Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
I provide compassionate and professional therapeutic support for those who may be exploring relationship concerns, working through life’s challenges or negotiating transitions.
Whatever your situation may be, I hope the info here (including the 25 hyperlinks) provides you with some comfort, guidance or reassurance.
MY CLIENTS AND THEIR CONCERNS
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 teletherapy (online, remote therapy).
If you are interested in exploring a therapeutic relationship or want to schedule an intake session for therapy:
EXPLORING, STARTING OR CONTINUING THERAPY
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, trusted 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 that allows for the open exploration 0f thoughts, feelings and experiences. I provide a warm, accepting and transparent environment where this can happen.
CHALLENGES, 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. 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 some of their issues. There is also another dimension where clients experience joy or sensations of relief and freedom. Therapy may also lead to unexpected discoveries about your relationships that may prompt changes to some of the “normal” in your life.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
“Know the theories, master the techniques, but as you touch a human soul—be another human soul.”
~ Carl Jung
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“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-based (MBCT), experiential, internal family systems (IFS) 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 trusting 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
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 interacted 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 Master of Science Degree in Counseling with an Emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Northridge (CSUN). I had previously earned a BA and MA in Communications from Rowan University in New Jersey. My formal education at CSUN and training with diverse populations at The Southern California Counseling Center (SCCC) have deepened and enhanced my overall view of psychotherapy through a postmodern lens.
NON-PROFIT AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
MEN'S WORK AND THE MEDIA
What's going on inside the male brain?
“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 ($150-200/session)
~ Couples, Family & EMDR therapy sessions are 60 to 75 minutes ($175-200/session)
~ Group sessions are usually 90 minutes (variable rates)
~ I work out-of-network and accept most forms of payment
~ I provide sliding scale rates for new clients who are in need
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