Matthew McLean, MA, MFTI
|Professions: Counseling, Marriage & Family Therapy, Psychotherapy|
|License Status: I'm a therapist practicing under supervision|
|Primary Credential: Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern - IMF 87443|
Billing and Insurance
Fees: I accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, check or cash payment. As well, a significant portion of the cost for therapy may be covered by your PPO health insurance (this is the most common kind of employer-provided health insurance). My office (Change Within Reach, Inc.) works with PPO insurance companies as an out of network provider.
Within reason, I also offer a sliding scale to those who need it. If you need help, you need help--that is why you are here, and it is also why I am here. If you or someone you love needs help, please give me a call and we can talk about your situation.
See other therapists in Encino, CA.
Experience has taught me that small changes can produce big results. I can help you learn to recognize and change patterns in your life and figure out how to cope and thrive amidst the pressure and challenges of our stressful, frustrating world. I offer safe, confidential, and effective therapy for issues related to relationships, self-esteem, families, depression, anxiety, divorce, life-stage issues, stress and change management, and codependency. I also help with mood, adjustment, and personality disorders.
For things to be different, things have to BE different. If you are reading this, you are already doing something good for yourself, or someone you love. Together, we can figure out what you can do differently to make changes and improve your relationships and other areas of your life. Together, we can identify and develop the resources needed to cope with the problems that brought you to my page today. Please give me a call to discover how I can help.
Who I work with: individuals, families, and couples, including adults, adolescents, and elders. I am a vocal LGBTQ ally and a firm believer in equality for everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
Email or Call Matthew McLean, MA, MFTI at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 26705
More Info About My Practice
My office is located on Ventura Blvd in Encino near White Oak. I believe it should be easy for you to actually get to your therapist. For this reason, my offices are on the ground floor (no stairs required) of a modern, professional office building, close to the 101 freeway (White Oak exit). Parking is always free in our private lot. If you do not drive, there is a bus stop in front of the building. I work with Change within Reach, Inc. a professional clinical therapy group, under the supervision of Anna Gershelis, Ph.D., LCSW.
I offer a sliding scale to those who need it. Within reason, I try not to turn anyone away for financial reasons. Let me know if I can help in this area, and if I can help, I will. (Access to sliding scale rates is income-based, and is subject to approval and availability of sliding-scale appointments.)
My Role as a Therapist
As a Solution-Focused, Narrative, and Family Systems therapist, I specialize in helping people find the strength and resources needed to make lasting changes in their lives. The unusual combination of SFT, Narrative, and Family Systems approaches allows me to help you quickly discover ways to become resilient while also uncovering behavioral and relationship patterns in your family of origin which may be affecting you. In my work with individuals, couples, and families facing challenges, I am a facilitator and guide, helping you learn, explore, discover, and grow. I can help you identify and make the most of the tools in your toolbox, and develop new ones if needed.
My role as a therapist is to be in your corner. I can help you identify patterns and problems, formulate effective strategies for reducing their impact on your life, and help you move past them into the life you want and deserve. This might mean helping you figure out what makes you happy in terms of a career, and then developing a fulfilling career path. Or perhaps it involves helping you cope with depression or anxiety, or a lack of self-esteem. It may involve learning to adapt or live with a mental health disorder, or helping a couple or family cope with a crisis, loss, infidelity, or divorce. I promise to always give you 100% in my role as your therapist. Your well-being is my primary concern at all times.
My Guiding Ethical Principles
I am a lifelong believer in equality for everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, culture, skin color, ethnicity, physical attributes, disabilities, etc. We are all people--period.
I believe in advocating for yourself, and in equipping those who struggle in this area with the tools and resources needed to do so effectively. A good portion of my work consists of helping people learn to do this--a process that often includes increasing self-esteem and self love.
I believe in the truth. It is important yo be honest with yourself about why you are going to therapy, as well as about things which may get in your way. It is perfectly okay to be intimidated, discouraged, or even afraid of making changes. Admitting to yourself that there are aspects of your life you do not like can be scary and uncomfortable. A key to success in therapy is to be honest about it (with yourself) so you can uncover the hidden obstacles preventing you from realizing your goals.
I believe everyone has the right to lead a happy, fulfilling life. It is easy to become convinced otherwise when someone (spouse, partner, parent, sibling, boss, friend, and even a stranger) hurts, manipulates, or lies to you, or behaves as though your needs are not important. Undoing the damage done by such experiences--questioning, dismantling and replacing the limiting beliefs such experiences can generate is an important part of my work. This principal guides many of my philosophies, and is one of the primary reasons I became a therapist. I believe everyone has the right to be treated well, and with respect, both by other people and themselves.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Research in the field indicates the most important factor in success in therapy is the relationship between you and your therapist. How well you connect is key in determining how effective the alliance between you will be. I encourage you to have a telephone conversation before booking an appointment. If they sound like someone you want to try, book a session. You will be able to tell soon enough if you click together. In addition, you may also wish to consider the therapist's specialties, treatment methods, education, and professional interests. A few examples:
* What areas does their practice focus on?
Mine: relationships, depression, anxiety, divorce recovery, self-esteem, cultivating resilience, stress and change management for families, couples, and individuals
* What was the subject of their thesis or dissertation? (Often becomes an area of expertise)
Mine: "Resilience in Adolescents Following Parental Divorce"
* What are their professional interests?
Mine: cultivating healthy, successful relationships, Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, personal growth, mood disorders, personality disorders, biological psychology, mindfulness, promoting equality, and continued education.
* What kind of education do they have?
Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Psychology. This is important, as a solid psychology undergraduate degree creates a strong foundation upon which to build a proper graduate-level education. Without it, candidates often spend the first year or two of grad school lost in terminology and theories they do not understand (desperately trying to quickly learn everything I had already learned in my 4-year undergrad degree) so they can actually do the graduate coursework. I went to two excellent schools with very rigorous psychology programs: I completed my undergraduate psychology BA (honors) at California Lutheran University (CLU) with a focus on identity development and social learning. I then completed the postgraduate psychology program at Phillips Graduate University (PGU/PGI), where I received a Master of Arts in Psychology - Marriage and Family Therapy, with a concentration in Postmodern Therapies.
* What techniques do they use?
I primarily utilize Solution-Focused Therapy, a technique which focuses on finding solutions to the problems that brought you to therapy, instead of dwelling in them. The focus is on moving forward and realizing change to make your life better than it was before. I also employ Narrative Therapy and Family Systems Therapy techniques. In addition, I employ CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Gestalt, and Humanistic techniques and interventions as needed.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
I went through my parents' divorce as a teenager, and my own kids survived mine. This means I have experienced divorce first-hand from both ends of the stick, and have made recovering from divorce (for both adults and their adolescent kids) one of my specialties. It is no surprise the subject of my thesis was: "Resilience in Adolescents Following Parental Divorce". Helping others get through the end of a relationship is a large part of why I became a therapist. This includes stress-management, depression, self-esteem, and growth work, as well as working with couples to improve their relationships before, during, and after (including learning to co-parent form separate households), as well as working to avoid divorce if possible/desired.
Other life experiences have also contributed to my personal and professional growth. These include: launching several successful companies, dealing with work/job stress (handling massive pressure, workloads, short deadlines, mean bosses), raising a family, parenting and co-parenting (especially challenging with rebellious teenagers!), immigrating to the US, going to graduate school as an adult, managing work-life balance, and others.
Services I Provide
- Family Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Individual Therapy & Counseling
- Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
Ages I Work With
Groups I Work With
I work with families, couples, individuals, adults, and teens (adolescents 11+), and am a LGBTQ ally.
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