Michael Lieberman, LPC
Your relationship with your therapist is unlike any other relationship. The typical expectation is that you drive to an office, talk, and divulge personal information with a stranger. As a therapist (and a client of therapy), I know what it’s like to step into a therapist’s office to explore a problem and feel shame, embarrassment, or frustration.
My name is Michael, creator of The Pragmatic Therapist. My practice is, well, pragmatic: a simple, sensible, and realistic approach to therapy.
I love working with people who want to learn how their past affects the present because I have been there myself. I know how exhausting it is when you try every trick in the book to feel better but get no results. Often, this can be a cycle that’s hard to break because your brain has a collection of memories that support a negative point of view. But, that moment when a client proclaims, “I never thought the past impact my present so much…” reminds me how important addressing the past is and how much I enjoy the field of counseling.
Some quick tidbits that describe me
Simplicity – Sometimes, things require a thorough conversation and at other times there simple and obvious answer. We often look for meaning to substantiate a viewpoint that can cause us to impose ideas that might fit versus reality. Keep it simple.
Laughter – Laughter makes it easier to see the brighter side of life and helps us not take ourselves too seriously. I always try to find the humor in my own life; it keeps me grounded. I encourage my clients to do the same.
Kindness – When you look around, do you see as much kindness between people as should be? Probably not. But, I believe, it is essential to living fulfilled lives. You deserve it... and everyone is welcome here.
Realism – I understand that, in the end, each client creates his or her own unique road map to feeling well. But that doesn’t mean I sit back quietly, just nodding my head and listening. I am an interactive participant and shaper of the therapy process -- and always true to my own thoughts and emotions. This approach, I am convinced, helps my clients see themselves and others in their life from multiple perspectives so that they can better decide on their path to happiness.
Perfectly imperfect – I am not perfect. And I don’t expect you to to be either. Being human means learning from our mistakes, not being defined by them.
How to pick the right therapist
There are a lot of therapists to consider when trying to decide who to trust. Each with varying skills and credentials, choosing a therapist can be tough. It’s much like a pair of pants; you search until you find the one that fits just right. The good news is that there is a reliable way to tell if you and your therapist are a going to mesh. If you click from the get-go, it’s a good sign.
So, take your time and trust your gut.
I hope this page portrays a revealing snapshot of my personality and professional style. If you think we might be a good fit, give me a call (703)919-5543 or send me an email and let’s talk. I am happy to offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to help you decide. What do you have to lose? And imagine all that you might gain.
Licensed Professional Counseling in Virginia; License # 0701006194
EMDRIA Certified Therapist: 52265281 (certified EMDR therapist)
Bachelors of Art in Family Science from the University of Maryland
Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University
2015 Uniformed Public Service Award; The Caron Foundation
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Ego State Therapy