Katie Fracalanza, PhD

Katie Fracalanza, PhD

Clinic Director & Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Katie Fracalanza is a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY28652) and a Clinical Associate Professor within Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Her expertise is in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based therapies (EBTs) for anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression.

At CPC and Stanford, Dr. Fracalanza provides training, supervision, and support to other medical professionals on the delivery of evidence-based therapy for anxiety and OCD. She works with other therapists to develop a nuanced understanding of each client’s patterns in order to deliver treatment plans that help clients get unstuck and thrive.

In addition to a focus on a compassionate, targeted, effective therapy for clients, Dr. Fracalanza’s supervision and training approach helps providers more deeply understand and care for themselves. Dr. Fracalanza has a strong interest in supporting therapists and other medical providers struggling with anxiety, imposter syndrome, and burnout.

Alongside her training roles, Dr. Fracalanza conducts research within the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford which aims to improve the current treatments for anxiety and related disorders. Her work is funded by a NARSAD Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Dr. Fracalanza has authored book chapters and research articles that discuss topics such as how anxiety and worry are maintained over time, and how we can use science to further psychotherapy.

In Her Own Words

“Everyone is capable of personal growth, overcoming obstacles, and thriving. Sometimes this can be difficult to do on our own because we’re simply too ensnared in the struggle to see it clearly. We need someone standing further back, to help us see what the stuck points are, and what paths forward are possible. Most people also need someone who views them in a compassionate way, as we often do not do this for ourselves, and it is necessary for lasting change.

I view psychological development as a journey back to ourselves. Back to the person we were before we learned to cope with difficult emotions and circumstances in a way that may now be keeping us stuck. For example, we may have learned to manage anxiety by avoiding the things that make us uncomfortable, and now that same avoidance may be standing in the way of important relationship or career goals. The therapy approach I practice and teach helps people develop a nonjudgemental understanding of themselves and their struggles, assess what’s working and what’s not, and learn new skills to manage challenges so that they can move forward toward the life they want.

My colleagues often say I have a strong “spidey sense”, which I think means that I intuit the crux of issues quickly and see what’s needed to get people unstuck. It is my passion to share genuinely and transparently what I see with the people I work with, either in the context of therapy or clinical training. It is truly amazing to see the growth that can happen when we are honest with each other, and ourselves. Possibilities open when we are willing to see our problems clearly, and to be kind to the uncomfortable emotions that often accompany them. There is freedom inside being willing to simply feel what’s there without resisting it, and this is what I delight in teaching others to do.”