Meet Dr Bacal

Howard Bacal

HOWARD A. BACAL, M.D. is a psychiatrist who is in private practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis located in Brentwood, West Los Angeles. He brings more than 40 years of experience to his work as a therapist, teacher, and original contributor in his field.

Dr. Bacal welcomes inquiries about treatment, supervision, and participation in his clinical discussion groups.

i offer help to people who struggle with:

  • problematic relationships
  • sexual dysfunction
  • the effects of trauma (such as sexual abuse & PTSD)
  • feeling effective & worthwhile
  • anxiety & depression
  • problems of personal identity, a sense of a cohesive self
  • obsessive-compulsive symptoms
  • finding your way in life & maximizing your creative capacities
  • managing anger
  • and help with troubles that are hard to name

Practice & Treatment Approach

I work with individuals and couples. I attune to the in depth as well as to the manifest determinants of anxiety and depression, painful feelings and conflicts, and relational tensions and disruptions.  My intent, however, is not only to relieve symptoms and solve psychological problems, but to promote the potential for living a more vital and meaningful life.  I do not follow a pre-determined  ”guideline” for therapeutic responsiveness, but rather seek to discover, co-creatively, with my patient, what may specifically maximize therapeutic effect, in the moment and over time.


I have a new auxilliary therapist, Brodie, whose soothing, empathic presence is much valued by several of my patients.  Those who are averse or allergic to doggies can of course be accommodated by Brodie’s absence.

I bill my patients directly. Some sessions might be covered by a patient’s private insurer, but I do not take Medicare nor contract directly with a patient’s insurer.  I am receptive to adjusting my fee for frequent weekly sessions in the face of financial difficulty.

Clinical Discussion Groups

I lead unique discussion groups for psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and medical practitioners who wish to enhance their skills in responding effectively to their patients in their particular settings.

No preparation is required. Participation entails the sharing of clinical experience as spontaneously as possible.

My approach to consultation builds upon the model developed by Michael Balint at the Tavistock Clinic in London. Discussion focuses on the specificity of reciprocal process that emerges within the particular treatment dyad, which effectively illuminates the nature of therapeutic difficulty and the possibilities for optimal therapeutic responsiveness.