Name: Brian J. Edwards
- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist - Wyoming, License #193
- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist – California #46737
- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist – Tennessee #0918
- Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor – California
Amount of time working for CCH: July 2015. Currently providing clinical supervision over all adult mental
health and substance abuse-related treatment programming at the hospital
outpatient clinic. Oversee clinical operations at the
Kid Clinic, which serves adolescent and child patients.
Time working as a Therapist: 10 years
Credentials and/or specializations:
- Adolescent and Adult Substance Abuse/Addiction Therapy
- Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Therapy
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy
Why are you working in therapy/mental health?
The attacks of 9/11 had a significant impact on my worldview and what I
wanted to do with my life. At the time, I was living in Los Angeles, California,
working for a major record label. Watching the horror on television, I
imagined the impending military response and the amount of troops being
sent into harm’s way. I thought about all the suffering that would
come from each soldier and family members who might be killed in action
or suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Coming from a family
with generations of military service – not myself – it really
made me stop and think about what I wanted to do with my life in service
to others. Then I made the choice to enroll in graduate school to become
a therapist in order to help others – especially within the military.
Ever since then, I have found ways to incorporate working with the military
in each place I have worked.
Why is being a Therapist/Counselor important to you?
“Conflict is growth trying to happen” – Mary B.
I love this quote because it encompasses very simply what the meaning of
conflict is. Growth is the name of the game. And any time conflict comes
up, something is telling us that there is an area that needs us to pay
attention to it and address it. It takes courage. I feel honored every
time someone steps into my office because it means they are willing to
ask for help to take those first, uncomfortable steps towards addressing
the conflict. It also gives me an opportunity to pay forward all the help
I’ve received from strangers, family, and friends throughout my life.
Why did you choose to work for CCH?
I was overseas working for the military when I began to prepare what my
future would be when my family and I decided to move back to the United
States. Behavioral Health Services at CCH was in the process of going
through some changes and it sounded like an amazing opportunity to bring
in some new, innovative clinical processes that I learned throughout my
career. Being closer to family was a big factor, but to do what I love
in a place that has always been good to me was icing on the cake.
What has made you feel the most pride in your work at CCH?
This is my hometown. I grew up here and left for 20 years. Now that my
family and I have come back, I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for
the town that helped me become the person I am today. From my very first
day at CCH, I felt welcomed from every area of the organization. It’s
a feeling of being connected. Whether it comes from leadership to the
Emergency Department to Wellness or any other area of the organization,
you feel it.
Who is your mental health hero and why?
As you progress through the field, it is not uncommon to find yourself
learning new techniques. Points of view and therapeutic approach change.
I’ve studied the work of Freud, Jung, Gottman, Tian Dayton, and
Zen Masters. All of them have significant contributions to my psychology approach.
However, the work of Dr. Scott Miller has been most transformative for
me. His work focuses on incorporating the patient’s feedback each
session and measuring the outcomes of the therapist. Believe it or not,
it is not a common practice amongst mental health professionals to measure
their effectiveness. I always figured that if the patient made another
appointment that I was doing my job. Not so much. Measuring your effectiveness
is the only way to tell what a therapist is doing is actually working.
I have been measuring my effectiveness for over half of my career (five
years) and I can verifiably say that most of my patients make a reliable,
clinical change in their functioning.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
Do not let a therapist or clinician tell you that one specific treatment
approach is more effective than another. This is simply not true and one
of psychology’s biggest misgivings. All approaches are about equally
The difference maker in any therapeutic setting is the THERAPIST. Their
skill level, their ability to listen, understand, and respect their patients
will make the likelihood of a successful outcome more promising.
What do you do for fun?
Outside of my family and friends, my passion is attending as many music
concerts as my wife will let me! I travel around the country to see my
favorite bands and hang out with friends that I’ve made at these
shows. I’m a die-hard Pearl Jam fan and consider them to be the
soundtrack to my life. When not travelling for shows, I have been enjoying
catching up with old friends since moving back to Gillette.