Dr. Maddy Brener


About Me

Hello! I'm Dr. Maddy, a licensed clinical psychologist based in San Diego, California (pronouns she/her) . In my 10+ years of experience, I have worked with a diverse range of children, teens, adults, and seniors with a wide variety of diagnoses ranging from generalized anxiety and major depression to chronic paranoid schizophrenia and personality disorders. I put a great deal of focus on increasing my clients' self-acceptance, which includes aiding them in rising above stereotypes and stigmas. My particular areas of expertise include LGBTQIA+ issues, polyamory, chronic pain, negative self-talk, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and interpersonal communication.

The therapy I provide is primarily based in Cognitive Behavioral and Acceptance and Commitment Therapies. I believe that everyone is the expert on themselves, and that it is my role to assist people in the process of creating the road map for their individual emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. My counseling style is pretty laid back, and I am always open to questions. I have been described as supportive, relatable, and compassionate, with a pretty good sense of humor. I like to focus on identifying your strengths and helping you to maximize them to overcome your obstacles in a safe place to be open and honest without fear of judgment. You have taken the first and most important step by reaching out for help!

Should you feel in need of urgent help or that you are in crisis at any time during our work together; please call 1-800-273-TALK 24 hours a day; or 911. This forum does not provide any type of emergency services, so I want to be sure you know who to contact if you need immediate help.

I encourage you to write to me as often and as much as you like - the therapy "room" is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week. I typically respond to all messages within about 24 hours Monday-Friday. On weekends I tend to take longer, due to family obligations and my own need to relax and recharge. If there is a message you would like me to respond to sooner, please mark it as urgent, and I will get back to you as quickly as I can. Please only use this option when it is truly urgent, but not an emergency. It is also possible to schedule a live video, phone, or chat session - if you click on the schedule tab on the left-hand side of the page, you can see what times I have available. These sessions can occur up to once a week and last 30 minutes. Please note that my availability for live sessions is predominantly on TUESDAYS, but that I check messages on days I cannot meet live.

You are not alone. Things can and will get better. I'm really looking forward to working with you!


  • Stress, Anxiety
  • LGBT
  • Depression
  • Coping with life changes
  • Compassion fatigue
Also experienced in:
Relationship issues , Family conflicts , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Parenting issues , Self esteem , Bipolar disorder , BDSM, Kink, Alternative Sex Culture , Body Image , Chronic Pain Illness and Disability , Read more...

Clinical approaches:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Therapy

Years of Experience: 10

Services Offered

  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video


Psychologist #PSY31736 (Expires: 2022-04-03)


Written by J.A. on Jul 21, 2021 after counseling with Maddy for 11 months

Very personable

Written by J.I. on May 18, 2021 after counseling with Maddy for 7 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, self esteem, and coping with life changes

Dr Brener is fantastic at what she does. She’s professional and knowledgeable, yet personable and approachable. She doesn’t take life too seriously and offers tangible tools for coping and self-improvement.
She calls me out on my BS when I need it and offers me solace when I need that.
I’m grateful that our paths have crossed.

Written by A.N. on Nov 22, 2020 after counseling with Maddy for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, sleeping disorders, self esteem, anger management, career difficulties, bipolar disorder, coping with life changes, and adhd

Dr Brenner is an amazing counselor. She’s easy to talk to, and we have fun conversations sometimes too. She really listens to your troubles and thoughts, and gives advice that’s relevant and easy to follow. I highly recommend her to anyone who’s looking for therapy!

Written by D.A. on Aug 28, 2020 after counseling with Maddy for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship issues, grief, self esteem, career difficulties, coping with life changes, and compassion fatigue

We bonded very quickly and she really cares and listens

Written by I.S. on Aug 13, 2020 after counseling with Maddy for 2 weeks on issues concerning relationship issues, family conflicts, and intimacy-related issues

She is a great Counselor

Written by A.L. on Jul 23, 2020 after counseling with Maddy for 3 weeks on issues concerning eating disorders, and self esteem

Dr. Brener pays close attention to my emotions. Our conversations lift my mood, and make the stresses in my life seem less intimidating.