My Mission: To help you have the loving, accepting, sexy, fun relationship you want with the person that is your right match.
I believe you deserve to have love, and a fun, peaceful, sexy, and deeply satisfying relationship with the person you love and who loves you back. As your therapist and coach, I work closely with you using proven tools and approaches so that you can reach your relationship goals–all of them.
For those of you who are already a couple, it is my mission to help you connect with each other deeply, honestly, and in a way that’s free of ongoing conflict and hurt. Your relationship can bring you the happiness and unique satisfaction that are the true gifts of a loving, accepting, sexy, fun relationship.
Am I the right professional to help you with your relationship goals?
I am Leah Cochrane, LGBTQ Relationship Coach and Counselor, and a California licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#40362).
♥ I am a highly trained Relationship Coach for both Couples and Singles, and a Radical Dating®, Radical Romance® and Radical Marriage® Program Coach and the creator of Leah’s Lesbian Love Camp©. a relationship-healing program for women couples.
♥ I’ve been a licensed therapist for over 16 years, since 2003, and a Relationship Coach for five years. I have worked in various roles in the mental health clinical and research arena for more than 30 years.
♥ My formal credentials are at the bottom of this page .
Truth be told, I haven’t always known how to recognize real love. I haven’t always known how to be a desirable partner, either. But I learned. How I learned is a part of my story and a large part of the reason why I now help others to connect to your heart, to your desires, and to the partner that is the right match for you. You can click “Read on…” if you’d like to hear the story of how a woman who didn’t know what real love was, came to find the real thing in her own life, and ended up showing others how to find it and keep it, too.Read on...
I was 32 years old when I began the relationship that changed everything I thought I knew about love and relationships. I met a woman who became my lover, and after just a few short months, my “life partner.” You see, I wanted a family more than anything. I struggled with being a single mom and dating was beyond my comfort zone and my social skills, so I was ready and willing to hook up, pretty much with anyone who would have me and my daughter.
I was ready and willing but, as I now know, not even almost close to being able to form and sustain an intimate, healthy relationship. I had doubts and trepidation about moving in together so fast, you bet I did. However, I believed I was in love, and that’s what counted. So, I ignored my misgivings, my uncertainties, and my intuition. I argued against my friends’ warnings. I paid attention to the only thing that mattered at the time: I believed that like any fated lovers, we were meant to be together.
But of course, we weren’t any such thing.
In the years that have passed since this relationship ended, I have come to understand that my ex probably didn’t enter the relationship with the intention to harm me so badly, nor did I intend to make her life so difficult, or to disappoint her in so many ways. But that is what happened, in spite of the strength of our respective intentions.
The beginning of the end started fairly soon after we moved in together, when our intense “in-love” feelings began to fade. The relationship limped on into misgivings, frequent hurt feelings, and loud, intense arguments over housework, finances, childrearing, the future, time, table manners, bedtime reading, and on and on. You name it, we fought about it. Love turned into a tally sheet. All of our interactions became tit for tat. We wounded each other with words almost daily. It became easier to spend time apart than it did to be together.
I told myself that we were just having normal arguments, that we were just working things out.
I couldn’t figure out how we had gone from being so in love to what life had become for us. After one of our big fights we would spend hours “processing” feelings, belaboring what had happened, trying to get the other person to agree with our own point of view. We’d sleep on it and then write out long, impassioned testimonials. We would make contracts. We would plan to start over. We’d cry about it. Then the cycle would begin again.
At the time, my solution was to act as helpful and as loving as I could toward my partner. My thinking was that I would demonstrate to her how I wanted to be loved. Hoping she’d get it. Hoping she would return the favor. Wishing, always wishing, that it would get better. Hoping that after all the pain and all the “processing” we had put into it, that it would grow into the love I wanted. In seven long, miserable years, it never did.
I can tell you now why it never turned into the love I wanted, although it took me a long, long time to understand it. What I figured out was this: it wasn’t real love I felt for her.
Why not? Because it was all about what I wanted for me, and not so much about my feelings for her. She stayed with me, of course, for her own reasons that also had little to do with love.
We were two people who had no idea what real love was supposed to look like.
In the course of trying to get love from her, I simply tossed away huge chunks of myself. I ruthlessly squandered my well-being and my self-esteem in exchange for the mere hope that the relationship would someday be what I needed it to be.
So, I said “yes” when I really meant “no.” I jettisoned my own dreams and plans instead of standing up to her for what I wanted. And all the while, I told myself I was doing it for love, and for the commitment I’d made. It took her leaving me in the most painful way imaginable, before I finally got it. For over seven years I had been living a parody of a loving relationship. And I had come to believe that was all there was or ever would be.
The most painful part of the whole experience, for me, was that I had wanted the whole loaf, but had settled for nothing but crumbs. And at the end of it, I didn’t even have crumbs. That realization broke my heart more than it had ever been broken before. After all, I had done it to myself.
Those were some of the most painful weeks and months of my life, before or since. I grieved for the child who was hers that I was forced to leave behind (Lesbian/Gay partners had zero parental rights to a partner’s child). I grieved for my own child’s loss of a step-sibling. I leaned heavily on the kindness of friends, on my women’s group, my therapist, my family of origin, and upon what I had learned through my Mindfulness meditation practice. For a while, I felt like I would never get past the pain.
But I did.
You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Somehow, somewhere, in this incredibly painful experience, I found some grace. It enabled me to step away from my experience enough to see the truth of it. I was able to let go of some of the anger and bitterness that was keeping me in a painful limbo. I realized I had some choices to make. Some healing to do.
I dove into therapy, deeper than I had ever done before. I meditated. I performed healing rituals. Attended drumming circles. Went to Forgiveness workshops even though the last thing I wanted to do was forgive her. I went to lots and lots of 12-step meetings. I wrote.
I asked myself again and again if there was anything positive I might be able to take away from nearly losing myself in this relationship. I looked for the lesson in the whole, awful experience. It was a difficult thing to do, being as hurt and as angry as I was. But slowly, and with a lot of hard emotional work, I chose to embrace the lessons, instead of becoming the bitter, defensive woman I could have been if I had refused to see my part in the worst relationship of my life.
Since the end of that relationship almost 25 years ago, I have become a different person. A better version of myself. Someone I like a whole lot better. I am able to say, now, with confidence, that I know what love is. I know who I am, I know what I require in a relationship and what I look for in a partner. I know I have found my heart’s mate, but even if that hadn’t happened, I know with certainty that I would never again find myself in the kind of relationship like the one I’ve described here. I now know that what I have to offer a partner is real love, and that I am free to give the best of me, and that I am worthy of love.
Because I had embraced the painful lessons of that long-ago relationship, I recognized Love when it came into my life nearly twenty-five years ago, in the person of the remarkable woman who became my wife. Our partnership, like most successful marriages, is not always smooth and easy, but it is always safe and loving. Because of my personal experience, my trial by fire, as it were, I found helping other women and men with their relationships seemed like a natural path for me to follow, and so it has been.
My hard-won knowledge and personal experience, combined with years of training and professional experience, are what I share with you. Now you know someone who has been through it all, and who also has the training, experience and credentials to help you find your unique path to happiness and satisfaction in love.
You Can Have Lasting Love
You are here because you want to know how to take what’s in your heart and mind and create it in your life. You want to be loved for just exactly who you are, the good parts and the flawed parts. Of course you do. And I can help you with that.
For those who are in a relationship already, I can offer you a personalized version of relationship help. Call it Lesbian/Gay Marriage Counseling, Queer Couples Therapy, LGBTQ Couples Coaching and Counseling, or Pre-commitment Counseling for same-sex couples. No matter what you feel you need and what label you choose, what I offer is expert care and support to aid your ongoing relationship.
I also have personalized approaches to help you find the right partner for you, even if you feel you have a “broken picker” or believe you have been unlucky in love.
Call or text me at 415-710-6615 to get more info or to schedule an appointment for a free Breakthrough to Love Session.
I encourage you to call now, while it’s on your mind–while your feelings are guiding you to seek a solution.
(415) 710-6615 • call or text with questions or to request a phone appointment to discuss your situation. Or click the blue Schedule with Me Now button to access my appointment calendar to set up your free Breakthrough to Love Session.
Below are my credentials:
Leah A. Cochrane, MA, MS
California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
License # 40362
RCI-trained Relationship Coach for Singles and Couples, licensed Radical Dating®, Radical Romance®, and Radical Marriage® program coach
(Training and Affiliation at Relationship Coaching Institute)
MS Counseling 1996
Emphases in Marriage & Family, and Rehabilitation
San Francisco State University
MA Health Psychology 1991
University of California San Francisco
BA Psychology 1983
Summa Cum Laude
California State University East Bay
“Treatment Strategies for Returning Troops” 2014
John F. Kennedy University
Relationship Coaching Institute
Singles Relationship Coach 2016
Couples Relationship Coach 2017
UC Regents Fellowship
NIMH Training Fellowship
Graduate Research Prize
Gaylesta, the LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association www.gaylesta.org
CAMFT (California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists) www.camft.org
San Francisco Chapter CAMFT
Relationship Coaching Institute, member and graduate