Michael S. Avender - MSW, LCSW, CCTP
Engaging in therapy can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if it’s your first time reaching out for professional guidance. Seeking out professional support, however, is one of the bravest things anyone can do. As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.” I believe in the inherent resilience of each person and encourage folks to embrace their vulnerability in order to heal and create a more meaningful life.
I am a clinician committed to developing and strengthening the therapeutic relationship between myself and my clients. I believe that authenticity, transparency, and mutual empathy are imperative for the growth of both the client and the therapist. My goal is to foster a safe, inclusive space where individuals feel comfortable expressing who they are without fear of judgment. I specialize in talk therapy, incorporating multiple therapeutic modalities to cater to the specific needs of each client. Regardless of the therapeutic theory being utilized, I approach each session from a strengths-based, person-centered approach. Additionally, I incorporate mindfulness practices into all of my sessions, as I believe that grounding oneself in the current moment is where healing begins.
“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”
- Marianne Williamson
I received my Master of Social Work degree with a clinical concentration from The University of Pennsylvania. I am licensed through the Association of Social Work Boards. I am a Level 1 Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I have worked with clients on a wide range of presenting issues, including substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, thought disorders, relationship issues, trauma, grief and loss, and LGBTQ+ topics, among others. I have experience providing individual, couples and group therapy to individuals of all ages, and maintain an approach of unconditional positive regard with each person I work with.