• About John Porterfield

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    I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 35445) and a certified Jungian analyst specializing in individual and couples psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

    Since I was a young boy, I’ve always loved to hear stories friends told about their lives. If one of my friends was having a problem, I always did my best to understand, to ask questions that sometimes brought insight and reassurance. I was sensitive and curious; perhaps overly for my age. 

    I didn’t tell my own stories often. I walked through life with a smile on my face, but there was much more beneath the surface that I withheld. Even to my family, it’s now clear that I was born to be a therapist.


    Long before that happened, as a great lover of books, I became a writer. At 29, I was co-head writer of Search For Tomorrow, the oldest show on television (35 years!). My producer was 34, so there were times when we were creating a new storyline and were unsure about some important aspects from the history of the show.

    Fortunately, this had been my grandmother’s favorite show for decades, so when we were struggling, my producer would suggest, “I think it’s time to call Grandma.” Grandma, thrilled to be involved in this way, always recalled the history of the show. Grandma also loved our leading man, John Aniston, who was the father of Jennifer, who in those days was a pretty little girl. 

    Years later, writing storylines for General Hospital was fascinating. Most of the characters had terrible values and were malicious to each other. Endless conflicts and betrayals, jealousies and affairs, all manner of secrets and lies — these characters were adept at making a bad thing dramatically worse, often with glee.

    My imagination and intuition always helped me to see beneath the surface of people and into their shadowy inner world. This was how I found success in my work — by digging into the darkness, setting the trap, and then, with a push, exposing the characters for all to see in their worst possible moment. Gossip and ridicule spread like a virus. Ratings soared.

    Inside of me, however, I had a terrible inner Critic, there to chide at me that what I was doing was never good enough. I wrote and rewrote, with my stone-hearted Critic driving me into exhaustion. I had participated in the creation of hundreds of episodes viewed daily by millions of people.  

    The Critic scoffed. “Your stories are cruel, dark and dreadful. Every day, you create conflict and heartache that people become addicted to like your grandmother. You have not done your work to leave the world a better place than you found it!” 

    Wielding his knife into my heart, the Critic said, “Look at all the evil and damage you’ve created, poisoning millions of people. This, is what will be your legacy.” 

    I found myself in a classic and horrific “mid-life crisis.” I began therapy with a wise and caring Jungian analyst who, with time, was able to see beyond the defensive fog of my own making and reflect, instead, valuable parts of my true self that were waiting for my attention and expression.

    We explored my history and parts of myself that had been repressed and buried in the unconscious were brought back up to the surface. They had been too painful to look at before, but with the help and assurance of my analyst, I could face them now. Usually constrained, my emotions opened up for me, and I came to a peaceful coexistence with these formerly lost parts of myself.

    This transformative experience resolved many painful conflicts. With my fears and insecurities faced and felt, my authenticity was liberated and my life changed. The harsh inner Critic was tamed and evolved into a voice of self-compassion.

    I have now worked as a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst for 25 years. My goal is to provide a supportive environment for clients to bring their challenges and concerns and to work together to discover what is keeping them from living up to their potential and living a full and satisfying life.

    I went from writing dark stories of human corruption, greed and struggles for power, to taking my life in the opposite direction. Now I help people to overcome their problems and to make the changes that will allow them to live the life they’ve hoped to live.

    Talking openly about one’s difficulties can start to ease them faster than you might imagine. 

    I invite you to call me for a free consultation at 818-784-0633 or send me an email at [email protected]


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