Therapist John Portolano Photo

John Portolano, LCSW

Stress, Anxiety Addictions Relationships Self esteem, Motivation Depression
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About me

In 1998, as retirement drew nearer and my career as a firefighter/paramedic was coming to an end, I had a great awareness that I was too young to spend the next twenty years playing golf or sitting on a beach. So, I decided to go back to school. I knew that I wanted to continue helping others and after months of exploring my options I decided that my next life chapter would be as a clinical therapist. Six years later I graduated from the University of South Florida with a master's degree in clinical social work. Over the course of the next twenty years I had the opportunity to work with children, adolescents and adults in a verity of settings. My education and experience extended well beyond my time in the classroom. I honed my skills while working with patients coping with emotional issues, addiction and the dual diagnosed. At present I know that I have the expertise to work with a vast majority of those that seek out help however, I've also learned my therapeutic limitations. Before entering into a therapeutic relationship I have to be certain that I have the expertise to provide the appropriate help or I would be doing my patient a great disservice. My singular goal is to provide you the help you seek.
My therapeutic approach is using Solution Focused Brief Therapy and I've attached some information below to better explain what that is;
Unlike Traditional forms of therapy that take time to analyze problems, pathology and past life events, Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one's hope for the future to find a quicker resolution of one's problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to improve your life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions.
I should also add that I'm not a shirt and tie or Dockers and Polo shirt therapist, more than not you'll see me in a t-shirt and shorts. Hopefully that does not dissuade you from coming onto my service but I definitely understand if it does.

Professional experience

23yrs in practice
Stress, Anxiety Addictions Relationships Self esteem, Motivation Depression

Additional areas of focus: Family conflicts, Trauma and abuse, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Parenting issues, Anger management, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Coping with life changes, Coaching, Compassion fatigue, Abandonment, Aging and Geriatric Issues, Antisocial Personality, Attachment issues, Cancer, Codependency, Commitment Issues, Control issues, Dependent Personality, Divorce and separation, Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Family Problems, Fatherhood Issues, First Responder Issues, Forgiveness, Guilt and shame, Impulsivity, Infidelity, Isolation / loneliness, Jealousy, Life purpose, Men's issues, Midlife crisis, Money and financial issues, Mood disorders , Narcissism, Obsessions, Compulsions, and OCD, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Self-love, Social anxiety and phobia, Workplace issues

Clinical approaches: Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy

Services offered

Live Chat

License information



These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for John Portolano. We don't pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

John has great insights, and he can direct thoughts and actions to be productive. He has a great temperament, and he gives thoughtful advice rather than parroting back whatever I say.

Written on Apr 29, 2023 after therapy with John for 2 months on issues concerning relationship issues

Truly the best therapist I’ve ever had. I was finally able to open up to someone and be honest. I feel like a better person having worked on myself with John .

Written on Jan 22, 2023 after therapy with John for 1 year on issues concerning stress, anxiety, addictions, family conflicts, and career difficulties

Working with John has truly been a life-changing experience. He is kind and patient but also holds me accountable. He instills hope in me through his careful guidance. Since enrolling in sessions, I've seen an increase in my self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life. I am forever grateful that I reached out for support when I needed it, and that I was connected with someone as incredible as John Portolano.

Written on Dec 26, 2022 after therapy with John for 1 year and 3 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, anger management, bipolar disorder, coping with life changes, and compassion fatigue

John is highly professional, patient and helpful. I am able to fully trust him and his advice really make a difference in my life. I appreciate his help very much!

Written on Dec 16, 2022 after therapy with John for 1 month on issues concerning stress, anxiety

We only had one session but he asked good questions to drive to the heart of the matter.

Written on Dec 14, 2022 after therapy with John for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, sleeping disorders, self esteem, career difficulties, coaching, and adhd

He is immensely helpful. I'm so happy to be back working with him.

Written on Jun 19, 2022 after therapy with John for 3 months on issues concerning relationship issues, family conflicts, intimacy-related issues, and coping with life changes