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, and I offer a flexible sliding scale to those who need it for certain appointment times (subject to availability and income verification). If you need help, you need help--that is why you are here after all, and it is also why I am here. If you or someone you love needs help, please give me a call so we can talk about your situation and find a workable solution. I try not to turn away people who need help, within reason.
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Experience has shown me that small changes really can produce big results. I can help you learn to recognize and change patterns in your life, and develop strategies to cope and thrive amidst the pressure and challenges of our stressful world. I provide confidential, safe therapy for issues related to relationships, self-esteem, families, depression, anxiety, divorce, life-stage issues, codependency, and managing stress and change. I also treat mood, adjustment, and personality disorders.
I work with: individuals, families, and couples; adults, adolescents (12+), and elders. I am a vocal LGBTQA ally and a firm believer in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
For things to be different, things have to BE different. If you are reading this, you know you are doing something good for yourself, or for someone you love. Together, we can figure out what else you can do differently to make lasting changes in your life and relationships--especially the one you have with yourself. We can identify and develop the resources you need to cope with the problems that brought you here today. Give me a call, and let's talk about how I can help.
Email or Call Matthew McLean, MA, MFTI at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 26705
More Info About My Practice
My primary office is located on Ventura Blvd in Encino, west of 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 medical office building, close to the 101 freeway (White Oak exit). Parking is free in our private lot. If you use public transit, there is a bus stop right next door. I have a second office located on Jones Way in Simi Valley near the hospital. This office also has plenty of free parking in a private lot, and is easy to get to. I work with Change within Reach, Inc. a professional clinical therapy group, under the supervision of Anna Gershelis, Ph.D., LCSW.
My Role as a Therapist
I specialize in helping people find the strength and resources needed to make lasting changes in their lives. The unusual combination of Solution-Focused, Narrative, and Family Systems therapy techniques allows me to help you quickly discover ways to become resilient while also uncovering behavioral and relationship patterns in your life 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 cope with depression or anxiety, increasing your self-esteem, and learning to advocate (stand up) for yourself. Or perhaps it involves helping you figure out what makes you happy in terms of a career, and then developing a fulfilling career path. 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. Your well-being is my primary concern at all times, and I promise to always give you 100% in my role as your therapist.
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 by discovering who you really are--and being true to yourself.
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 normal 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 finding 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 will never, ever judge you.
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, behaving 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, terrible bosses, and mean coworkers), 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
- Individual Therapy & Counseling
- Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
Ages I Work With
Groups I Work With
Families, couples, individuals, adults, adolescents, elders, LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQA
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