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Wood Structure

About

Jason Shepherd

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I was raised in Carbondale, Illinois, and trained as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Berkeley, California.  In 2009 I earned my Master's Degree in Counseling Psychotherapy from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and started my career by training at the Pacific Center for Human Growth, also in Berkeley.  My goal in becoming a therapist was to work with the people who had the greatest need for mental health care, and in pursuit of this I was trained to work with the LGBTQ+ community.  I learned about supporting people who were questioning their sexuality or identity, who were dealing with rejection by their family or friends, who were undergoing gender transition, or who were affected by health conditions such as HIV.  I also learned about supporting people who had experienced trauma, who were dealing with social discrimination, and who were affected by alcohol and drug use. 

One my training ended, I went on to work with people in recovery from substance misuse, people on probation and parole, immigrant families, and those experiencing psychiatric crises.  I helped people who were dealing with homelessness, chronic mental and physical health issues, discriminatory laws, and complex trauma.  Along the way, I continued to focus on helping members of the LGBTQ+ community, who often faced additional challenges when accessing health care, including gender-affirming care.

My work as a mental health provider has always been guided by a commitment to the ideals of social justice for all, and focused on addressing the inequalities experienced by those people most likely to experience marginalization and discrimination.  I am committed to providing trauma-informed, gender-confirming, socially just mental health care, and if that's what you've been searching for, please reach out and let me know how I might be able to help you.

My Approach

Narrative Therapy, with a touch of CBT

My approach to therapy is based on Narrative Therapy, which you can learn more about here.  Narrative Therapy focuses on how the stories we tell ourselves affect our way of living, and how changing these stories can change our lives. 

For instance, have you ever experienced a run of bad luck, and told yourself "I must be cursed"?  Or seen someone display a talent you don't have, and thought, "I'm not as good as them"?  These thoughts are stories, and when we repeat them to ourselves, we come to believe them.  Once we believe them, everything we see and experience is influenced by that belief--so every bad experience becomes proof that the "curse" is real, and every thing we wish we were better at becomes proof that we're "not as good".

Narrative Therapy is what I use to help people change the stories they tell themselves, so that they can change their beliefs and thereby change how they experience the world.  I do this using techniques borrowed from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, which you can learn more about here.  CBT is a method that allows people to change how they think, feel and act, by helping them notice patterns of thought, feeling and action that show up in their lives over and over.  Once a person has identified these patterns, they can introduce changes into those patterns, and by practicing those changes over and over again, the new pattern gradually comes to replace the old one. 

My approach is also trauma-informed, which you can learn more about here.  Being trauma-informed means that I focus on making sure my clients feel safe and have control over their treatment, so that each person is empowered to decide what support works best for them.  I place emphasis on cultural considerations such as race, religion, sexuality and gender, and how trauma can affect not just individuals but communities.

If you have questions about my approach and how it might work for you, please contact me using my Contact page.  I'm happy to answer any questions you have.

Experience

From California to York,
My goal has always been to
help those who need it most.

I've worked with a variety of populations, from ex-convicts to school children, in offices and on street corners.  No matter who I've been helping, I've always striven to recognize the unique needs of every individual and ensure they receive the care that is best suited to them.  Every person deserves quality mental health care, and I take pride in giving each person I work with the best support I can.

Previous employers

2021 - Present

York St. John University

York, UK

2019-2021

United Response

York, UK

2017-2019

Dore Urgent Care Clinic

San Francisco, California

2013-2017

Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center

Hayward, California

2011-2013

Sharper Future, Inc

San Francisco, California

2010-2011

HOPE Program

Hayward, California

2009

Pacific Center for Human Growth

Berkeley, California

2007-2009

Wright Institute

Berkeley, California

Master's Degree in Counseling Psychotherapy

Qualifications

2009

Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology

The Wright Institute, Berkeley, California

2001

Bachelor's Degree in English

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

2013

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Registration number 84320

California Board of Behavioral Sciences

2020

Registered Member

Register number 382619

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

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