My Approach

My ApproachMy approach to psychotherapy is to collaborate with clients and come up with some obtainable goals that we can work towards together. After a session or two, if you decide you want to proceed and see me for therapy, we can figure out together if a short term approach or a longer term approach is best. Then we will periodically review our goals together to see how things are progressing.

My style is to be interactive, and I make myself available by phone and email in between sessions if things come up. Clients need to know they are fully supported when they are looking into difficult issues in their lives.

Often, there are serious mental health problems that need to be addressed, but ideally my approach is not based on pathology. I prefer to build on your strengths. I see symptoms as solutions to deeper problems, and often in probing deeper-we can discover the real causes behind the distress.

I like to think my effectiveness with my clients has as much to do with my ability to connect with them on a human level as it does with my clinical knowledge gained through education and experience. I work with my clients in a way that leads them to rediscover their passions which often leads them out of their unhappiness.

Some of my areas of expertise include relationships, chemical dependency recovery, compulsive gambling, sex addiction, anxiety disorders, depression, grief and loss, and coping with chronic illness. I also have helped many clients with crisis management and adjusting to serious losses, like a medical diagnosis, end of relationship, or death of a partner or family member. I also enjoy seeing couples for couples therapy. I tend to be holistic in my approach as well, striving to keep in mind the larger systems of mental health, including the importance of physical health, diet and exercise.

It is also important to understand the role of the greater society in the way we feel. We live in a mentally ill society, and it is hard not to be affected by all the things happening. Learning to tune out the negativity can be a lifesaver. Consumerism is supposed to fill us up inside but instead it leaves us more empty, so it has to be overcome. There are also the forces of racism, sexism, homophobia that have affected us in negative ways.

I see people who seek out therapy not as defective or weak, but rather as “heroes,” because it takes a hero to take to the risk of asking for help and wanting to change unhealthy patterns of behavior. My role is to help people awaken that hero within, and live their life to the fullest.

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Michael Halyard, LPCC, LMFT

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor & Marriage and Family Therapist

Psychotherapy & Referrals

533-A Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

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(415) 642-4662
mike@sftherapy.com