“To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief. The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality. The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Welcome to Understanding Therapy. I’m Mike Morgan—husband, father, marriage and family therapist, and creator of this blog. I love almost all things sports, watching Seinfeld, and spending time with friends and family. I have always been drawn to inspirational literature, captivating cinema, classic tales, and even a well-timed punch-line.
Being a part of powerful stories is a large part of what attracted me to become a therapist. The experiences told in a therapy office are just as (if not more so) moving, motivating, and influential as the ones in books and movies. These stories are extremely real and personal. It’s an honor for me that people share their stories and parts of their lives with me.
It takes courage to share personal experiences and grow. What stands out most to me in therapy is the inner strength that clients display. In therapy, they confront their inner dragons, rewrite their stories, and transform themselves into what they would like to become. Like the heroes we hear about in our favorite tales, I see individuals, couples, and families overcome extremely difficult challenges and find deeper meaning and purpose in their life through them. It truly is remarkable and a generally unseen and unrecognized form of courage and heroism. As Joseph Campbell put it, “the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.”
It has been said that ‘Understanding’ is love’s other name. To attempt to understand someone is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Carl Rogers, a founding father of therapy, paradoxically explained that when we truly understand ourselves, we change. Sometimes the compassion felt from someone else allows us to show that same compassion to ourselves and to others. I find that ‘Understanding’ is the simplest and purest form of therapy—someone to just listen and attempt to understand. Information and strategies are important as well, but understanding has to be at the center. Research continues to show that compassion is a powerful healer. For the most part, understanding is the therapy.
Outside of an individual’s desire for change, one of the most important factors for successful therapy is trust between the client and therapist. Essentially, you need to feel comfortable with your therapist—you have to like them! My hope is that my written thoughts and observations on articles, books, literature, film and my own experiences can allow potential clients to get to know me and get a sense if they would be able to trust me. Even if someone decides that therapy is not right for them, my hope that the insights on this blog can be helpful in some way. I have found that there is no shortage of new things to learn and ways to improve.
Professional Training and Experience:
•Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy
•Fully Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
•Master Level Practitioner Training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming
•Five Time Certified in the Teaching Family Model
•Fluent in Spanish and English
•Experienced in Clinical Supervision of Mental Health Professionals
-Spirituality in Counseling
-Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy