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Hilary Goldstine, Ph.D. #PSY6548

Senior Staff Psychologist
Founder, Berkeley Therapy Institute

Clinical psychologist, cult expert, co-author of The Dance Away Lover.

My name is Hilary Goldstine, and my PhD is in psychology. I’ve been state licensed as a clinical psychologist for over 40 years, and I’ve worked at the Berkeley Therapy Institute for 50 years. 

I helped establish BTI as a non-profit community mental health clinic from its inception. I also helped create a sex therapy program at UC Berkeley, where we created a format for women to learn about their sexuality at a time when even medical practitioners were just learning about the physiology of women’s arousal. From this work and research, I co-authored the book The Dance Away Lover and other roles we play in love, sex and marriage.

I grew up in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago grammar and high school, which was a school based on the educational principles of John Dewey. Critical thinking was stressed over rote learning. This vantage point was further emphasized when I attended UC Berkeley in 1963. 

One of the greatest privileges of my professional career was the opportunity to study under Dr. Margaret Singer. She joined BTI in 1977 and taught the study of cults, brainwashing, undue influence and the power of suggestion. She emphasized how the use of language can hinder our ability to think rationally. Margaret was a world authority on Borderline Personality and the use of language for manipulation and control. 

There is current research in the cognitive sciences about brain function that will hopefully further our ability to not be deceived by malignant narcissists and sociopathic behaviors. We are all susceptible to being taken in and develop cognitive blindness to destructive behaviors. I will always regard Margaret as the most wise and shrewd psychologist I have ever known, with the greatest influence on my work.

I have been honored to learn from truly phenomenal teachers, colleagues, and from all the patients I have worked with over 50 years. Mostly, I know self-compassion and compassion for others to be the true essence and roots of value in life.


Hilary Goldstine, PhD #PSY6548

Senior Staff Psychologist

Founder, Berkeley Therapy Institute

Berkeley Therapy Institute


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