About Me

Would you believe that my journey to becoming a therapist began with a Harlequin Romance novel?


When I was 13, my mother and I shared a love of Harlequin Romances. 


Love's AgonyThese were cheesy, formulaic romances that we devoured.  She would bring home bags full of them from the thrift store. 


One time I discovered a different kind of book in the bag.  It was a self-help book by Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D. called “Love”. 

Leo Buscaglia

Leo Buscaglia’s book was my first introduction to psychology, psychotherapy groups and most importantly, to the realization that many adults have difficulty with giving and receiving love.  


I never forgot the scene in the book where a lonely woman spoke about being jealous of dogs because everyone would pet them and give them affection whereas no one ever touched her.  She got down on her hands and knees and crawled around the group, letting everyone pet her.


Being a child at the time, I thought this was really weird.  But I also thought it was cool and incredibly brave and honest of her.  I didn’t often experience people being so honest about their feelings.  In most of my Harlequin Romances, the lovers hid their true feelings throughout, pretending indifference or even anger, until the final moment when they finally revealed their love. 


Those books fueled my passion for helping people to bring more love into their life.  They contributed to my belief that being truthful and self-expressed, letting others see who you truly are, is the only way that we can ever achieve real connection and love.  


Therapy can set you free to love and be loved.




quote about love
Let’s Talk


If you would like to talk more about doing this work with me, lease give me a call or send me an e-mail by clicking this link: Contact me


Educational Background


I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  I received an M.A. in Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in 2010.  Afterward, I continued my studies and went on to become a Certified Group Psychotherapist.  Additionally, I continue to take classes, participate in consultation groups, and read constantly.






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Rena Pollak, LMFT  | Calabasas, CA 91302  Encino, CA 91436  818-245-5298

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