How are you adjusting as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and we move into summer?
I am flexible and compassionate while providing professional, therapeutic support for those trying to figure stuff out, make transitions or life adjustments.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
I work with individuals, couples and groups impacted by relationships with:
Adult Children of Alcoholics ~ Addiction ~ Anxiety ~ Depression ~ Divorce
Emotional Awareness ~ Men’s Issues ~ PTSD ~ Relationships ~ Self-Esteem ~ Trauma
Since March of of 2020 I have consistently provided telehealth (online, remote therapy) for my clients in the state of California. If you are interested in exploring a therapeutic relationship, would like to gather more information or want to schedule an intake session for therapy:
EXPLORING, STARTING OR CONTINUING PSYCHOTHERAPY
Welcome to my website and congratulations on getting here! Starting (or returning to) therapy and exploring a new relationship with a therapist are big steps and they may be difficult decisions. Taking this step says a lot about you and your commitment to effect change in your life. I believe that every person is on their own unique journey with variable timing, obstacles and unique “forks in the road.” These things may summon, challenge or confound even the most capable people. As a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in the state of California, I am at different times a witness, an ally and collaborator with those facing choice-points or cross-roads in their lives. Material on this website is provided to assist you in making informed decisions about psychotherapy and your well-being.
SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
PSYCHOTHERAPY AND MY PRACTICE
Psychotherapy works in part by building a supportive, trusting relationship allows for the open exploration 0f thoughts, feelings and experiences. I provide a warm, accepting and transparent environment where this can happen.
BENEFITS AND EXPECTATIONS
Psychotherapy can provide significant benefits to people who undertake it. These benefits include enhanced contentment, a sense of well-being, more satisfying relationships, greater personal awareness and insist. You may also improve your skills for confronting challenges and dealing with change. However, psychotherapy does not work for everyone and no therapist can guarantee results. Your active participation, commitment and engagement with therapy are essential for change.
CHALLENGES AND SELF-DETERMINATION
Therapeutic exploration may stir up uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, frustration, anger, anxiety, shame or guilt. Some people experience periods of depression as they work through issues. There is also the flip side where some clients experience a feeling of joy or sensations of relief and freedom. Psychotherapy may also lead to some vital decisions about personal relationships and it is important to recognize that you are entirely in charge of these decisions.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
~ Carl Jung
* * *
“Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
~ Brené Brown
MY TREATMENT APPROACH AND MY CLIENTS
Working closely with clients clarify their concerns and identify issues is part of the therapeutic journey. I assist folks in seeing their forest through their trees. I embrace a person-centered approach and a belief that people are innately good (humanistic psychology). Depending on situations, I may use any combination of mindfulness, experiential, solution-focused or depth psychotherapy to effect the desired goal for clients. With couples, emotionally focused therapy is my primary approach.
We often reflect on the impact of behaviors and explore alternative choices to help clients work through familiar or newly discovered obstacles. I offer compassionate respect for the myriad ways that everyday challenges, substance use (motivational interviewing) and family history (family systems) can inhibit healthy, fulfilling lives.
~ TESTIMONIALS ~
“Given where I am today because of the help you facilitated, I say thank you. I will forever be
grateful for you and your guidance. Always remember how important your work is and how
appreciated you and your services were to me and probably to all of your clients.” — Anhjia Lisbey
“Michael strongly encourages us to be clear and concise — and to own our statements through the use of “I” rather than
the depersonalizing “you.” Emotions are skittish. I believe it takes the skillful reassurance of professionals like Michael
and the supportive affirmation of groups like his to coax them into the open.” — Jason Rogers
EMDR THERAPY (Provided Remotely)
OTHER TRAUMA TREATMENTS
There are times in therapy when a stored memory of a stressful or traumatic event triggers a response that could benefit from an alternative therapy. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) was developed in 1987 for the treatment of PTSD. This therapeutic approach allows clients to reprocess memories that lead to peaceful resolutions and a new learning about one’s self and the disturbing event. My training in EMDR therapy has been with Stephen Dansiger at The Institute for Creative Mindfulness.
OTHER TRAUMA RELATED TREATMENTS
I also support clients in dealing with stressors through the use of community resiliency model (CRM), trauma resiliency model (TRM) and integrative breath therapy (IBT). These are biologically based skills that help individuals restore balance in their body, mind and spirit. By becoming trauma-informed and resiliency-focused, clients are able to reduce common human reactions related to stressful or traumatic experiences.
We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do,
and more in the light of what they suffer.
~ Dietrich BonHoffer
By nature, I am heart-centered and authentic. With my extensive experience as a personal growth facilitator and therapist, I have had the privilege to interact with myriad individuals, couples and groups for more than 20 years. Engaging with others on their paths of recovery, healing and self-empowerment continues to be my calling! I have worked with mentors and colleagues at substance-abuse treatment centers as well as non-profit organizations (SCCC, Inside Circle, Am Vets Freedom And Honor Team, H.E.R. Organization and The ManKind Project ).
I hold a BA and MA in Communications from Rowan University in New Jersey— where I spent many formative years and I earned my Master of Science Degree in Counseling with an Emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Northridge (CSUN). My formal education at CSUN and training with diverse populations at The Southern California Counseling Center (SCCC) have deepened my overall view of psychotherapy and enhanced it through a postmodern lens. I continue to do my work in this area with my pronouns being he and him.
NON-PROFIT AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult— once we truly understand and accept it— then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
~ M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
~ Individual sessions are 50 minutes.
~ Couples, Family and EMDR therapy sessions are 60 to 90 minutes.
~ Group sessions are 60 minutes.
~ I work out-of-network and accept most forms of payment.
~ I am offering a sliding scale for new clients as we emerge from the pandemic.
I understand some of the challenges of finding and selecting a therapist. One of my intentions when designing this website was to provide helpful information for those seeking therapeutic support. Hopefully your visit will be beneficial to you. Reach out by phone or email with any questions or if you are interested in scheduling an initial session. My best wishes as you continue on your path!
~ Michael Pierce, MS, MA, LMFT #118044
~ p. 310-692-1427
“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.
If you follow someone else’s way, you may not realize your own potential.”
~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey