Experience and Training
I have two counseling licenses in the state of Virginia, as well as a national board certification:
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT License #0717001277)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC License #0701005603)
- National Certified Counselor (NCC License #325415)
This multi-license approach reflects my interest and experience in working with both couples and individuals. Similarly, my training provided me with a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy and Counseling (MA MFTC), from Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson, Mississippi.
Marriage & Family Therapy and Counseling Degree
I appreciated a number of things about the rigorous MFTC program at RTS: They fostered a sense of community among the students and between students and faculty (they made relationships a priority). They encouraged thoughtful engagement and discussion of how Christian faith and psychology intersect and overlap (life is complicated and seeking to make sense of important things requires intentionality and humility). And they facilitated very helpful, hands-on clinical experience in conjunction with supportive, constructive mentoring and feedback (they supported and honored how I approached counseling from the context of my personality mix).
I am a member of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS), which publishes the Journal of Psychology and Christianity (JPC). The JPC includes research and discussion by Christian psychologists and counselors seeking to better understand how people can heal and grow emotionally and spiritually. I am also a Clinical Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Learning Beyond Graduate School
(Trainings, Conferences, Workshops, etc.)
I never stop learning and growing—every year I engage in a minimum of 20 hours of formal learning to continue my development as a therapist.
Working Toward Certification in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy draws from the rich fields of somatic therapy, neuroscience and attachment theory to provide a holistic approach to healing that seeks to reintegrate the body and the mind. This approach engages the whole person and their embodied experience, enabling growth and healing in deep, lasting ways.
Since Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is such a natural fit with my own training and approach I am currently working toward certification. Becoming a “Certified Advanced Practitioner” in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a rigorous multi-year process (approximately 3+ years) of in-depth, experiential training (totaling 400 hours of training, not including various training-related work outside of formal training sessions).
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Level I: Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute — Dr. Ame Cutler and Dr. Kekuni Minton — 80 Hours)
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Level II: Emotional Processing, Meaning Making, and Attachment Repair (SPI — Dr. Ame Cutler and Dr. Kekuni Minton — 180 Hours)
The following are a sampling of other trainings, etc. I have attended:
- Love, Shame, and Embodiment: An Interpersonal Neurobiological Approach (CAPS — Dr. Curt Thompson, M.D.)
- The Use of Self In Therapy: Bringing Intuition, Intimacy, & Intensity to Our Work (AAMFT — Dr. Harry J. Aponte, LCSW, LMFT)
- Working Successfully with Distressed Couples: An Introduction to Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) (AAMFT — Dr. Kathryn Rheem, Ed.D., LMFT, Director of the Washington Baltimore Center of EFT, Certified ICEEFT Trainer, Supervisor, & Therapist)
- Clinical Supervision: Theory, Practice and Logistics (EMU — Dr. Teresa Haase, LPC, ACS, EMU Counseling Program Director; and Dr. Cheree Hammond — 20 Hours)
- Reactive Attachment Disorders and Disturbances of Attachment: History, Treatment and Ethics (EMU — Dr. Bob Marvin, Director of The Ainsworth Attachment Clinic and Circle of Security Network)
- Emotional Intelligence and the Power of Focus (EMU — Dr. Daniel Goleman)
- Topics Such As: Technology; Sexuality; Ethics
Bachelor of Business Administration
For my undergraduate studies I completed a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management and Economics at James Madison University. The double major was in some ways a reflection of my difficulty sorting out what direction I wanted to go with my life. But now knowing myself much better I can see that it also was indicative of different, but complementary, aspects of my personality mix. I was drawn to the Management major because I sensed my interest in working with people. Economics appealed to the analytical, puzzle solving side of me, and it is also a social science that seeks to understand human behavior (which resonated with me). In the counseling I provide I enjoy helping others make sense of and better understand themselves. We can all feel like a puzzle to ourselves at times—I definitely appreciate the people in my own life who help me figure out how the pieces of my story “fit together”.
History & Sports Medicine Majors
Like many undergrad students I also considered and/or took courses in several other majors. I had a History professor that made history come alive in ways that had me seriously considering that direction. This probably spoke to the part of me that values reflecting on the past as a means to better navigating the future. I also had a semester or so in the Sports Medicine program, a helping profession that I was introduced to through my experiences with a high school sports injury. In hindsight I can see why Sports Medicine did not suit me very well as I am much stronger (and more interested) in the psychological/emotional realm than I am in the physical. I find it very rewarding to help others with emotional injuries, places of stuckness, etc. to experience healing and also to help them learn how to better care for themselves into the future.
Technical Aspects of My Counseling
I excel at seeing the overlap and interconnectedness of various counseling approaches, theories, etc. and integrating them into how I think about growth and healing. My approach is increasingly a synthesis of various counseling approaches and models and the ways that each one helpfully addresses aspects of the human experience. Here is a sampling of approaches, models, and authors that influence (and/or align with) my work:
- Psychoanalytic Therapy
- Object Relations Theory
- Attachment Theory
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy | Books | More Books
- Interpersonal Neurobiology and Dr. Dan Siegel | Books
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Dr. Sue Johnson | Books
- Experiential Therapy
- Narrative Therapy
- Family Systems
- Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Dr. Richard Schwartz | Books
- Structural Family Therapy
- Personality Theories (e.g., the Four Temperaments, DISC, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI])
- Dr. David G. Benner | Books
- Dr. Henry Cloud (Books) and Dr. John Townsend (Books | More Books) | Boundaries
- Robert A. Johnson | Books
- Henri Nouwen | Books
- Dr. Brené Brown | Books | TED Talks
- Dr. Curt Thompson | Books | More Books
- Dr. Dan Allender | Books
- Also to lesser degrees: Solution-Focused Therapy, Strategic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Guided by My Intuition
My intuitive abilities enable me to see connections, and potential connections, in all areas of life. I have gifting in this area—as part of my personality mix—which I continue to hone and develop through intentional practice. In my work with clients my intuition guides me regarding what thoughts, feelings and experiences to focus on in the moment. When one has not yet developed the ability to sift through all that is going on inside of them their internal world can feel very chaotic and scary (thus increasing the tendency to avoid knowing oneself more fully). I am very experienced in navigating these pathways, both professionally as a counselor, and personally in my own growth journey. My intuition acts as a light and a guide, enabling me to find healing paths in even the darkest, most confused places within a person.
I am very collaborative in this process: As my intuition reveals possible directions we could go, I share those options, inviting the person I am helping to hear what their own intuition is telling them about where they need to go in that moment. I help them make sense of (and work through the emotions of) how their insides are responding to these potential “next steps”, until eventually they can hear what their gut is telling them. In this way I use my own intuition, in conjunction with helping them begin to cultivate their intuition, to work towards the growth and healing they are longing for.
Other Pages in this Section
- About Sean Slevin: Get to know me through reading about some of my interests and reflections about life.
- What Others Are Saying: Hear what my colleagues are saying about me and my counseling.