About Michael...


In 1998 Michael Y. Simon, LMFT, founded Practical Help for Parents.  In 1998 his son turned 12.  Those two events are highly related. The panic of parenting a teenager quickly turned into a search for community and solid information about all aspects of parenting adolescents and the latest research on adolescent development. Because that information wasn’t readily available and was really just beginning to be put online, he decided to create the very thing he was looking for to help other parents going through the same challenges and joys of parenting teens: that’s how Practical Help for Parents came into being.


Michael Y. Simon, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LA Lic. MFT1193; CA Lic. MFC38305), is the founder and principal of Practical Help for Parents. Michael holds a B.S. in Clinical Psychology, and Masters Degrees in both Clinical Psychology and Religious Studies (Concentration in Religion, Psychology and Philosophy). After teaching at the university level, he worked as the Executive Director or Program Director for several nonprofit organizations, including the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group, the Marina Counseling Center and the Harm Reduction Therapy Center. Michael also served as the Coordinator of Parent Education for Parents Place in Marin where he designed and implemented a full-service family resource program for youth and families. His understanding and deep appreciation of adolescents was informed by his long tenure as the founding Director of Counseling & Student Support for Bentley School, an innovative, independent college preparatory school in Lafayette, California.


In addition to a career in nonprofit management and consulting, Michael has worked as a Marriage, Family and Child therapist (and intern) since 1996 and continues to design and teach many workshops and groups on parenting, providing training to Bay area agencies on working with children, youth and families. He is trained in Critical Incident Stress Responding and provides consultation services to support school readiness for crisis. He currently serves as the Director of Guidance and Counseling at Woodside Priory School in Woodside, California and stays busy traveling and writing on the impact of digital media on adolescent development.


Michael’s psychotherapy practice is currently located in Oakland. He works with adult individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents. His specialty is in working with adolescents and their families.