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Call Us Today!
(408) 266-7826
Call Us Today!
(408) 266-7826

Our Staff

Snezana (Anna) Bandic, MA, MFT

Children & adolescent issues, stress & anxiety, women's issues, fertility, post-partum adjustment, grief, life transitions

Susan Fairey, M.A., MFT
Premarital and marital counseling, stress and depression, taking care of the caretaker, ADHD

Marcia Kaufmann, MSSW, LCSW
Stress, anxiety, depression

Diane Petroni, Ph.D, MFT
Eating disorders, weight control, post traumatic stress disorder, EMDR

Janet Roberts, M.A., MFT
Depression & anxiety, life transitions, women's issues

Rena Zahorsky, M.A., MFT
Childhood abuse, anxiety, depression, alcohol and drugs, EMDR

Marrianne Vernacchia, M.A., MFT
Addiction, depression, and mood disorders 

Snezana (Anna) Bandic, MA, LMFT, MFC 45150, 408/266-7826 ext. 303

Do you feel stressed out at home or work? Are you struggling to understand your partner or child? Are you tired of having the same argument over and over? Are you experiencing a constant worry that keeps you awake at night? Do you feel like no one understands you? Are you having trouble keeping yourself or your child at a healthy weight?

I offer a safe, warm, supportive and non-judgmental environment in which we work together to address your concerns and create long-term change and lasting solutions. I help adults, children, adolescents, and couples identify and use their unique strengths in dealing with life difficulties and transitions. My goal is to help you heal your emotional pain, make decisions that are right for you, and achieve your best self.

My areas of specialty include:
  • Adolescent and children issues
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Life transitions including divorce
  • Fertility, pregnancy and post-partum adjustment
  • Communication
  • Grief and loss
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Trauma/PTSD
  • Eating Disorders
In working with children, I use art, play and cognitive-behavioral interventions to deal with issues such as low self-esteem, bullying, divorce, poor academic performance, eating disorders, peer pressure, depression and anxiety. I also work with parents assisting them (through a choice-based program) in setting boundaries and forming a more cooperative relationship with their child.

My work with adults and couples is informed by solution-focused, cognitive-behavioral as well as psychodynamic theories.

Professional Background:

I hold an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, MA in Japanese Culture and MS in TESOL from University of Southern California.

I have extensive experience counseling adults, children and adolescents in community agencies and school/college settings. I provided individual and group psychotherapy at Teen and Family Counseling Center, Almaden Valley Counseling Service, Evergreen Valley Community College as well as several schools in Milpitas, San Jose and Campbell Union School districts. I was also involved with AchieveKids – a non-profit agency providing programs for children and adolescents with special needs.


CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists), SCV (Santa Clara Valley) CAMFT;  

Susan Fairey, M.A., LMFT     MFC7641      408/ 266-7826 ext. 103

We all have an inherent need to feel connected....

There are many types of relationships in our lives, but the basic elements of Trust, Communication and Empathy remain constant to all relationships. I specialize in workingwith individuals, couples and families to strengthen their connections in the following ways.

PRE-MARRIAGE COUNSELING: I have developed an educational and time-limited counseling program that is helpful to couples who are questioning whether a relationship should lead to serious commitment.

INTIMACY IN RELATIONSHIPS: I help couples regain the closeness that is often lost with passage of time and outside pressures.  I coach them in methods to improve communication and  create a safe environment where intimacy can grow.

CAREGIVERS:  Many adults are now assuming the responsibility of caring for either their aging parents  or grandchildren.  I focus on establishing healthy boundaries, keeping communication open and developing self-care.

ADHD:  Attention deficits are often misdiagnosed and seldom understood.  I work with both adults and children to identify how ADD impacts their lives and help my clients to develop tools to stay focused, curb impulsivity, and manage their feelings in appropriate ways.  I also believe that family members need to be educated and supported in learning ways to relate to each other.  Listening is difficult for the person with ADD, so therefore effective communication is a primary goal.

CO_PARENTING:    Whether coming from an intact family or from divorced parents, children need loving and consistent parenting.  I work in the coaching model to help parents form a Parenting Plan that benefits the children as well as being compatible with the needs of the parents.  In addition to working with families, I also meet with pre and post divorced couples to help resolve differences in their parenting expectations.

I do not see my clients as "being ill" but rather as individuals who need a safe and supportive setting to sort out painful situations.  With increased insight and development of more effective coping behaviors, I believe each individual can create a more balanced and fulfilling life.

I graduated from the University of Santa Clara with an M.A. in Psychology.  I have been in private practice since 1976 with a background of working in community agencies, including Catholic Charities and County Mental Health.

I have received training in the coaching model and collaborative divorce.

Marcia Kaufmann, MSSW, LCSW  LCS5482  408/ 266-7826 ext. 302

When life situations include:

Feelings of overwhelm and tension
Sadness, confusion, lack of motivation
Difficulty making decisions
Adjustment to physical change or limitations
Hurtful events in the past
Problems in relationships with partner, family or friends
The goal and hope is to:

Find practical solutions
Learn new ways of coping
View life in more helpful ways
Understand how life experiences can influence positive change

I welcome the opportunity to work with individuals and couples toward these hopeful goals.

As a psychotherapist licensed for over twenty-five years, I have specialized in working with stress, anxiety, and depression.  My early psychodynamic training has given me a basis for understanding human behavior.  Ongoing study in cognitive treatment and current research in the body/mind connection influence my working toward a practical approach and effective problem resolution.

It is a part of my philosophy to bring both understanding and concrete change to my work, and I consider it a privilege to be a part of that change for others. 

Diane Petroni, Ph.D., LMFT MFC 17004    408/ 266-7826 ext. 104

Do you feel controlled by food, rather than in control of it?

Are you obsessed with eating, dieting or bingeing?
Does your scale determine your mood?
Is your life strongly impacted by your weight?
Life doesn't have to be a weight struggle.

Learn the difference between head and body hunger.
Decipher what your obsessive behavior is really saying.
Acquire physical, mental and emotional balance.
Do you find it difficult to keep the past out of your present?

Do you re-experience past traumas as if they were happening today?
Do you fear places or activities that trigger traumatic memories?
Are you repeating disastrous relationship patterns?
You can free yourself from Posttraumatic Stress.

Determine the dramas that exert powerful irrational pulls toward certain behavior.
Heal cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally.
Reclaim your energy for present successes.

In over 20 years of private practice, I have been privileged to work with many adult survivors of childhood trauma who had learned to use food and alcohol as ways to handle stress.  The pain, fear and shame associated with addictive behaviors can be replaced with healthier coping styles that promote self-understanding and healing.  I enjoy sharing the process of individual, couples, and families discovering their strength and potential for changing counterproductive patterns.  To read more about the important subject of eating disorders, read When Dieting Becomes Dangerous in our Articles section.

Education and Credentials:

M.S. Marriage, Family & Child Counseling, Unviersity of Santa Clara
Ph.D.,Clinical Psychology, Western Graduate School of Psychology

Research with the Family Recovery Project, Mental Research Institute
Additional training in EMDR, Hypnotherapy, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Alcoholism, Dissociation, and Relationship Therapy. 

Janet Roberts, M.S., LMFT MFC28056  408/ 266-7826 ext. 106

Are you someone who feels anxious or depressed in response to life's transitions?

Do you feel lost since your last child moved out?
Are you feeling "stuck" between raising teenagers and caring for elderly parents?
Do you feel fearful and overwhelmed by divorce or new relationships?
Are you trying to cope with the grief of losing a loved one?
Do you feel confused regarding menopause issues and the effect on your emotional and physical well being?
You can learn to address  life's transitions with a more positive and self-nurturing approach.

Find a new direction toward a more rewarding and challenging future.
Understand  changing roles between younger and older generations.
Learn to set limits, self-nurture and "ask for what you need".
Explore new coping skills to help with divorce issues or the challenge of a new relationship.
Heal emotionally by experiencing the grieving process.
Learn to decipher menopause issues regarding emotional and physical health need.

I have been in private practice and licensed since 1991, and have worked with individuals, couples and their families.  My focus is mainly on women in transition, menopause issues, grief process, depression, assertiveness and anxiety.  I have experience and training in these areas and have attended continuing education workshops and seminars.

My theoretical orientation is psychodynamic.  I use this framework in which to understand and work with clients; however I also incorporate different techniques and approaches that include Bowen, Gestalt and Brief Therapy.

Education and Credentials:

Licensed Marriage, Family & Child Counselor
M.S. Clinical Psychology, San Jose State University
Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists 

Rena Zahorsky, M.A., LMFT MFC17664  408/ 266-7826 ext. 107

Do you find yourself stuck repeating survival behaviors that no longer work for your life now?

Do you experience old feelings in many situations that have no relevance to the present?   Are you repeating the same unhealthy relationship patterns?  You may be suffering from the effects  of an abusive childhood.  You can recover and process old events, so that they are no longer triggering reactions, and integrate the past with your adult skills and resources.

Does anxiety rule your life?

Do you plan what you will do based on how anxious it might make you feel? Anxiety doesn't have to rule your life.  You can learn to work with your body, find the root cause, and desensitize excess anxiety. 

When one is suffering emotional pain, the distressing symptoms experienced have meaning.  They make sense when viewed in the context they came out of, as an attempt to protect oneself from a difficult historical or present day situation.  This process may operate outside of our awareness. However, the seeds for healing are in understanding the connection, and in finding the resources to make new choices. We often have the resources inside ourselves, but feel stuck in outdated patterns of behaviour and don't know how to activate them to move beyond old patterns. The process of therapy can help free us from this impasse.

Many approaches such as, psychodynamic therapies, cognitive therapy, interpersonal family systems, hypnosis and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) have informed the approach I use in therapy. (For more information on EMDR, see What is EMDR?

I have been Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1982 and have practiced at the Almaden Institute since 1985. I completed a certificate program in alcohol and drug counseling. I have a certification to practice EMDR from the EMDR International Association, as well as being an approved consultant to provide consultation for EMDR therapists. I also focus on recovery from addictions, couples and relationship issues, and self-esteem.

Marrianne Vernacchia, M.A., MFCC35980  408/ 266-7826 ext.

My overall goal as a therapist is to provide clients with a safe environment and relationship that promotes insight and understanding, as well as emotional and personal growth. whether it is healing from the past, struggling with the present, or simply setting goals for the future, a client needs a safe place to examine problems, gain insight, and learn what they can do to feel better.

Specializing in the areas addiction, depression, and mood disorders. I support clients in building awareness of their own throughts, feelings, and behavior. I work collaboratively with the client to develop better coping skills, reconnect emotionally, and manage life in a way that promotes physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Some areas I specifically work with include:
Depression, Anxiety - Trauma, Addiction, Codependancy, Eating Disorders, Postpartum Adjustment, Parenting, Healing from Abuse, Children Issues, and Mood Disorders.

MA Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University, 1991

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
National Eating Disorders Association
Postpartum Support International
The Nothern California Postpartum Health Alliance
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

Almaden Institute for Individual & Family Growth
4990 Speak Lane, Suite 100, San Jose, CA  95118

Contact information

Almaden Institute for Individual & Family Growth


4990 Speak Lane, Suite 100
San Jose, CA  95118