About Dr. Havstad

Dr. Havstad has been in private practice in Sebastopol, California since 1981 providing psychotherapy, family therapy, and family systems consulting. She teaches and lectures on family systems theory and directs Programs in Bowen Theory, a non-profit organization for professional education, training and research in family systems theory. She is an editorial consultant to the journal Family Systems.

As an undergraduate at University of California at Davis, Dr. Havstad was a research assistant in personality and social psychology to Stanley Coopersmith, PhD, who studied child development and self-esteem. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Southern California in 1980, where she studied interpersonal, cognitive and behavior therapy. She trained at Children’s Hospital In Los Angeles and at the Sepulveda VA hospital. For her graduate research, Dr. Havstad studied mother-child interaction, and the family context of weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

Dr. Havstad had a special interest in Jungian therapy before she decided to enter the postgraduate program in family systems in the Department of Psychiatry at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. There she studied under family therapy pioneer Murray Bowen, MD for four years.

Dr. Havstad moved to Sonoma County in 1979. She has been a staff psychologist at Sonoma State Hospital for the developmentally disabled and on the Behavioral Science faculty of the UCSF family practice residency program at Community Hospital (now Sutter) in Santa Rosa, where she consulted to family physicians in training. She served on the board of the Redwood Psychological Association

Dr. Havstad raised three children with her husband in west Sonoma County among the apple orchards and redwood trees. The children grown, Dr. Havstad continues to live in the apple orchards with her husband and pets, still learning from her family and others as she continues to practice psychotherapy and teach about family systems.

Dr. Havstad and Dr. Bowen

With Dr. Bowen, 1989 – First meeting of Programs in Bowen Theory

Three generations of family

Three generations of family, 2005

Family Dog

Family dog in neighbor’s orchard, 2010