Interview With Newly Licensed Therapist, Sean Holcomb, LMFT

May 10, 2013 6:46 AM | Admin EBCAMFT

Q: Please tell us about your preferred theoretical stance and any particular population with whom you enjoy working.

After getting licensed I spent some time at the Mental Research Institute to focus more on strategic family therapy.  I found in my intern work with children and adolescents that my clients had far better outcomes if I had access to as many people as possible within the family system.  I also work to address symptoms that each member of the family is struggling with, and get each individual’s unique perspective on what is the family’s current difficulties.

In my private practice I work with children and adolescents through family therapy.  I do not see children or adolescents individually; I require the family’s participation in every session.  I am also a home based family therapist, in which I travel to my client’s homes and provide therapy in the comfort of their own environment.  This method provides multiple benefits. One, it allows me to observe the family in a normal and familiar environment.  With young children this means that I am getting closer to baseline behaviors than if they were to be in a foreign or new environment, which may cause hesitation or lack of acting out.  There were many times in my agency based work that I heard mother’s tell me, “They don’t act like this at home. I wish you could see them there!”

Second, it takes away one stress and barrier to therapy. Sometimes it is difficult to make and attend therapy, particularly if there are many children in the family.  I also found that when I was operating an office through agency based work, it was difficult to get a paternal figure into therapy.  Traveling to the home has given me access to many members of a system that I may not have access to on a regular basis.

Q: Where did you complete your internships and traineeship? Where did you attend graduate school for Psychology?
I graduated from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles in 2008. I was a trainee for Jewish Family Services in their school based program in Malibu, working with middle and high school students. After graduation I began working at an outpatient DMH clinic in south Los Angeles, providing therapy to children and families.  I also worked with Green Dot Public Schools, providing school based therapy to underserved populations throughout Los Angeles.  When my family moved back to the Bay Area I returned to work at Seneca Center in their school based intensive day treatment program as a classroom therapist.

Q: What work experience outside of therapy do you feel informs your work as a clinician?
Before I went to graduate school, I worked for several years as a classroom counselor in a non public school for children with severe emotional disorders.  I primarily used behavior modification techniques, but also worked to develop relationships with the students to affect change though positive and healthy interactions.  I think back to my time often when working with particularly young children, helping parents contain behaviors but also working with them to foster a loving relationship with their kids.

Q: How would you like to collaborate with other clinicians?
Since I don’t see client’s individually, I like having access to clinicians to refer family members that may be in need of more individual work to compliment the family work I do.  Also, sometimes an individual will enter therapy, and it becomes apparent that some family work might be of benefit.  Family therapy is an excellent compliment to the insight that comes from individual work.  Working with school counselors, pre-school teachers, and other members of a child’s system has been invaluable in providing the necessary collateral work to paint a larger picture and give context to behavior.

Q: Are you focused on developing or maintaining a private practice; or do you prefer agency-based work?
I am focused right now on developing my private practice and am actively accepting referrals for families that might benefit from therapy.  I have also had the privilege of apprenticing with Dr. Bruce Linton in Berkeley and his long standing Father’s Forum program. I am now facilitating a men’s group for new dads with children ages 0-1.  The group meets in North Berkeley, and is currently accepting new members.

I can be found on the web at:
www.seanholcombetherapy.com
510-859-3098
sean@seanholcombetherapy.com

Information on the Father’s Forum can be found at:
http://www.fathersforum.com

 

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