Greeting and Salutations,
I came to clinical social work later in my adult life journey. For the first three decades as a working professional I was a licensed mason and a senior partner in a small, but successful, independent family contracting firm. I spent my days working in the public and private sector of business smashing and repairing brickwork, dealing with contracts, customers, and architects. My change of career path occurred on a clear summer day while I was 10 stories up on scaffold overlooking Lake Michigan. While working with a team tasked with the removing and replacing of 300lb bluestone panels on a historic building, there was a moment an insight came to me as I looked out over the skyline and lakeshore in the brilliant clear sun, I realized that people were more important to me than were buildings, it was time to change directions and to redirect my energy from the care of physical structures, to the care of mental, emotional and spiritual ones.
I continued work in the family business but decided to pursue a college degree. I attended college classes at night, completed my degree in psychology with honors, and then went on to earn my graduate degree in clinical social work. My clinical counseling experience began with my first placement as a Spanish speaking group facilitator at a neighborhood HIV clinic. The next year I was placed in the inpatient psychiatric unit in a large, urban hospital. I found that in both those initial settings, the things I learned about life from my previous career as a mason, and a business entrepreneur combined with my education and training in psychology and clinical mental health provided me with valuable tools that uniquely helped the patients and clients that I served. I found that my history and experiences helped me connect with clients, because I could put myself in their shoes, so to speak, and then help reflect and present their experiences back to them from a differing perspective or point of view grounded in clinical and therapeutic approaches. That combination supported my clients and helped them apply their own strengths and ideas to the challenges they were facing. I found that all people are amazingly resilient, even though at times they may feel overwhelmed.
Since graduation, I have been employed full-time as a clinical social worker at both public and private agencies. I provide life counseling, short-term therapy, and case management to individuals or families that find themselves overwhelmed by the situations they find themselves in. By working with them in a sympathetic, nonjudgmental way, they soon recognize they do have more options and better choices than they realized. To borrow a line from The Lion King, my goal is to help clients remember who they truly are.
One of my strongest roles within my practice as a clinical social work is that of a psychosocial educator. I instruct and guide people on the forces that shape the way people or organizations come to the thoughts or conclusions that they do. I approach this work with clients from a systems perspective (meaning, all things function as a system with roles that must be filled naturally occurring within that system). I take a client centered, eclectic, approach that also leverages cognitive therapy techniques and a foundation that all thoughts/feelings are emergent properties of the overlapping biopsychosocial domains. Although my approach is reality based, I tend to apply archetype narratives that apply to any given situation and as a tool of engagement. This method allows the client to continue to use and apply that narrative to themselves moving forward. It provides them with a way to “self-correct” their course in life as situations develop.
I have received Ellis institute certification in REBT. IDPH Certification as an HIV prevention counselor. I have Intensive training and clinical hours with clients in the LGBT community. Online I have thousands of hours of online exchanges with individuals in online chat and forums informing and discussing life and the challenges we all face to bear the burden of being in our incredibly complex world. My hope is that together we find the way for you to restructure or reinforce the internal masonry of your mind and thoughts processes which will assist you to live and embrace your life with the dignity and grace we are all meant to achieve.
- Stress, Anxiety
- Trauma and abuse
- Career difficulties
I also have experience in Addictions, LGBT, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Bipolar disorder
LCSW #149.019498 (Expires: 2019-11-30)
He is an excellent social worker; insightful, intuitive, and professional.
Thomas has been wonderful to work with. He makes me feel comfortable and provides straight forward feedback. In his approach, Thomas has provided me with worksheets to complete which have helped me better understand myself.
Mr Mattison is great. He listens well, gives homework and stimulates my thinking. He has reduced my depression and encouraged me to always do better.