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Intro to Access

Access Institute is a non-profit community mental health clinic and training program for psychologists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to provide long-term, in-depth psychotherapy to individuals and families who would otherwise not be able to afford or access mental health services and to provide quality training to develop the next generation of highly skilled psychotherapists.


Access Institute's partnership with Hillcrest Elementary began in 2008 and has continued to serve the students and families of the school ever since. Access Institute therapists are post-masters or pre-doctoral interns, with years of clinical experience. Our interns each spend two academic years at Hillcrest, conducting play therapy with children, and working closely with their parents, teachers and other school staff in a team-based approach. We help children and families negotiate issues ranging from depression and anxiety to healing from the impact of trauma, family divorce or illness. We place a large emphasis on understanding the whole child — not only the child’s inner life, but also their family, classroom experience, and what may be happening physically, and have helped both families and school staff understand how things like sensory integration, ADHD or undiagnosed learning disabilities may figure into a child’s emotional life and experience at school.


Contact Info

We are proud to be a part of Hillcrest’s mental health collaborative. If you have questions, or would like any additional information about our services — at Hillcrest or at our San Francisco clinic, please visit us at, or contact our Director of Child Services, Abby Marks, Ph.D., at