Law & Psychotherapy

psychotherapy for attorneys and law students

Darcie Spence, MA, JD

Psychotherapy, Consultation & Coaching in San Francisco       415-820-3250


Individuals Involved in the Legal System

The legal world is a culture unto itself.  Despite the increasing use of mediation and the advent of collaborative law, the legal world is still, at its core, an adversarial system, where conflicts are resolved by someone winning and someone losing.  It is a world with its own rules and procedures, pressures and deadlines, language and decorum. It is a world where critical issues are at stake that have lasting impacts on the lives of those involved. 

People Who Work in the Legal System

I have a unique understanding of the pressures people are under who work in the legal system and the toll it can take on their health and personal relationships.  What is valued in an adversary system, aggressiveness, making a case, proving your point, does not tend to work well in the world of personal relationships. Moving between these two worlds and balancing the personal and professional is an ongoing challenge for those in the legal profession. Working with someone who has a lived understanding of this world, as well as an appreciation of the need for confidentiality and discretion, can be beneficial.

People Drawn into the Legal System Who may be Fearful of the Process

Most people go through life having little or no contact with the legal system. When something happens to draw them into the system, it can be a stressful experience. Not only do they have to deal with their role in the underlying case, but they have to acclimate themselves to a world that is unfamiliar. In addition, they may be called on to speak up, under challenging circumstances, because of what is at stake. Not surprisingly, many people become fearful of the process itself.  Working with someone who has experience both in the legal system and in assisting people with their fears about speaking up can be helpful and empowering.


  © 2009-2016  Darcie Spence, MA, JD, Psychotherapy, Consultation & Coaching in San Francisco   ☎  415-820-3250