John Berndt headshot

John Berndt

Adjunct Professor


John is a native Southern Californian, born and raised in the Los Angeles area. He decided to become a therapist while working as a missionary in South Africa when he was nineteen, and realized he loved helping others. Working concurrently in local government while attending Pacific Oaks College, John started training at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and finished his internship at the Southern California Counseling Center. Once licensed and retired from government work, John started a private practice in Los Angeles and became the Clinical Director of the Southern California Counseling Center. Helping SCCC move through the pandemic is one of John’s most satisfying accomplishments.

In addition to his work as a therapist, John is a Wellness Clinician at the University of Southern California, supporting residents becoming physicians. He is an adjunct professor at Antioch University Los Angeles where he teaches Master level courses Clinical Readiness, Practicum, and Couples Counseling. John focuses on helping couples move from problematic communication patterns toward more considerate, constructive, and collaborative conversations. He is trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy with a LGBTQ+ specialization, and he uses elements of Esther Perel’s work, and an overall attachment theory lens to help couples change their communication and relational dynamics. He lives in Placerville, California with his partner, their two dogs, and cat.


  • Couples counseling
  • Gottman method therapy
  • Emotionally focused couples therapy


  • Pacific Oaks College, MA in Marriage and Family History, 2008

Prior Experience

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Los Angeles
  • Wellness Clinician, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Adjunct Professor in Marriage and Family Therapy, Antioch University, Los Angeles
  • Clinical Director, Southern California Counseling Center, Los Angeles