Shawn LaRé Brinkley
I first entered the helping profession working with children in afterschool programs. After developing a disguised learning program for elementary and middle school children, I taught this program through LAUSD in afterschool programs. While working with these children, I discovered the sad fact that many of today’s children are under-informed about academic topics and well over-informed about topics about which youngsters should know nothing. This revelation brought to mind something my grandmothers both said to me growing up, “To she whom much is given, much is required.”
Having grown up with the gift of a warm loving family, I chose to answer the call for higher academic pursuits and returned to school to earn my Masters of Counseling, Marriage, Family, Child Therapy from the University of Phoenix, Woodland Hills Campus.
As a marriage family therapist, I find myself working with a very diverse clientele as I have very diverse interests in mental health. I am interested in and fascinated by the “why” of my clients. I want to help him or her reach down into the depths of his or her being to discover who they are when they feel safe, secure, and cared for. I believe much of the sorrow experienced by most of us stems from a longing to know ourselves, trust ourselves, and believe we are worthy. With this goal at the forefront of my mind, I have found myself working with teens in trauma and crisis; wedged between the normal adolescent emotional sea-saw and the trauma of growing up in a world where human sex trafficking and CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) exists. I have had the pleasure and challenge of working with teen girls on probation with emotional, behavioral, mental health, substance abuse, attachment, and trauma issues. Here is where I learned what it means to have compassion and empathy while holding out hope for those who feel hopeless.
My journey has led me to work with families suffering the plight of losing a loved one to homicide, drunk drivers, suicide, gang violence; or who were survivors of violent crimes such as assault and battery, robbery, as well as sexually related and intimate partner violence. This work sparked the interest to further develop the skills and insight to work as a grief and loss specialist; which includes assisting individuals who suffer with chronic pain, illness, and devastating medical diagnoses.
I practice using traditional talk therapy as well as non-traditional modalities. I am trained to use art, music, and movement as a healing tool, as I believe healing comes through many pathways. Further training includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Narrative Therapy, Play Therapy, and Sandbox Therapy. I am a certified Laughter Yoga Instructor, as it is a scientific fact that laughter has healing properties, whether real or simulated. What better way to find optimum health than by laughing your way there.
I work with adolescents, individually, in groups, and with families. In addition, I provide counseling for couples just starting out (premarital), as well as those who have been together for years and are looking to keep the fires of friendship, romance, sexual desires burning. I also work with children, adults, and families with a variety of therapeutic and life situation-related needs.
Coaching and Consulting
My services further include coaching for those who find themselves stuck in a place that is stifling growth or in the middle of a career search or change. Often the need is not necessarily clinically related, rather a person may need to sort through some of the challenges of day to day living; stressors; life changes or new adventures. Coaching is a way to get feedback and/or direction on one's thoughts, ideas, or issues that may require a second look. In addition, I offer consultation to individuals, groups, couples, companies, organizations that may need clinical or non-clinical consulting in such areas as substance abuse, trauma, marriage, child rearing/development, adolescent issues, and a host of other areas. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any coaching or consulting needs you may have.
I am a passionate public speaker available to speak on a myriad of topics ranging from women’s issues to bullying, suicide prevention among youth, and human sex trafficking prevention and awareness. My experience is diverse and so are my topics choices. I believe a speaker should be knowledgeable, dynamic, spirited, and engaging. These are the qualities I pride myself in bringing to the stage when I step to the podium. Whether a large convention hall or a small luncheon gathering, I bring my best self to fill the room with joy, hope, and consciousness that will leave the audience invigorated and ready to move to action.