My approach to treatment is very much informed by how I try to live my own life. As the saying goes “teachers teach what they most need to learn themselves”. I am not a big proponent of some of earlier styles of Psychoanalytic treatment whereby the therapist gives little information to the client about themselves, and then waits passively for the patient to begin a process of “projection”. While I do think boundaries are very important within the therapeutic relationship, boundaries that are too rigid can impede treatment and create an atmosphere of distrust on the part of the client. Oprah Winfrey was once asked the question in an interview “what do you know for sure”. She was so stumped by the question that she started to use the question in her own interviews with some of her guests. So here is one thing that I know for sure after 20 years of practice: Clients cannot heal in an environment where they do not feel safe. So, first and foremost, my job is to create a therapeutic relationship that fosters a sense of safety. Once that is established, exploration of things that may have once seemed to be too frightening to look at, suddenly seem less daunting and manageable to explore.
I first sought out a therapist at the age of 19 myself. It was the best decision I could have ever made for myself. The specific reasons for going are not important, but what I will say is that even though I pursued and received a great formal education; participating in therapy myself is what really prepared me for the work ahead. The reason why Psychotherapy is useful for all people, not just those struggling with a mental illness, is simple. As human beings, when we are heavily steeped in a situation, it is challenging for us to see ourselves clearly without an objective outside accountability partner. A therapist is a friendly partner or coach, who can help us see our blind spots. And since all of us are human beings- we all have them. Therapy provides us with the tools needed to create more freedom in our lives. We learn how to navigate relationships with greater sophistication, care, and subtlety. I would venture to say that these skills are useful for all who are trying to be their best in any area of their life.
I am a very process oriented therapist, and so while I believe setting goals is important in therapy; I believe self-exploration should precede any attempts to concretize goals. From my perspective, the first “goal” would be for me to collaborate with the client and to simply explore some of the concerns that prompted them to seek out a therapist in the first place. There is plenty of “grist for the mill” in that one question alone. Goals will reveal themselves along the way as the individual evolves and gains more self- awareness.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Race & Cultural Identity
Abuse/Survivors of abuse
Young Adults (18-24)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Strength Based Therapy
Culturally Sensitive Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Qualified State Supervisor Florida
Licensed Clinical Social Worker State of Florida
FL, LCSW, SW7140
Alumni of New York University
Rutgers University Undergrad
The very first years of my career were devoted to the treatment of persons with significant mental illness. This included being in a mobile van, and being called out to various residences in the community where family might be having difficulty with a loved one. Often instances where the person was Psychotic or under the influence and could not determine for themselves that they were in need of treatment. This allowed me the opportunity to make every effort to intervene so that a client could avoid being mandated to treatment. In the instances where that could not be avoided, I learned to use the Florida Baker act laws with great discretion in the event that the individual was in need of involuntary care. During this time, I was also working in Private Practice part-time and most of these clients either did not have a mental illness, or their diagnosis was not persistent and severe, The clients in this setting afforded me the opportunity to treat clients in a completely different environment. It was important to me that at least in the beginning of my career to be exposed to every variation with regard to acuity. I wanted to be a therapist capable of working with many different kinds of clients, so that I could be helpful to as many people as possible. I wanted my perspective to be as broad as possible. This remains the same today as I have balanced my time between acute settings, and private practice. As of recent I have let go of practicing in acute settings such as inpatient care, and my focus is now geared toward private practice alone.
414 28th St W, Chad Spencer, Palmetto, 34221, FL