Methods and systems for transvenously accessing the pericardial space via the vascular system and atrial wall, particularly through the superior vena cava and right atrial wall, to deliver treatment in the pericardial space are disclosed. A steerable instrument is advanced transvenously into the right atrium of the heart, and a distal segment is deflected into the right atrial appendage. A fixation catheter is advanced employing the steerable instrument to affix a distal fixation mechanism to the atrial wall. A distal segment of an elongated medical device, e.g., a therapeutic catheter or an electrical medical lead, is advanced through the fixation catheter lumen, through the atrial wall, and into the pericardial space. The steerable guide catheter is removed, and the elongated medical device is coupled to an implantable medical device subcutaneously implanted in the thoracic region. The fixation catheter may be left in place.