Brett Richards, M.A., MFT

Psychotherapy and Counseling That Helps!

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” Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you has lived untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has had difficulty and sadness (as well as success and happiness) and remains behind yours. Were it otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to find those words…”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Where Have You Trained In Professional Psychotherapy?

Many years ago, when I began my career as a psychotherapist, I trained professionally in counseling and psychotherapy by completing an intensive 3,000-Hour Professional Psychotherapy Internship at some of Southern California’s most prestigious training centers in counseling and psychotherapy for Individuals, Couples, and Families:

  • Maple Counseling Center, Beverly Hills
  • Family Service Agency of Burbank
  • Friends of the Family, Van Nuys
  • Children’s Center, Antelope Valley
  • Neighborhood Counseling Center, Encino

In addition, I have also trained in psychotherapy at the following institution:

  • California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco

Throughout my many years of professional practice as a licensed psychotherapist, I continue my ongoing professional education in psychotherapy through voluntary professional study, consultation with professional psychotherapist colleagues, state-mandated Continuing Professional Education courses, and by voluntary participation in professional psychotherapy conferences which reinforce fundamental psychotherapy skills while learning new, cutting-edge, scientifically researched approaches to counseling and psychotherapy.

Throughout my career as a professional psychotherapist, I have gained specialized training and experience in counseling and psychotherapy methods which scientific research has shown can be very effective.

Will You Please Tell Me About Your Graduate School Education In Clinical Psychology?

Once I decided to become a professional psychotherapist, I completed Graduate School at Antioch University Los Angeles, where I earned my Master’s Degree (MA) in Clinical Psychology. I chose Antioch University, a private school specializing in professional psychotherapy, because of its distinguished reputation within the professional psychology community. Antioch is recognized as an institution dedicated to top quality education and training, and to producing excellent practitioners of counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families. I graduated top of my class.

Psychotherapy License

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
State of California
License # LMFT44025

Professional Education

Masters Degree (MA) Clinical Psychology
Antioch University, Los Angeles

Bachelor’s Degree (BA) Psychology
With Honors
California State University, Northridge

Will You Please Tell Me About Your College Education In Psychology?

Since I was a child, I have been curious about what makes people tick. By the time I got to college, I knew I wanted to major in Psychology. After careful consideration, I did my undergraduate studies in the San Fernando Valley at California State University, Northridge, where the Psychology Department has a strong reputation for high academic standards and solid, scientific-research-based education. I earned a 4.0 Grade Point Average in Psychology, and graduated with Honors, including distinguished membership in Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

Are You A Counselor, Therapist, Or Psychotherapist?

Actually, all three. The terms Counselor, Therapist, and Psychotherapist essentially mean the same thing, and are labels for a state licensed mental health professional who has earned an advanced academic degree in professional psychotherapy, and who facilitates the psychological healing and personal growth process called Counseling, Therapy, or Psychotherapy.

The term Psychotherapist simply means a therapist who deals with the “psyche,” or “mind.” It’s just a fancy way of saying Counselor or Therapist. Some people like using one of these terms, some people like two, and other people like all three.

The title you use to describe me is really a matter of what feels most comfortable for you. Regardless of my title, the therapy process I facilitate is often HIGHLY BENEFICIAL and VERY REWARDING!

Here on my psychotherapy and counseling website, and if we work together in psychotherapy as psychotherapist and client, you’ll see that I use these terms Counselor, Therapist, and Psychotherapist synonymously.

Professional Membership

AAMFT American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
CAMFT Member of the California Assocation of Marriage and Family Therapists
American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
verified by Psychology Today

Have You Ever Been In Therapy Yourself? If So, What Was It Like?

As an adult, I wanted to resolve my personal issues and improve my quality of life, so I hired a good psychotherapist and undertook my own personal therapy. This was one of the wisest and most beneficial choices I’ve ever made. Through this counseling and psychotherapy process, in which I applied myself fully, my therapist helped me arrive at a clear level of self-awareness, identify and work past many of my personal issues, develop more inner peace, and increase my effectiveness in dealing with family, relationships, friends, work, and life’s many challenges.

Are You A Better Psychotherapist Because You’ve Had Therapy Yourself?

In addition to the many personal benefits I gained through my own personal psychotherapy, I would later come to realize, as a licensed psychotherapist, how much I had also benefited professionally.

I emerged from my personal counseling and psychotherapy with a keen experiential understanding of what it’s like to be a client in therapy.

As a result, my psychotherapy skills and understandings, and my effectiveness as a psychotherapist, have been enhanced in ways that only my personal experience in therapy could have shown me, and that no professional schooling or training in psychotherapy could ever provide.

This is why most graduate schools in professional psychotherapy, including my own, require students to have experienced at least six months to a year of their own personal counseling and psychotherapy.

My personal experience in counseling and psychotherapy helps me better understand what you’re going through, and advances my ability as a psychotherapist to help you heal and improve your life.

How Did You Decide To Become A Psychotherapist?

My undergraduate studies in psychology, my meaningful experience as a client in therapy, and my desire to help people, along with my personal gifts of high intelligence, insight, and compassionate understanding showed me that being a psychotherapist is truly my calling.

Do You Apply Eastern Holistic Wisdom To Your Psychotherapy Methods?

In addition to my ongoing professional education, training, and experience in traditional western psychotherapy, my ability as a psychotherapist to help you work toward healing and improving your life through my counseling and psychotherapy services is enhanced by my additional studies since 1992 in Eastern Philosophy and Holistic Health And Wellness, as well as my regular practice of Yoga and Meditation since 1997.

Throughout the world, there are many valuable approaches to counseling, psychotherapy, and life. Integrating the best of them into effective counseling and psychotherapy services customized to your specific needs and goals, in order to best help you as my psychotherapy client, is my highest priority as a psychotherapist.

Will You Please Tell Me About Your Private Practice In Counseling And Therapy?

I am licensed in California as a Marriage And Family Therapist (License #LMFT44025), and am a Clinical Member of The American Association For Marriage And Family Therapy, The California Association Of Marriage And Family Therapists, and The American Society Of Clinical Hypnosis.

As a professional psychotherapist, I help people live happier, more satisfying lives! My professional focus is Counseling and Psychotherapy for INDIVIDUALS, COUPLES, and FAMILIES. I work with many issues, goals, and lifestyles, and focus on SOLUTIONS AND RESULTS.

Where Is Your Counseling And Therapy Office? When Do You Take Appointments?

My comfortable, peaceful counseling and psychotherapy office is located at 16255 Ventura Boulevard just East of Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino, conveniently near the 101 and 405 freeways, and is close to Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, and surrounding San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles communities.

I offer WEEKDAY, EVENING, AND SATURDAY APPOINTMENTS with FLEXIBLE FEES, and can usually schedule your first counseling and psychotherapy appointment promptly.

What’s My First Step To Get Started In Counseling And Psychotherapy?

Because selecting a psychotherapist can be meaningful and personal, I give a CONFIDENTIAL INITIAL CONSULTATION AT NO CHARGE, with absolutely no obligation, by phone or in my comfortable San Fernando Valley counseling and psychotherapy office in Encino.

As a psychotherapist, in addition to my education, training, and experience in professional psychotherapy, I’m also very accepting, non-judgmental, supportive, and kind, as well as friendly, down-to-earth, understanding, and easy to talk to.

In your consultation, you can ask me questions, tell me about your troubles and goals, and get to know me as a therapist, and I will share with you how I can help you work toward improving your life through counseling and psychotherapy.

Most psychotherapists bill for this, but I don’t, because I think you should be able to consult with me at no charge before you start therapy.

When you’re ready, I welcome your phone call or email so that together, through my counseling and psychotherapy services, we can start working to create positive, lasting changes in your life…