Andrew Phillips, MS MFT
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for help for someone you love or for yourself. When I Google “Pasadena Therapist,” I’m overwhelmed by the number of options! I write the following to help you get a sense of me as you search for someone who would be a good fit for your situation.
I believe in the power of a safe, connected, honest relationship. From my own therapy, I know it can be strange and stressful to reach out to someone you don’t know, but it can be so worth it--I and many others have experienced healing, empowerment, and clarity. I believe everyone has something to gain in sitting with someone who cares, who will walk with them and their burden for a time, who can give some new strategies to lighten the load.
I’ve seen a wide variety of child and adult clients dealing with depression and anxiety, grief and regret, and self-destructive behaviors. I’ve worked with children and adolescents for over ten years, clinically for four. Whatever the concern (self-esteem, emotional regulation, distorted/ unhelpful thinking, behaviors, anxiety, screen time, social skills, etc.), I want to provide a safe and respectful environment for children and parents alike. My goals include:
1. To give space for a child to process and learn, through play and practice;
2. To empower parents with concrete tools, information, and insights;
3. To foster effective parent-child connection and support so all can thrive.
I’ve worked with couples overwhelmed with the stress of life (like children!), couples stuck in unhelpful explosive patterns, to couples struggling through infidelity and the steps afterward. I believe people get most stuck in their pain; when our spouse, or our children, or that guy at Starbucks “pushes our buttons,” we go into reactive mode. “I feel so unheard by my spouse. I don’t think I can trust anyone. My children don’t respect me, why should they?” When we feel these emotions we usually react with whatever our learned coping strategy is: shutdown, escape, attack, etc. Discovering real peace to speak to painful statements like these above and discovering new ways to engage with loved ones can change the dynamic in a relationship, in a home.
I am a proponent of Interpersonal Neurobiology, and I use concepts such as human arousal levels, secure attachment, mindfulness exercises, and whole-brain education in my work with children, couples, and adults. My therapeutic work is influenced by Person-Centered, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy models, by Pia Mellody’s work with Codependency and Addictions, and by Restoration Therapy by Terry Hargrave. I’ve been trained in DIR Floortime developmental play therapy for three years, which has allowed me to witness how much growth happens in play, and taught me how to play well with purpose in mind. My most influential insights come from “where the rubber meets the road”--my own life experience, my marriage, my children, my family and friends. My wife and I have 2 young children and spend our time going to the LA Zoo, visiting local parks, and cleaning a never-ending mess.
From my own therapy experience, I know how healing and empowering it can be. If you’re hurting and need support, I encourage you to reach out. Help will come.
Educational History and Credentials
MS, MFT Fuller Theological Seminary
Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern, IMF #88747
Supervised by Jennifer Lovers, M.S., M.Div., LMFT #49415
● Restoration Therapist (lvl 1)--Couples and Individual therapy using an integration of neuroscience, arousal regulation and CBT, developed by Terry Hargrave
● Certified Family Wellness Educator--Teacher of healthy family principles and strategies through seminars, and small discussions groups.
● Prepare and Enrich--A comprehensive assessment tool for pre-marital counseling
● DIR Floortime--Using interactive play as the means for rich emotional connection and social/intellectual/emotional development.
● Trauma-Focused CBT