The Gronowski Center is a "featured community agency" in the Santa Clara County Psychological Association Newsletter

March 26, 2013

From the Santa Clara County Psychological Association – Winter 2013 Newsletter


The Gronowski Center
By Nicole Shiloff, PhD

The Gronowski Center is tucked away in an office building in Los Altos, located between Mountain View and Palo Alto. The exterior of the building is fairly non-descript; in fact, many of you have likely passed it on your way down El Camino Real without taking much notice. If you were, however, inclined to take a detour and step inside the building, you might be surprised by what you discover. Within, you’ll find two floors buzzing with the energy and enthusiasm of doctoral-level students who are in training to become clinical psychologists. These student therapists represent part of the student body of Palo Alto University’s Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), and along with the 15 licensed clinical psychologists who supervise them—they are the lifeblood of the Center.

Since it was established in 1988, The Gronowski Center (formerly the Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Clinic) has steadfastly remained dedicated to the vision of one of its founders, Mr. Kurt Gronowski.  As a Holocaust survivor who moved to this country with no more than several dollars in his pocket, Mr. Gronowski became a highly successful businessman who was determined to find a way to give back to the community, a community that had so generously provided him with opportunities he never could have imagined possible when he first arrived in this country. 

Having endured his own psychological suffering during the Holocaust, Mr. Gronowski envisioned helping ease the psychological pain of the underserved in the community. It was out of this vision and in collaboration with PGSP’s clinical faculty that the Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Clinic was born. Remaining true to the spirit surrounding its founding, the Center is a community-based mental health clinic that provides evidence-based low-cost psychotherapy to children, adolescents and adults in the community who might not otherwise be able to access services in the predominantly upscale areas in which the Center is located. To this day, the Center remains one of the only community-based mental health clinics to offer evidence-based psychotherapy on a sliding-scale basis.

For those of you inclined to continue your tour of the Center, you’ll find a state-of-the-art training clinic, which recently underwent an extensive renovation. The Center has 11 therapy rooms, each equipped with video-recording capabilities. PGSP’s faculty and administrators have long held the belief that to ensure that clinicians-in-training deliver the highest quality of care, clinical supervisors need to be able to watch them doing therapy, not simply listen to them talk about how they do therapy. Because of this commitment, student therapists are required to review their videotaped therapy sessions with their supervisors on a weekly basis.

Among the Center’s supervisors are those who are fluent in Spanish, Cantonese, Taishanese, and Hebrew. Because the Center’s supervising staff is comprised of generalists as well as those with expertise in their particular fields of practice, clients who are looking for more specialized services may find they have come to the right place. Not only does the Center house one of the first training clinics in the nation to develop evidence-based psychological services to sexual and gender identity minorities, it is also home to one of the first specialty clinics focusing on the treatment of debilitating shyness/social anxiety. 

If, while on your tour, you have the opportunity to peek into one of the Center’s therapy rooms, you might witness a CBT-based social anxiety group in progress; in another room, you might observe a child client engaged in sandplay. Or, perhaps, you’ll come upon the Center’s psychiatrist performing a low-cost medication evaluation, a service the Center offers to any of its active psychotherapy clients.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed your tour of The Gronowski Center. For more information about its services including psychological assessments, mindfulness-based meditation groups, and early intervention for victims of trauma, please visit the Center’s website at or call 650-961-9300. The Gronowski Center is conveniently located at the intersection of El Camino Real and Rengstorff Avenue in Los Altos and is easily accessible by bus (VTA Route 22).

1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(800) 818-6136
(650) 433-3888 FAX