Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Brace.
Hi Matthew, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself and my therapy practice. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Phoenix, AZ. Growing up I knew that I wanted to find a fulfilling career because both my parents were educators, and it was clear that they really found value in their jobs. When I entered college, I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do but I enjoyed taking Relational Communication and Family and Human Development classes. However, I wasn’t sure what career options I had available to me until I took a Marriage and Family Relationships class. This class was taught by a LMFT, and I remember being fascinated with the content of the course and how a therapist works with couples and families. I often began talking with this instructor about the career of a Marriage and Family Therapist and knew that I had found a career path and was set on seeing it through. The instructor of that course remains a close mentor of mine today.
What I was learning in college was extremely useful because it applied to my life as I navigated family relationships, figured out how to emerge into adulthood, and learned how to live a life of purpose and meaning. It would have been irrational not to apply what I was learning to my own life. Why wouldn’t I analyze my comfort with communicating emotions when learning about how secure relationships are built upon people’s ability to access their emotions and let others in?
Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I have been able to get to where I am today by being open and honest with myself while facing challenges head-on. Years ago, I started to recognize that I was a bit avoidant to certain challenges and would take the safe route, even though it wasn’t as fulfilling as it could be. I could see my destination but would feel intimated when I reflected on the process. Reflecting, I was looking for outcomes that were safe and predictable. However, when I started to sit with uncertainty and take risks, like opening a private practice, I started to grow more as a person and learn about things I never thought I would. Once I fully started to embrace certain risks, I started to believe in myself more and notice what I was capable of. The outcome of all things remains uncertain and unpredictable, and that is ok as long as I show up every day honoring my values as a person.
As you know, we’re big fans of Therapy Embraced, PLLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
Opening Therapy Embraced was many years in the making because I wanted to be sure that when I started a private practice, it would be built on core values I have been practicing for years. Coming out of graduate school in 2013, I knew I had a passion for working with couples, but I knew I needed to expand and work with various populations to understand where my passion lies. I valued my time working with families, at-risk youth, and families navigating high conflict divorce. All my experiences were intentional as I sought out experiences working with various populations while under the direct supervision of a seasoned clinician specializing in the population. These experiences were necessary to fully understand my direction as a therapist and where I am most effective. Helping people understand how to improve their relationships is where I am most effective.
I specialize in helping couples have conversations with each other that create closeness, not distance, in their relationships. I help couples shift from having arguments to having conversations about what they truly need from each other. It is about creating a transformative conversation in a session that allows couples to leave feeling like their partner finally heard what they have been trying to say for years.
An important thing I value is that I have never lost sight of what it is like for someone to reach out to a therapist for the first time. I think it is very important to have systems in place to be responsive to ensure people feel supported. I recognize how challenging it can be to make that phone call or send an email to a therapist inquiring about services and being unsure what to expect. When I talk with clients for the first time, I make it clear that I want them to feel supported by the end of our conversation.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I would say that I have been fortunate, which certainly involves some luck, to be where I am today. However, I know a majority of that has come from dedication and being ok taking risks because I believed in myself and had support around me. Throughout my life, I have felt devastated that things did not turn out as I was hoping for, and I could have blamed bad luck for those outcomes. However, that would have been limiting and wouldn’t allow for honest self-reflection. The devastation I would feel when things didn’t turn out my way was always temporary and never resulted in giving up. Those experiences always served as information to consider to learn how to better myself.
- $150 / 50-minute session
- Website: https://www.therapyembraced.com/
- Instagram: therapy_embraced
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