Home 2018-03-27T07:33:31-07:00

Welcome to my Office Practice!

I serve adult individual clients/patients for both multi-modal psychotherapy and brief consultation(s)

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I have experience treating a range of conditions from interpersonal conflicts in the workplace to serious mood and anxiety disorders. I primarily see adults in individual therapy.  I have been licensed since 2001 (PSY #17278).

I have taught at Stanford University since 1987, where I taught graduates and undergraduates, served as Associate Director, and directed the undergraduate writing program from 1991 – 1992. I have authored and edited eleven books in the discipline of rhetoric and composition. See List of Publications.

I also taught in the Foundations of Patient Care Program at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine for 11 years (2002 – 2013).

Lecturer Emerita
Writing & Rhetoric

Assistant Clinical
Professor of Psychiatry

in English

in English

Ph.D. in
Clinical Psychology

My credentials include a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Health Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

In addition to my work in psychology, I have Bachelor’s Degree in English from UC Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Ann O. Watters, Ph.D.

Consultation & Clinical Psychology

  • California License PSY 17278
  • Lecturer Emerita, Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stanford University
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine (2002 – 2013)

My professional memberships and listings include the California Psychological Association; American Association of University Professors; San Mateo County Psychological Association, Executive Board; Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in the World; Who’s Who of American Women.

In my spare time I create home, garden and art mosaics; I have trained in Ravenna, Rome and Venice in traditional and contemporary mosaic techniques.


I see adult individual clients/patients for both multi-modal psychotherapy and brief consultation. The approach used depends on the client’s concerns and the goals for treatment.

Dynamic or insight-oriented therapy explores underlying issues that interfere with current functioning. Such an approach can be either short term or long term; short term, from 1-20 sessions, would focus on a specific area of concern, a core conflicted relationship or a self-defeating behavior. Longer term would focus on multiple areas of concern or on growth and insight.

Cognitive behavioral approaches focus on identifying and changing thoughts and behaviors that maintain symptoms. For example, cognitive work might entail identifying and modifying automatic negative thoughts; a behavioral strategy might entail using diaphragmatic breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation, or exposure therapy, to manage and then eliminate anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy tends to be time-limited with specific goals and checkpoints, as well as homework between sessions.

Multi-modal therapy integrates both approaches. For example, someone having difficulty adjusting to a life transition might want to explore the meaning of his or her life changes, but might also need to integrate stress reduction strategies.

Both approaches can and do integrate medication as needed; I most frequently work with primary care providers but will also coordinate care with psychiatrists; I do not prescribe.

Consultations may entail 1-2 sessions for stress reduction, workplace dilemmas, and the like.

Areas for which consultation may be useful include the following:

  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Coping with medical problems including chronic illness.
  • Trauma, grief, and loss.
  • Interpersonal difficulties in the workplace.
  • Relationship issues, as the individual’s therapist.
  • Major life transitions.

Emergency Note

This is an office practice and not an emergency clinic; if you are experiencing suicidal feelings or thoughts right now you should immediately contact a suicide hot line in your area or present yourself to an emergency room.

In San Mateo County, Psychiatric Emergency Services can be reached at (650) 573-2662. Ongoing clients in my practice may call my mobile phone for urgent matters.


I accept payment directly from clients, but clients are provided invoices to submit to insurance if they wish.

I generally utilize 45-minute sessions unless another arrangement is clinically advisable. We most often schedule one session a week.

Clients with PPOs can generally get 50% – 80% of fees reimbursed after their deductibles are covered.

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    Links & Resources

    National Institute of Mental Health
    Contains information on a wide range of emotional and mental health topics.

    San Mateo County Psychological Association
    Includes general information about psychology resources in San Mateo County and a “Find a Psychologist” option to help you learn who is available in the area and what their areas of expertise are.

    American Psychological Association
    Includes information on a wide range of topics relating to psychology and psychological treatment.

    APA Help Center
    Information on well being, including brochures and articles of interest.

    California Psychological Association

    Fear of Flying Clinic

    101 S. San Mateo Dr, Ste. 303 • San Mateo, CA 94401