Dr. John Rettger

Dr. Rettger is a San Diego-based licensed psychologist (CA license PSY27863) and staff psychologist at The Center for Men’s Excellence. His psychotherapeutic focus uses a holistic approach to mental health that is grounded in research and evidence-based methods such as Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavior Therapy for children (8 years old+), adolescents, and adults. Dr. Rettger works also works with couples and families. 

Dr. Rettger’s previous work at Stanford University focused on researching and delivering mindfulness interventions in community settings was featured on the PBS Newshour (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/low-income-students-combat-stress-mindfulness). He recently co-edited a book (https://www.appi.org/Products/Child-and-Adolescent-Psychiatry/Applied-Mindfulness) published by the American Psychiatric Association Publishing about the applications of mindfulness for mental health across community and treatment settings. 

Dr. Rettger currently conducts online mindfulness instruction through a collaboration with Stanford University’s Early Life Stress & Resilience Program where he previously directed mindfulness programming, and Pure Edge, Inc., where Dr. Rettger served as a consultant and research collaborator. 

Doctoral Studies

Dr. Rettger attended Duquesne University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA for undergraduate (Business & Information Technology) and graduate studies (M.S.Ed. child psychology concentration). He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) in Palo Alto, CA. During his doctoral studies his research concentrated on spiritually integrative approaches to psychotherapeutic healing. Dr. Rettger completed his pre-doctoral training at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology’s Community Center for Health & Wellness and post-doctoral training hours at the Stanford Early Life Stress Research Program. 


Dr. Rettger specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, stress, and depression among children, adolescents, and adults. He utilizes evidence-based therapy modalities including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He utilizes the research supported Gottman Method for couple’s therapy. Drawing from his research expertise, Dr. Rettger integrates mindfulness and relaxation techniques into psychotherapy for holistic well-being.

Please call 858-609-1549 or contact us to schedule an appointment.