About Me

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 Agony
These books were cheesy, formulaic romances and we devoured them.  My mother would bring home bags full of books 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”.  I don’t think this book was intended for me but I read it with rabid curiosity. 


Leo Buscaglia

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

I never forgot a 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 teen at the time, I thought this was really strange.  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 the 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

Schedule a free 15 minute consultation by calling +1 (818) 245-5298
or e-mailing me at




Rena Pollak, LMFT, CGP is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, License no. LMFT78442 and a Certified Group Psychotherapist.  Online therapy and therapy office located near Tarzana, Van Nuys, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, Malibu, Topanga, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, and Canoga Park.  Terms and Conditions.




Rena Pollak, LMFT, CGP  | 4872 Topanga Canyon Blvd., #152, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 | 818-245-5298