Gillian MartensonLCSW

Headshot of Gillian Martenson LCSW

Availability

In Eastern Time

What is your style/approach to therapy?

My style is relational, and I am able to tailor my approach to the unique needs of each person with an emphasis on choice, self-determination, and collaboration. I rely heavily on a variety of evidence-based practices I have learned throughout my 25+ years in the field, including Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness practice, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed practice, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Behavioral Activation and more. I take a strengths-based, person-centered, collaborative approach to the therapeutic relationship. YOU are the primary expert on yourself. I walk alongside clients on their journey and use my expertise to help them to define and reach the goals most important to them. I strive to create a safe environment which can be both a soft-landing spot for clients to decompress from life’s stress, and a place for you to grow and stretch towards your fullest potential. I am assertive enough to give you a gentle push when you are ready, aware enough to give you space and time when you need it, and humble enough to talk about it when I make mistakes. I take your mental health very seriously, therefore it is absolutely, positively essential that I infuse humor in this work. It’s my favorite coping strategy! I strive to be gentle, yet direct. I hope to help clients identify patterns of behavior that no longer serve them, and to find new and better strategies to withstand life’s many challenges.

What do you view as a key component of the therapeutic relationship?

Trust is everything! I am committed to being a person clients can trust and creating an environment that is non-judgmental, supportive, informative, and transparent. Trust is built when clients feel seen, heard, and cared about by their therapist. A trusting relationship allows clients to open up and share deeply, as well as gain powerful insights that allow for progress and growth.

What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?

I think social work may have chosen me as much as I chose it. My “formal” history goes back to my nomination to my high school’s Peer Counseling program. As a young adult, I felt pulled by my values to work with some of my communities’ most vulnerable people, in shelters, inpatient hospitals, recovery programs, and supportive housing programs for people exiting homelessness. The experiences were challenging and fulfilling. They allowed me to get to know so many different types of people in so many different circumstances. My work experiences gave me the opportunity to work with folx from many different cultures, races, ages, sexual orientations, sexual identities. I have provided services to folx with issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief and loss, substance use disorders, people living with HIV/AIDS or other chronic illness, personality disorders, people with co-occurring disorders, those experiencing homelessness, families, children, veterans, seniors, and so much more. I have had the opportunity to develop and implement a variety of evidence-based practices, which formed the foundation of my approach. The COVID-19 pandemic made many of us reevaluate what is most important to us at this time in our lives, and I am no exception. Although I enjoyed having a large-scale impact as a Senior Manager, the parts of my jobs that I have always enjoyed most are when I’m talking with people and helping them to achieve their goals. I also wanted to shift my work-life balance to include more flexibility. Being a therapist allows me to spend more time doing the things I find most fulfilling about Social Work, and less time on paperwork and red tape. I am so grateful to be able to use my energy doing the things I love the most! My experiences have led me to develop expertise in anxiety, depression, substance, abuse, co-occurring disorders, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, individuals with chronic/terminal illness, professionals working in helping fields, work-place stressors, relationship stress, post-partum anxiety, parents of young children.

Specialties

Depression

Anxiety

Addiction

Caregiver stress & support

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

General Expertise

Depression

Anxiety

Work Stress

Self-Esteem

Social Anxiety

Caregiver stress & support

Chronic illness

Family issues

Fees

$100

First Session

$100

Individual Therapy

Types of Therapy

Individual Session

Clientele

Parents

Young Adults (18-24)

Adults (25-65)

Seniors (65+)

Adolescents (13-17)

Treatment Approaches / Modalities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Mindfulness Practices

Strength Based Therapy

Culturally Sensitive Therapy

Family Systems Therapy

Feminist Therapy

Humanistic Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Training / Certifications

Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner

Licensure

PA, LCSW, CW017471

Education

Master's in Social Work, New York University

Work History

I started my career in behavioral health in 1996. I have a BA in psychology from the University of Delaware and a Master’s in Social Work from New York University. I spent 20 years of my career working at internationally recognized non-profit organizations in NYC and Philadelphia, serving on the Senior Management Teams of the Center for Urban Community Services (NYC) and Project HOME (Philly). I initially became an LCSW 2009 in NY state, and have been licensed in PA since 2012. I have extensive experience directly supervising those in leadership & management positions using my clinical skills and Trauma-Informed lens to inform my supervision style, as well as leading teams of staff providing direct, social services across a large spectrum of specialties, roles, and professional experience. I am a skilled trainer & presenter, and bring teaching & coaching techniques to my work. I have had success facilitating meetings on an extensive array of difficult subjects, with sensitivity.

Location

Philadelphia, 19125, PA