification in EMDR in 2015. My experiences doing family therapy and parental guidance work revealed that a couples relationship suffers in family life, especially when children have special needs. This launched me on a path to explore and train in various couples therapy models. I found EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) to be the most empirical and clinically effective model. I’ve completed advanced training in EFT for couples and also in EFFT (Emotionally Focused Family Therapy).


My early experiences of living and traveling in other lands remains a big influence. I speak French and Spanish fluently and I have deep appreciation for the impact of culture on our personal psychology. For over 15 years, I’ve been a student of yoga, as well as Buddhist and Taoist practices and deeply appreciate the profound effect it has on nervous system regulation. 

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