Mark Epting, L.C.S.W.
Licensed Psychotherapist Hermosa Beach
Psychotherapy ~ Adults, Children, Families and Couples
“Specializing in trauma-focused therapy, grief/loss, and integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.”
Mark Epting, is a psychotherapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), with over 10 years of experience helping people from diverse socio-cultural and economic backgrounds. His focus is directed toward assisting clients in cultivating inner resilience and developing adaptive life skills, supporting recovery from mental health issues, and/or substance abuse and chronic relapse. Whether for unresolved trauma, depression, anxiety, communication problems, addiction issues, or other reasons, he recognizes that people come to therapy for understanding compassion, and is able to assure clients feel comfortable and heard without judgment.
Mark communicates respect for the client’s self-determination and existing personal strengths which helps builds a foundation of trust for more effective treatment outcomes. He also has a broad base of training as applies to treatment orientations, techniques and specific populations. Among them are, Trauma-focused/TF-CBT; CBT, structural family therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic, Gestalt, motivational interviewing (MI), harm-reduction and relapse prevention concepts; child and family coaching. Mark also incorporates his other professional skills acquired in the music and TV/film industry, by encouraging awareness and engagement in self-expression through artistic means and talent.
Emotional conflicts, self-acceptance
I like to bring my experience as screenwriter, musician and patron of the arts into the therapy experience. Multi-treatment modality integration includes the expressive disciplines of art, music, drama, poetry, and creative writing. The intent is an enjoyable catharsis, supportive in overcoming limiting beliefs, reconciling negative emotions, to accepting your empowered and boundless personal value.
For those who’ve experienced trauma, it can begin to feel like the symptoms and feelings are what defines you. Sufferers often re-experience the event that initially caused the trauma, resulting in avoidance, anxiety, worry, fear, and difficulties in relationships. In treating trauma-affected clients, I ensure there is a safe and comfortable space to engage in what can be challenging work. Identifying underlying causes and helping a client change distorted thoughts, is intended toward an outcome where the trauma experience no longer rules their life.
Substance abuse and co-occurring disorders
In overcoming the challenges of having mental health and alcohol/drug addiction issues, an integrated, holistic, comprehensive treatment is recommended to include, but not limited to, individual/group psychotherapy and medical resources (e.g., medication support evaluation). To help the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing process, I include a combination of relapse prevention concepts and psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, resources to assist in lifestyle changes, interpersonal communication/problem solving skills, interventions to include motivational interviewing, 12-step, and other recovery models.
Grief and Loss
Redefining life purpose in the absence of the person or significant relationship, is part of recovering from feelings of grief and loss. Whether it’s the end of an important relationship, death of a loved one, or something else, every person is different in the way they respond to the painful, personal aspects of loss. I honor and encourage clients to follow a path of recovery and learning to live with grief/loss that is relevant and meaningful to them.
I have extensive experience working both with individuals and families in responding to crisis situations. I start by giving attention to the particular contributing stress-causing factors that led to the crisis at hand, explore feelings, establish coping tools so that any potential safety factors are resolved and those who’ve experienced the crisis can resume to their normal state of functioning.
When treating depression, I encourage a process which allows you to explore and affirm your own identity and to be what you feel is your authentic self. I assess clients for symptoms which may be negatively affecting their energy, motivation, sleep and eating patterns, to name a few. More severe, self-harming thoughts and behaviors can involve interventions such as safety planning or other actions to reduce or eliminate risk. Discovering underlying causes and solutions is essential in helping my clients establish daily living practices that help alleviate their depression so they can move forward with their life purpose.
I help individuals experiencing mild to severe anxieties with contributing causes ranging from normal developmental issues specific to adolescence, abuse, social/peer pressure, to parenting challenges. By learning ways to constructively manage emotional responses to stressors or triggering situations, feelings of anxiety can be reduced for a sense of normalcy in daily life routines and interactions with other people.
Children may exhibit many different behaviors, impulsivity, distractibility, learning difficulties or disorders which impede their development in social relationships at home, school, and other settings. I integrate play therapy, trauma-focused interventions, child-centered protocols and incorporate parents in meeting the goals for the child/client we define together.
I engage parents to participate in a collaborative experience of problem solving, equipping them with skills to manage family issues, setting limits, consequences, and rewards. I also encourage parents by validating their efforts to be positive role models by playing an active part in the lives of their children.
Couples & Counseling
In providing therapy with couples, I place a priority on giving equal consideration to each person’s needs and concerns, which may include conflict resolution, communication skills, expressing attitudes, beliefs, fears, and clarifying values. The aim is to create a dynamic between the couple with an emphasis on actively listening to each other. I encourage couples to address power struggles and focus on personal growth. Lastly, to set goals with their relationship as a realignment toward the relationship.
In family therapy, I utilize a family systems perspective recognizing individual and external forces that shape the family as a whole. Everyone’s input and voice matters and plays an important role in the treatment process of identifying and exploring the different habits, rituals, rules, patterns, reinforcing beliefs, behaviors, alliances, and maladapted boundaries within the family system. By adjusting for unbalances, setting a new agreement for interactions, making efforts toward fulfilling unmet or neglected emotional needs, a sense of wholeness can be experienced and elements regained to maintain a healthy, functional family.
The Help Group
Full-Service Partnership (FSP) Child/adolescent Family Therapist
Conducted assessments, diagnosed and established treatment planning in collaboration with clients and their parents. Provided individual/family and couples therapy. Provided focused interventions for the treatment of children/adolescents with severe emotional disturbances, trauma history and attachment disorders. Also, face to face and phone-line crisis intervention.
Pacific Clinics – Portals (S. Mark Taper Wellness and Recovery Center)
Mental Health Therapist
Provided individual/group therapy/behavioral intervention for clients with severe, chronic mental health conditions, substance abuse, trauma history, PTSD. Provided on-call (phone-line) crisis/suicide intervention counseling.
Department of Children and Family Services
Children’s Social Worker II
Provided counseling, emergency response intervention, and case management services according to court supervision orders for children and families affected by child abuse and domestic violence.
Screenplays optioned and in development. Produced promotional content (individual/group music artists) for major-label record companies and music-documentary series pilot/s. Film and sound/music editing for independent features and major television network series.
Live audience performance with nationally touring music acts, in support of major/independent album releases. Collaborative music writing/composition for various music recording projects. Provided title and soundtrack music for television and film productions. Appearances in feature film, episodic and other television.
University of California, Los Angeles – Master of Social Welfare
San Francisco State University – Bachelor of Arts Film, cum laude, Cinema Department – Screenwriting, fictional, documentary, history, theory/criticism and experimental filmmaking production
Advanced screenwriting program – Completed series of lab/workshops for intensified small group sessions led by Academy Award winning screenwriters, internationally recognized industry professionals
License & Certifications:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW #80432)
Trauma-Focused/TF-CBT; Motivational Interviewing (MI), Child and Family Coaching; Identifying, Assessing Risk and Safety Planning
“I help my clients cultivate inner resilience to overcome their problems and feel comfortable and heard without judgment. By communicating respect for their self-determination and existing strengths, they are able to openly explore life core issues and live to the fullest realization of possibilities and goals they have yet to reach.”
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