The Therapist I Am Today
Being a therapist is a privilege. I have deep respect for my clients and the trust they place in me. I view my clients as courageous and capable. I firmly believe, and it has been my experience, that a great many adult psychological challenges come from inaccurate beliefs that have been held and reinforced for years. Much of what I do as a therapist is to help adults learn important life skills that our society and school system don’t address. I think of myself as a coach, supporting you in becoming your best self.
I chose a graduate school program that emphasized systems theory. Instead of focusing on pathology, systems theory proposes that healthy relationship functioning, communication, and behavior within each area of your life—including family, work, and community—result in enhanced overall well-being. That said, as a licensed therapist, I have the education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat mental health conditions.
Additionally, I am genuinely a non-judgmental person who believes in the innate value of being human. I believe our negative behaviors are often an unconscious effort to protect against pain or a protective action based on past pain.
The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important components for a positive therapy outcome. I am guided by the high ethical standards of my professional association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Ethics provide a platform for a safe therapeutic relationship that has appropriate boundaries. Though our therapeutic relationship is very personal, it exists for your benefit only.
I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Utah and California and a Certified Hypnotherapist. I was first licensed to offer counseling services in January 1990 in California. I received my Utah license in 2002. In order to use hypnosis in therapy, California required post-graduate education in this modality, which I completed in 1990. Additionally, I completed a hypnotherapy certification course in Utah in 2003.
My licensure lets you know I’ve met state requirements for education and training. It’s not a description of what I do. I mostly work with individual adults dealing with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or life transition issues. I chose the education and training to become a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, because it was the best path available for preparation to be in private practice working with individuals, couples, or families.
I’ve enjoyed teaching undergraduate psychology classes at Utah Valley University, presenting Continuing Education seminars to colleagues, and speaking at the Utah Association of Marriage and Family Therapists annual conference.
The Winding Road to Here
I was born and raised in Ohio and became interested in becoming a counselor in early adolescence. I was always the kid you could trust with a secret, and classmates knew that. It felt good to have that integrity, but I was shy and depressed and wanted to make friends and become involved in social activities. I decided to plunge in and work toward those goals. It was challenging, but I was determined. My new behavior worked, and I developed a more balanced life.
I joke that by life’s end, I’ll have accomplished all the major developmental stages of life, but they sure won’t have been done in order.
The first time I slept in a tent I was 35. Soon after I traveled around the world for a year. A few years ago, I started backpacking. I love to be outdoors… the wild spaces bring serenity and confidence. I am passionate about protecting the environment, especially dark skies. When I gaze at the Milky Way sweeping across the night sky, I become absorbed in its boundless wonder, and life’s challenges are put into perspective.
Experience has taught me that facing challenges in life reaps valuable rewards of competence, confidence, and spiritual growth. For all my clients, I hold the possibility of stepping beyond self-imposed boundaries, having the willingness to push through discomfort, and finding peace in unexpected places.
Walk a Mile in Your Shoes
I offer depression therapy and anxiety therapy, as well as substance abuse counseling. My specialty areas are no coincidence. My life challenges, and the personal work I’ve done overcoming or managing them, led me to this path.
I don’t assume my experience tells me anything about your challenges. I do think it gives me a valuable sense of what it takes to confront personal difficulties, obstacles, and trials.
One of the qualities that make me an effective therapist is that I have the same types of life challenges as everyone else. As a therapist, I’m responsible to maintain good mental health, so I can guide you to your goals. I work hard to be a therapist who makes a difference by ongoing education of the most effective methods of therapy.
More About My Education and Experience
Marlo Bennett, LMFT, works as a therapist in Park City, Utah. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Design at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She has 20 years of experience in private practice, residential, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for mental health and substance use disorders, and psychiatric crisis evaluation. She is an EAP counselor for several local and national businesses, and developed an intensive outpatient program to treat substance addictions at a local community mental health clinic. As a guest lecturer in the graduate psychology program of California State University, she gave presentations on treating alcohol use disorders.