Matthew McLean


Matthew McLean


Telehealth Available
Professions: Counselor, Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - #115650
Billing and Insurance:
I am an in-network provider for:
  • Optum/United Health Care
Fees: $200 per session for individuals, and $250 for couples and families, during normal business hours Tuesday - Friday at Matthew McLean Family Therapy, Inc. (MMFT) in Westlake Village, CA. Insurance clients are seen via Telehealth through Change Within Reach, Inc. only (not MMFT). Please note I do not take insurance for couple or family therapy.

If you are thinking about starting therapy, or are looking for a new therapist, it is easy to get started: give me call and let's talk about what you are looking for and what you need.
Weekend Availability
Evening Availability


141 Duesenberg Dr
Westlake Village, California 91362
17777 Ventura Blvd
Encino, California 91316

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My Approach to Helping

Are you struggling? I can help you learn to recognize and modify the beliefs and behaviors holding you back. Experience has taught me the best thing you can do to help yourself is to take action--my job is to help you figure out what you want or need to do to create change and cope effectively. From there, I will help you identify and develop the tools, resources, and motivation to enable you to do it. The idea is that small changes really can and do lead to big results--and most importantly, they can create a key element in lasting change: momentum. I see this happen every day in my practice. Together we will develop strategies to help you cope and thrive.

By now you know you cannot keep doing what you are doing and expect things to just fix themselves. For things to change, you will have to change them. For things to be different, things have to actually BE different. This is why you are here, reading this right now--and by doing so, you are already doing something different, something good for you.. Together, we can help you identify and develop the resources you need to cope with the problems that brought you here today. Give me a call or send me an email and let's figure out how I can help you help yourself.

More Info About My Practice

In-person and Telehealth sessions are available through my private practice, Matthew McLean Family Therapy, Inc. (MMFT) in Westlake Village. Telehealth is available for clients throughout California, and many MMFT clients have the option of combining in-office sessions with Telehealth sessions.

I am a lifetime member of the Entertainment Industry Therapist Finder (EITF), which is now managed by Many of my clients are in the TV, Film, Music, and related industries, and include everyone from production, crew, and talent to writers, executives, management, artists, editors, etc.

LGBTQ: I am a vocal ally and I welcome people of all orientations.
I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

There are many reasons people seek therapy, and a few of the most common issues I can help with are listed below. If what you need help with is not listed, I may still be able to help. However, if I cannot, I will tell you right away so you can find the help you need.

* Individuals: I can help with the following: depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, relationship and divorce recovery, identity development, self-esteem, self-advocacy, life changes, stage-of-life issues, ending a relationship, stress management, feeling "lost" ("What do I want to do with my life?"), loneliness, isolation, and finding a path that makes you truly happy. Helping people build the self-esteem needed to love themselves and take control of their lives is a major component of my work. I can also help you learn to manage and improve relationships with your: partner, spouse, parents, children, siblings, friends, coworkers, etc. I work with stable adults over the age of 18 who are not actively engaged in substance abuse.

* Couples: If you are willing to do the work, I can help you learn to communicate more effectively, be more empathetic, and to be the loving supportive partner you want to be. I can help you figure out how to move forward through difficult times, and chart a path towards your specific relationship goals. Employing respect, kindness, and a willingness to grow and adapt is how people and relationships prosper. Change takes work, and commitment to the process. If you are willing to embrace these concepts, I can help you change your relationship.

* Families: I can help with relationships, parenting and co-parenting, divorce, blended families, relocating, changes in the family system (additions, losses, etc.; e.g. the in-laws are moving in, mental or physical illness), and learning to function well as a family while owning a business. I can help you identify patterns in family relationships which impact the ability to function in a healthy manner, and help you learn to create and enjoy a fulfilling family relationship. Families are like complex machines which require all their parts to function properly so they can work effectively. If something is broken or missing, the machine may need adjusting or repair so it can work properly again. Navigating such challenges is one of my areas of specialty. I am specifically trained to help people with all aspects of the relationships in their lives: family, partner, spouse, social, career, and most importantly, with themselves.

* Entrepreneurs, founders and executives: before becoming a therapist, I worked in various capacities including: business and systems analysis, IT project management, and as a strategic planning, organizational management, and marketing consultant. I have also founded and run companies in several industries, including information technology, retail services, and consulting. I understand the world of business, founders, management, and executives. I get what it is like to deal with a terrible boss, relentless pressure, workplace bullies, moving up the ladder and finding yourself suddenly managing your peers, RIFs, inept management, etc. I understand the stress of having direct reports and being responsible for a department, a major project, or an entire organization. I have been there. I also understand the unique stressors of entrepreneurs: you do everything--it is all on the line, every day, and nobody loves your company as much as you do. If work stresses you out, follows you home and keeps you up at night, or has become so much of your identity that you can't remember who you were before, or how to have FUN any more, I get it. I can help you learn to manage the stress, and make life decisions you feel good about at work, and at home.

* Men: Let me first point out that I work with everyone, regardless of gender or orientation. Helping with self-esteem, life and career issues, or their relationships is one of the most rewarding parts of my work. Many of my clients are men facing such challenges, and my collaboration with this population is central to my work. More information is available on my website.

*Entertainment Industry professionals: I work with people from many areas of the industry: cast, crew, executives, production, management, actors, writers, editors, show runners, hair and make-up artists, musicians, etc., from PA to EP, from talent to EIC and DP. I understand the demands your profession places on you and on the people in your life. The 65-hr weeks, production cycles, being on location, tough choices and hard decisions, and lack of job security a freelance career in the industry can bring to your life can be frustrating and draining. Contrary to what many people think, entertainment industry work is not glamorous--it is a tough, grueling life which takes a lot out of you. I can help you find healthy ways to manage the stress and anxiety of the industry lifestyle, figure out what beneficial self-care looks like in your world, and make the most of your precious free time so you can lead a happy, healthy life.

My Role as a Therapist

My role as a therapist is to be in your corner, helping you address the issues which brought you to therapy. I can help you figure out why you may be "stuck", and help you identify resources and strategies to get you unstuck. We will work together to help you make the changes necessary to create the life you really want. When challenges seem to block your path, I can help you regroup, take stock, heal, set goals, and take specific action to move forwards towards those goals. I can't do it for you (nobody can), but I will help you chart your path, and figure out what to do next.

Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist

There are many important factors to consider when choosing a therapist. Here are some I consider very important:

1) Therapeutic Alliance
Research indicates the most important factor contributing to success in therapy is the relationship you build with your therapist. To determine whether you may be a good fit, I suggest giving the therapist a call to get a feel for them. I offer a free, brief, zero-pressure phone consultation for this reason. If we seem to be a good fit, we can schedule an initial session. Getting to know each other over the first few sessions to is a normal part of the process of choosing a therapist, and you should not feel badly if it turns out a therapist is not the right fit for you. If either of us feels we are not a good fit, let's talk about it. Making sure you get the help you need, in a manner that works for you, is what matters most to both of us.

2) Specializations & Theoretical Orientations
Specializations are areas where a therapist has specific knowledge and experience. My areas of specialization are discussed on my website (link at the bottom). A therapist will usually have a small number of primary theoretical orientations, and may be skilled in additional therapeutic techniques. I consider myself a Solution-Focused, Narrative, Family Systems therapist for good reason: I attended a renowned Family Systems-oriented graduate school, and studied postmodern Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT) and Narrative Therapy techniques as my areas of concentration, as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I combine these with Family Systems Therapy for a unique, multi-faceted approach to therapy, one which takes your intrinsic resilient traits and ability to adapt and change, your personal narrative, your ability to access to internal and external resources, and your experiences within your family of origin into account.

You may not know what any of that means, so here is a quick summary:
a) Solution-Focused Therapy focuses on utilizing a person's internal and external resources, harnessing their existing skills and resilient traits to find solutions to problems, and focuses on moving forward.
b) Narrative Therapy separates the person from the problem and encourages the individual to re-author their internal storynarrative by learning to discover and draw upon on their own positive experiences, with the goal of minimizing the role and effect of harmful past experiences.
c) Family Systems Therapy is a mode of therapy in which a person's experiences in their family system are explored in terms of the meaning they create in their life and how they affect their relationships.
d) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is mode of therapy in which the goal is to change patterns of thinking and behavior, resulting in a change in the way you act and feel. The idea is to change the way you think, which affects the way you behave, which in turn changes the way you feel. In contrast, I also believe it works in the opposite direction as well: changing the way you act can change the way you feel, which can change the way you think. An important part of my philosophy is: whether you think you can or you can't, you're right. My job is to help you believe you can, and then prove it to yourself.

3) Education
I believe a quality education makes a difference. A psychology BA from California Lutheran University prepared me for graduate-level psychology coursework at Phillips Graduate Institute, and allowed me to thoroughly explore the field before selecting a specific graduate program. I chose PGI's Marriage and Family Therapy postgrad MA program because it offered exactly what I wanted: a rigorous, practical, hands-on curriculum which would equip me to help individuals, couples, and families with their struggles. In addition, the postmodern Solution-Focused and Narrative Therapy concentration at PGI equipped me to help people create a better future for themselves in ways no other specialization can.

I look forward to speaking with you, and to discovering how I can be of service to you. If you would like to discuss working together, give me a call or send me an email. Let's find out if we are a good fit.


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Services I Provide

  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Telehealth

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Individuals, couples, families, entrepreneurs, executives, creatives, men, and TV, Film, and Entertainment industry professionals

Industries & Communities Served

  • Education
  • Entertainment Industry
  • LGBTQ+
  • Self-Employed and Freelance Professionals

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Academic Concerns
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Breakup
  • Bullying
  • Career Choice
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Control Issues
  • Depression
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Habits
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Individuation
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Jealousy
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Men's Issues
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Money and Financial Issues
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Panic
  • Parenting
  • Perfectionism
  • Rejection
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

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