Rakefet "Kef" Benderly, PH.D.

Clinical Psychologist Carlsbad

We all experience challenges in our lives that make us feel stuck and alone. This is an inevitable part of being human. Psychotherapy helps us understand more clearly what’s going on in our lives. It helps us to develop new tools and perspectives about ourselves and the relationships we care about so that we can make better decisions, strive for and achieve personal goals, and find an inner sense of peace and wellbeing. 

My approach to therapy is warm, caring, and straight-forward. I have worked as a psychologist in my private practice for over 25 years and I am fortunate to genuinely love what I do.

I have worked with adults on a wide range of issues, and mainly specialize in treating depression, anxiety, relationships, stress, grief, and loss. I have extensive training in a variety of effective approaches and will tailor a treatment plan designed to support your unique needs. 

I am often asked what the experience of therapy is like. My honest response is that I think it is a very personal and different experience for everyone. The first session is revealing to the process. It will give you a lot of information for you to understand what moving forward with therapy will look like. The most important part is that you feel connected, understood, and hopeful. It needs to be a good fit. 

The focus of my training and expertise is psychodynamic psychotherapy. This type of therapy focuses on the “here and now” in combination with an understanding of your history. The emphasis is on personal growth as well as recognition and understanding of emotional “blind spots,” to reduce distressing symptoms and improve your relationships. With new perspectives and coping skills, you can focus your energy on what really matters to you: the things in life that give you peace of mind and bring you meaning. There is extensive research on the benefits of psychodynamic psychotherapy lasting long after treatment ends. 

My treatment is crafted to fit your unique needs. While psychodynamic psychotherapy is my main therapeutic approach, in order to ensure the best possible treatment, I will at times include other therapeutic interventions such as cognitive-behavioral treatments, psycho-education, positive psychology, and mind-body techniques. Although I treat adults only, I often provide them with parent education, tools to understand child development, and methods for managing family dynamics. 

Treating ourselves with compassion is essential for healing to begin and growth to happen. Only through kindness, compassion, and understanding towards ourselves can we begin to heal. These positive practices allow us to focus our energy on what maximizes meaning and joy in our lives. 

I am here to help. I look forward to working with you. Together we can heal in connection. 

About Rakefet

Dr. Benderly earned her Bachelors degree from the University of Hawaii and her combined masters and doctoral degrees from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. During her educational years, she gained extensive training and experience working in San Diego community mental health clinics and in 1997 she established her private practice. Well traveled, she enjoys meeting people from around the word and learning their perceptions about love and life. On her days off she enjoys hiking, biking, painting, and the ocean.

Professional Affiliation

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