Machtel Pengel, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCS#74783 California)

ALUMNI OF: University of the West Indies
LANGUAGES: English, Dutch
LOCATION: San Francisco mental health clinic, CA
Machtel Pengel, MSW, LCSW profile pic

For appointment, contact Tamoghna (Admin Assistant)
at 6572176362 or Email at


  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse

Treatment Orientation

  • Individual and family therapy
  • Parent Child Interaction Therapy
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy
  • Multi-Systemic and Structural Family Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Play Therapy
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Work experience

  • West County Adult Behavioral Health Clinic (Mental Health Clinical Specialist)
  • A Better Way, Inc (Mental Health Clinician)
  • A Better Way, Inc. (Foster Care and Adoption Social Worker)


  • Master’s Degree in Social Work – University of the West Indies
  • Bachelors of Arts Degree in Social Work – Academy for Higher Education, Fine Art and Culture

Affiliations and certifications

  • EMDR trained from Sonoma Psychotherapy Institute
  • EMDRIA affiliated
  • Trained in Flash Techniques

In-Network Insurance

Optum Behavioral Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Shield of California (We are not in-network with Blue Shield Covered California)
Anthem Blue Cross of California
Alignment Health

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and I am registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. I have been a psychotherapist for over 10 years.

My goal is to help improve your life by providing mental health services. I will give psychological support to enhance your outlook on life, so as to more fully appreciate the gifts it has to offer. I will work with you as a coach and help you identify issues that may be preventing you from arriving at your goals. We will work collaboratively to hone your self-care skills, obtaining the tools necessary to reduce symptoms through the therapy process.

If you have issues around spirituality, anger, or loneliness, if you’re going through a life crisis, dealing with developmental issues, feeling disconnected or grappling with existential questions, or simply striving for more joy, we can collaborate, on achieving emotional balance. I am trained in EMDR, Flash Techniques, CBT, TF-CBT, exposure therapy, solution focused therapy and play therapy. I will use these and other therapeutic techniques to increase motivation, enhance problem-solving, decision-making and attention. I often use meditation to increase positivity and optimism. If negative societal forces involving prejudice or stereotyping are affecting your mental condition, social justice advocacy can play a role both in correcting injustices and in emotional healing of their effects. Insight-oriented psychotherapy can help reprogram your childhood negative messaging to rewrite your mental “stories” and find your authentic voice.

My areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and trauma, including Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Adjustment Disorders and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. I have worked in a wide range of non-profit mental health agencies, government clinics and psychiatric hospitals. In them, my roles have included case manager, psychotherapist and Full Service Partnership Liaison. Immediately before Savantcare, I worked with clients who are challenged by co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues (adult dual-diagnosis patients). I have worked extensively in psychiatric emergency services, performing suicidality assessments and crisis reduction. I am passionate about working with children and families, and have helped them navigate the foster care and adoption systems. Irrespective of the legal outcome, I provided individual and family therapy to strengthen the child-caregiver relationship.

I have a person-centered orientation and believe there is a person behind every diagnosis who is able to take an active role in treatment. Often, catalyzed by the therapeutic process, the patient is actually able to take the lead and make their own discoveries.

I have lived in several different countries and I am proud to be an immigrant. These factors have given me a perspective on cultural differences and similarities, so that I regard them as to be celebrated rather than as obstacles.

When I am not working, I like to be around friends and family and to bring people together. It’s important for me to practice some good old-fashioned self-care. I do this by relaxing while reading a book, watching a movie or practicing my own mindfulness.

I enjoy humor and laughter and use it in my practice as I believe it uplifts the soul. I appreciate happiness, and believe that enhancing and ensuring it should be a goal of therapy!

Providers In San Francisco Mental Health Clinic

Dr. Joe Walker, MD Psychiatrist

Dr. Joe Walker, MD

Language: English

Location: San Francisco Mental Health Clinic

Years in Practice: 28+

 Machtel Pengel, LCSW Therapist

Machtel Pengel, LCSW

Language: English, Dutch

Location: San Francisco Mental Health Clinic

Years in Practice: 13+

Dr. Soo Chun, MD Psychiatrist

Dr. Soo Chun, MD

Language: English

Location: San Francisco Mental Health Clinic

Years in Practice: 17+

Dr. Tahia Haque, MD Psychiatrist

Dr. Tahia Haque, MD

Language: English

Location: San Francisco Mental Health Clinic

Years in Practice: 6+