Michael Lipstein, MA, LMFT (WA and CA)
Largo, FL 33773
Skill development for renewing your marriage
I have been married to my wife, Valerie, since 1982. Together we have raised a son and daughter. I know from my first-hand experience of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to raising healthy children and how to develop and maintain a healthy marriage.
I am committed to offering an innovative approach to working couples that want more out of their relationships.
I sincerely want to make a difference in people’s lives and relationships. I have applied this desire into a practical health based model that has been proven to be effective.
I am considered to be a Cognitive Behavioralist. Cognitive, because I identify various ideas and beliefs an individual acquires that leads them to make self-defeating choices and assist them to consider other more effective choices. Behavioral, because I also encourage my clients to experiment by modifying nonproductive behavior so as to replace them with more successful actions. However, when considering what I truly believe and know from my humanistic training background and personal values, my practical application when working with couples is far more expansive than these labels imply.
I take into account the meaning of what one thinks and how they act that is derived from their unique characteristics and upbringing. The entirety of what forms the current live picture of what is going on is viewed as a logical outcome based on one's abilities to do the best they can with what their current skills and experiences afford.
Rather than looking for what is "wrong" or what needs to be "fixed" I am more inclined to respectfully explore and curiously investigate what might be challenging each individual's current level of skill so as to more adequately attend to their life circumstances. I referred to this as a Humanistic Approach or a Health Based Model.
Learn more about my Unique Approach to Couples Therapy.
Life is precious and short. We must live it to the fullest and with no regrets. This requires a certain the amount of courage as life has many challenges. In order to face these challenges we must rise to the occasion, grow, and make the necessary adjustments.
Personal growth is a continual process and we are never done. That is, if one is willing to face the challenges of life head on. Otherwise, we are likely to shy away, restrict our growth, and not feel as free to enjoy our life completely.
Marriage is what gives people enough reason to grow through their challenges and evolve further, without a committed relationship there would not be as much motivation to change.
My clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and families began in 1979. The first 12 years of my professional development was spent working with adolescents and their families in a variety of therapeutic settings. I focused on the family systems and how they operated. I've come to appreciate that presenting problems are evidence of underdeveloped skills that may need refining rather than a system that is "disfunctional". This work eventually let me to focus on refining parental skills and then marital relationships.
In addition to my work with adolescents, parents, and families, I have also spent five years doing crisis intervention work where I developed the skills to manage the most difficult of circumstances.
I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in the State of Washington (#LF00001345) and in California (LMFT20208). I received a Masters Degree in Clinical Humanistic Psychology in 1983 from the University of Redlands in California. My Bachelors Degree in Psychology was received in 1975 from the University of Delaware. I have been a Clinical Member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy since 1995.
I continue to enhance my advanced skills and abilities as a trained clinician by obtaining highly specialized postgraduate education in the field of marital therapy, neuroscience, personal growth, and development.