• About John Porterfield

    banner image
    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 turbulence and struggles beneath the surface that I withheld. All these factors now make it clear that I was born to be a therapist. Although I didn’t realize it for a long time.

    First I became a television writer. At 29, I was the Co-Head Writer of Search for Tomorrow, the longest running daytime drama on TV (35 years, at that time). My producer was 34, so sometimes when we were developing a new storyline, we would be unfamiliar with some of the show’s backstories. Fortunately, SFT was my grandmother’s favorite soap opera — it had been for decades. So, when we were deep into a new plot twist and wondering if we were being consistent with the past, my producer would say, “time to call Grandma.”

    Grandma, thrilled to be involved, always remembered the life stories of all the characters. Grandma also loved our leading man, John Aniston, who was the father of Jennifer, who in those days was a pretty little girl with a big future.

    Years later, I wrote for General Hospital, a show in which many of the characters had corrupt values. They were malicious, engaged in endless conflicts and betrayals, jealousies and affairs, secrets and lies. I found success in my work by probing into the shadowy inner world of these characters. With my imagination and intuition, I dug into the darkness of their motivations and their cruel, pathological behaviors.

    I was driven by a fierce, critical internal voice that prodded me to push myself to exhaustion for ratings and the rewards of professional recognition. I wrote and rewrote storylines depicting evil manipulations and emotional and psychological abuse. I participated in creating hundreds of episodes of twisted human relationships, watched daily by millions of viewers who, like my grandmother, grew addicted to the tales I was telling.

    Inside of me, however, I had a growing uneasiness, an awareness that I was not doing work that would leave the world a better place. Slowly, painfully, I acknowledged that I was dedicating years of my life to spreading poison. This will be my legacy, I realized.

    I found myself in a classic and horrific “mid-life crisis.”

    I began therapy with a wise and caring Jungian analyst. We explored my history, the facets of myself that were repressed, buried in my unconscious. With time, I was able to see beyond the defensive fog of my own making and reflect on my true self. I was able to overcome my fears and insecurities, to silence my harsh, inner critical voice. In its place, I developed a voice of self-compassion. My authenticity was liberated and my life changed.

    I have now worked as a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst for 25 years. It has been my privilege to provide a supportive environment for clients to bring their personal challenges and concerns.

    Talking openly about one’s difficulties can start to ease them more quickly than might be imagined.

    I invite you to call me for a free consultation.



    “John Porterfield is an authentic human being with exquisite insight and compassion, and an extraordinary depth of empathy. He is a Jungian analyst and psychotherapist, working with individuals, families, adolescents and couples. John’s depth enables him to accompany his clients into their uncharted places in the psyche and release the willingness and energy to go beyond where they have been emotionally. This unique capacity on his part facilitates ongoing growth and the blossoming of potential in the people with whom he works.” – Barbara

    “A true partner in healing! John is an impeccable practitioner who creates a safe, contained environment in which the deepest transformational work is welcomed. My time with him was truly life-altering, and I am forever grateful for his powerful guidance and commitment. If you want to dive deep and find lasting change in your life, this is the place to be.” – Jennifer

    “John is a master analyst. He has depth, sensitivity, and a presence that provides comfort and safety. John has a unique style of understanding the inner world of his clients in a way that allows them access to the wonderful world of their unconscious that they have never known before. The therapeutic journey with John provides an opportunity to untangle old patterns and provides a clearer pathway to one’s own extraordinary authenticity.” – Michael

    ”I came to John during a difficult time in my family life, having just separated from my wife and leading into a painful divorce. John is a compassionate and steady person, who listens intently and was able to provide insight into my own patterns that emerged over the course of my sessions with him. I came away from my time with John in a far better place than I arrived, and I know John was an instrumental part of my journey.” – Glen

    ”When I met John, I was dealing with unresolved guilt and painful emotions stemming from the death of a parent. On top of that, abusing alcohol to drown out feelings, comprised of fear and sadness, John threw me the lifeline I needed to move forward. He worked patiently with me to identify and resolve emotional hurdles from past experiences in my childhood.

    He is calm, thoughtful and empathetic. He listens without judgement and offers valuable insight with compassion. I’ve moved on from the challenges in my life with John’s help. He continues to be the trusted guide I didn’t know I needed. John’s counseled me through the challenges of sobriety, repairing/strengthening my marriage, the birth of three children and so much more. And so, I write this recommendation for him, encouraging anyone who is struggling to reach out – I don’t know where I’d be without his help.” – Andrew

    “I’ve enlisted John Porterfield’s support over many years to assist with my personal struggles along with my gains. John is pivotal in guiding me, and I embrace every minute that I spend with John. I find John to be tremendously thoughtful, encouraging, and probing me to find my way through self improvement. With frustrations in my profession, family dynamics, my addictive behaviors, and relationships, John is instrumental with my path. One of my favorite things in therapy has been analyzing in dreams with John’s expertise in Jungian psychology. John is intuitive, smart, up to date, and I trust him with my wellbeing.” – Alex

    “John Porterfield completely transformed the way we relate to ourselves and to each other. We started seeing John to solidify our communication as a (then) unmarried couple, and experienced profound shifts – both individually and as a couple – during our time and work together. John cares profoundly about his clients and he has the innate ability to reflect back the pure essence of each person he comes in contact with. He provided us with an atmosphere of safety that allowed us to open up emotionally in ways we would have never explored otherwise. He guided us through dark times and near separations, helped us explore our limiting narratives and shed light on unexplored potential, eventually finding ourselves more connected to our authentic selves and to each other. John was instrumental in building a solid foundation for our marriage and growing family, and we are eternally grateful for the insights and tools we gained and cherish to this day. Game changer!” – Cheryl and Tom

    Acclaim for Dream Interpretation Workshops

    “Over seven years ago, we were members of a year-long monthly dream group led by John Porterfield, and to this day, we reminisce about what a transformative experience it was. John was an excellent leader, encouraging equal participation by each member and ensuring respectful, positive interaction as each dream was discussed. His personal warmth and empathetic support provided a trusting environment within which group members were willing to share personal, intimate information. John asked pertinent and thoughtful questions to deepen possible dream interpretation, and his vast familiarity with mythic symbolism contributed to those interpretations. And finally, John displayed a rich and sensitively-employed sense of humor which helped members deal with difficult emotions.”

    Acclaim for Public Speaking

    “To Whom It May Concern:

    I am very pleased to give John Porterfield, MFT, my highest recommendation. I came to know him recently when he conducted a presentation and workshop for the Phoenix Friends of C. G. Jung on “Jung’s Path Of Individuation.” We were fortunate to have someone with his qualifications, for he is a Jungian Analyst as well as a Training Analyst at the C. G. Jung Study Center of Southern California.

    John is not only knowledgeable and personable, but he “walks the walk.” He demonstrated the rare ability to integrate theory and practice, illustrating the central ideas by relating them to his own life—how they provided self-understanding and how their conscious application enhanced his own process of individuation. During the evening presentation our group became unusually attentive and empathetic. At the break everyone returned quickly for questions and discussion. His ensuing workshop was very well attended and skillfully conducted. We all had the opportunity to share deeply, and he created the atmosphere where it was safe to do so. The work we did gave us insights from our personal history and the methodology to evolve toward the goal of individuation.

    John Porterfield deserved and received high praise from our group. We are looking forward to having him return.”


    “John Porterfield has given at least three lectures to our Jung Club since I’ve been attending, and they have all been incredibly well received, with the audience sitting at rapt attention. I have found that our most profound lectures are often the ones that blend in depth discussions of Jungian concepts with personal examples, and these are the types of talks John gives. John has become quite popular with our Club members and is always welcome to return with his latest talk. I strongly recommend him as a speaker for any Jungian/depth psychology group.”

    Are you ready to take the first step?

    Reach Out Today!

    Please complete the form below to schedule an appointment.
    I will try my best to accommodate your request and will be in touch ASAP.

    By submitting this form via this web portal, you acknowledge and accept the risks of communicating your health information via this unencrypted email and electronic messaging and wish to continue despite those risks. By clicking "Yes, I want to submit this form" you agree to hold Brighter Vision harmless for unauthorized use, disclosure, or access of your protected health information sent via this electronic means.