GayTherapyLA had the pleasure in April (2018) to hire Matthew Allen, MA, APCC, who is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, working as a new Associate Clinician on weekday mornings and weekends at the GayTherapyLA offices on San Vicente near Sixth in LA/Beverly Hills. I caught up with Matthew to ask him about himself, and the therapy he offers…
1. What would you like your clients to know about you?
Thank you! I’m excited to be joining the GayTherapyLA team! By offering morning and weekend appointments, I am able to accommodate busy schedules to help make your session a meaningful experience, rather than a chore that must be worked in. Helping you is my passion!
2. Tell me about your educational background as a therapist.
I earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Siena Heights University in my home state, Michigan. I gained clinical experience assessing, diagnosing, and treating a variety of mental health issues within underserved populations at Family Medical Center. A unique feature of my graduate program was the emphasis on building hope, resilience, and the human spirit and using these to cope with minor and major life stressors.
3. What kinds of therapy techniques do you use?
I have an extensive Fine Art background, in addition to a degree in art history, so I love using expressive arts techniques such as collage, painting, and journaling to facilitate and foster communication, discovery, awareness, and expression.
4. What makes you especially valuable for therapy for the gay male community?
As a gay man, I understand the socio-cultural norms and moirés specific to the gay community. I bring that first-hand knowledge, as well as clinical experience with gay men, to the therapeutic relationship.
5. What’s your favorite part about your work as a therapist?
I worked with a female client in her late fifties experiencing depression and low self-esteem. During our work together, she gained awareness of negative thoughts, beliefs, and self-talk, and knowledge of how these informed her behavior and self-esteem, and gave her the tools to reframe these to build positive self-esteem. She gained awareness of her self-worth being tied to her identity and role as caretaker, and that the depression she was experiencing was linked to the loss of that role. She was then able to explore her identity outside the role of caretaker with greater awareness and improved self-image. I help clients move through that process, from depression or stress to a better state of emotional well-being.
6. How have experiences in your own life influenced your work as a therapist?
The greatest influence on me becoming a good therapist was being surrounded by Eastern philosophy as a child. This has given me an understanding of life and the human condition that shaped how I approach and work with my clients.
7. What kind of clients do you work best with?
My core client focus is women in md-life and gay men with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and identity issues. If this sounds like you or someone you know, give me a call!
Matthew is in the office with appointments available Monday through Friday mornings, or on Saturdays/Sundays. For more information, for a consultation, or to make an appointment, call/text 517-918-2657, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.