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Meet Joy A Fillman, Ph.D.

Psychology Services & Therapy in Novato & Petaluma, CA

My practice combines my research degree in Developmental Psychology with my PhD in Clinical Psychology to uncover, then remove, hidden obstacles that have blocked or hindered clients’ access to happy, fulfilled lives at each stage of their development. My process creates a partnership – the client and me – utilizing the most effective psychotherapeutic tools to recognize and create the optimum family, work, and social environment.

The honor and privilege of working as a “psychological detective” has allowed me to develop and begin to write a concept of the mind I call “empathic detachment” – recognizing and sidestepping that point at which one is drawn into another’s sometimes dysfunctional world, hence giving up control of our own vital personal destinies. Often, we sacrifice autonomy and sense of self for attachment, then find that it is too high a price to pay. My concept of empathic detachment works on the premise that all human beings are hard wired for both autonomy and attachment, and that to allow for both leads us to a full and vital life.

Areas of Specialty:

Developmental Life Transitions
Relationship Issues
Professional/Work Issues
Work/Life Balance
Retirement Transitions
Social Anxiety

Depression & Anxiety
Personality Disorders
Cognitive Disorders

Client Focus:

Gender: All
Ethnicity: Any
Religious Orientation: Any

Children (6-10)
  Adolescents / Teenagers (14-19)

  Elders (65+)​

Treatment Approaches:



Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

Control Mastery Theory


Emotionally Focused

Empathetic Detachment

Family / Marital




Strength Based

Trauma Focused

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