Elena Makarova-Kudelin, LMFT

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My science-base approach is compassionate, genuine, and kind. With my clients I always strive to communicate understanding first while my attentive listening naturally blends with providing a feedback, which serve one basic goal - to restore your emotional vitality and well-being.

My ten-year clinical experience has been in providing services in a wide range of clinical settings: private outpatient clinics, county mental health agencies, schools, and forensic settings. I maintain my private practice in Palo Alto, CA since 2007, and with many affiliations, I am a familiar member of the Bay Area's psychotherapists community. I was a Co-Chair at SFCP Clinical Psychotherapy Forum held at Stanford Psychiatry Department during 2014-2017.

Before launching into the extensive, twenty-year long study in counseling psychology, my background included a master’s degree in history; studies on global events of the modern history at its intersection with cultural world in the beginning of the twentieth century. My background also included working in a large corporation in telecommunication industry. I use my diverse knowledge in science, culture, and communication to serve my client’s goals in helping them to improve life.

I only use approaches that were rigorously tested and found to be effective to treat a variety of emotional and relational problems with specializations in: relationship building, stress regulation, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and couples therapy for high-conflict couples.


  • BA Counseling Psychology 1999, MGU
  • MA Counseling psychology, CIIS, 2005 San Francisco, CA

Postgraduate Training:

  • San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, Extension Division, 2010-2011 at Stanford University
  • Access Institute for Psychological Services, San Francisco, CA. 2007-2009

Clinical and Research Experience:

  • Access Institute for Psychological Services, San Francisco, CA
  • Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS), San Francisco, CA
  • Cleo Eulau Center, Palo Alto, CA
  • Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Public Presentations:

  • 2006 RAMS clinic, San Francisco, CA
  • 2007 RAMS clinic, San Francisco, CA
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 SFCP Forums held at Stanford Psychiatry Department

Professional Affiliations:

  • Friends' Member, San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
  • Licensed psychotherapist, Board of Behavioral Sciences, License MFC 47183
  • Associate Member, Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
  • Alumni, Access Institute Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Internship Program
  • Member, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Santa Clara Chapter
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Recent Blog Posts

  • "I have known Mrs. Makarova since September 2008 and I have had many opportunities to observe her psychodynamically and psychoanalytically-oriented clinical work. Mrs. Makarova's intellectual curiosity and ability to process complex issues make working with her very gratifying. It is my pleasure to recommend Mrs. Makarova to physicians on Peninsula and South Bay most strongly and without any reservations.”
    — Adjunct Clinical Faculty Member at Stanford School of Medicine, 2011
  • "I worked with Mrs. Makarova for several years as a colleague at the intensive outpatient clinic in San Francisco and was so impressed with her professionalism, incisive intellect, emotional honesty, and advanced clinical skills in in-depth psychodynamic treatment. She is the most empathic clinician I have ever worked with!"
    — Amrita Narayanan Psy.D. Staff Psychologist, Napa Hospital, 2010
  • "I have known Mrs. Makarova's working on a clinical team at RAMS, and I can say that she is a warm, thoughtful, and insightful clinician. Mrs. Makarova takes a determined and focused approach to every case she treats and has helped many patients improve greatly."
    — Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University, 2009.
  • "Mrs. Makarova is unique in her ability to attend to people; their feelings, their longings and their experiences. She is a true professional and an open-hearted individual. Over the years she has had great success counseling high conflict couples and families. I truly believe that working with her will tilt the scales away from divorce and toward ongoing loving exchanges. For many years I have referred many of my students and their family members to Mrs. Makarova and always got stellar feedback. She combines science-based approaches, having trained in relational patterns at Stanford University, with a unique humanistic style of intervening. As a psychodynamic therapist Mrs. Makarova helps couples see beyond their entrenched relational dynamics and encourages new, functional ways of interchange. I am convinced that Mrs. Makarova's strategic and warm approach is an ideal choice for couples and families in the Peninsula, Bay Area."
    — Alberto Varona, Psy.D. Core Faculty, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Program at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, 2012.