Psychiatric Alternatives

Stanley Terman, MD

Adult Psychiatry

Professional Statement

Stanley A. Terman’s career is dedicated to empowering people to make informed decisions so they can successfully meet challenges in their lives with more pleasure, less suffering, and improved relationships. He considers life a journey that can, at times, challenge anyone. When problems seem overwhelming, or when one’s coping mechanisms seem maxed out, it can be effective to consult an empathic professional who combines insight, wisdom, and skill to brainstorm and problem-solve.

Note: in addition to the practice of general psychiatry described below and presented in a 3 1/2 minute video, for which this is the link:, Dr. Terman is also a bioethicist who developed a unique method for dealing with challenges that occur during the last chapter of life, which is presented in a less than 6 minute video at this link:

Dr. Terman offers “Strategic Advance Care Planning” for patients who want to make sure their future physicians will provide enough pain medication near the end, and will not force them to endure a prolonged dying with suffering from any terminal illness--even if they cannot then speak for themselves.

Many people worry about slowly progressive devastating neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia (Alzheimer's), Parkinson's, CTE, and Multiple Sclerosis. Confidence in completing an “Ironclad Strategy” can let a patient decide to LIVE LONGER; hence the slogan, “Plan Now--Die Later®.” Dr. Terman has also developed a unique way to help patients in end-stage dementia so they can avoid being forced to endure up to several years of unnecessarily prolonged suffering--even if they did not plan ahead by completing an effective Living Will--called, “Now Care Planning®.”

For patients who do not live near San Francisco / Sausalito, telepsychiatry is available. For patients who have MEDICARE insurance or no insurance that covers Dr. Terman's services, phone 800 DrTerman (800-378-3762) for further information.

Dr. Terman's general approach to helping people as a psychiatrist is to use medications only when, and for as long as necessary; and almost always, in combination with psychotherapy. He specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy combined with psychodynamic considerations and some meta-cognitive techniques in what could more generally be called strategic-existential psychotherapy. He strives to explore issues in a non-judgmental way as patients share the values they consider important and to join patients as they search for meaning as they overcome their current challenges. Dr. Terman incorporates the healing potential of relationships, of religious and cultural philosophies, and blends the art and science of psychiatry. Medications sometimes helps patients overcome their initial inertia and bring about more relief sooner. Evidence is mounting that for some patients, the combination of medications and psychotherapy can also prevent future relapses. Dr. Terman may also provide couple and family therapy, and refer patients to psychologists at Psychiatric Alternatives and Wellness Center or to other medical specialists in the community.

Dr. Terman is a “Life Transitions Psychiatrist” to whom patients can turn when they are challenged by such a transition as:

  • Starting a new job or promotion for which advice may help you work better with supervisors or those who report to you
  • Becoming single again or wanting a new intimate relationship to really last
  • Wanting to create a transition that can overcome a life previously plagued by depression or anxiety
  • Retiring from one’s career and wanting to retain meaning in life
  • Moving into a residence where you (or your spouse) receives assistance with many of the activities of daily living
  • Receiving a very serious medical diagnosis—whether medical or mental, such as Alzheimer’s dementia or Parkinson’s disease

Dr. Terman has written dozens of articles and four books: “Lethal Choice” (a medical thriller that presents a balanced view of Physician-Assisted Dying); “The BEST WAY to Say Goodbye: A Legal Peaceful Choice at the End of Life”; “Peaceful Transitions: Stories of Success and Compassion”; and “Peaceful Transitions: Plan Now, Die Later—Ironclad Strategy.” He also created “My Way Cards”—a decision aid tool that generates a clear and specific Living Will that informs family members and surrogate decision-makers about the patient’s wishes so they can make the difficult “WHEN” decision after patients reach Advanced Dementia. Dr. Terman’s writing and teaching in this area is motivated by this insight regarding the urgency to complete Advance Care Planning: It is always too soon… until someday, it is too late.

Dr. Terman can help diagnose Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Dementia versus normal age-related memory loss and can assess and document an individual's competence in specific areas, such as the mental capacity to make medical treatment decisions and to handle financial matters.


  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Couples Issues
  • End-of- Life Issues and Advance Care Planning
  • Life Transitions
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Strategic/Existential Therapy


  • Board Certified in Psychiatry
  • Residency, Indiana University
  • MD, University of Iowa
  • PhD in Molecular Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • AB, Brown University, cum laude

Languages Spoken

  • English

Office Address

  • 3611 Sacramento St, San Francisco
  • 3030 Bridgeway St, suite 107, Sausalito
  • 3030 Bridgeway, Sausalito

Insurances Accepted

  • Aetna
  • Anthem / Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield HMO/PPO
  • Cigna
  • Magellan
  • MHN
  • United Healthcare
  • Value Options