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Featured Therapist for August, David MacFarlane

August 5, 2021

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is David MacFarlane, MEd. Learn more about him in the below interview!

What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person?

I began my work life as a chemist (!) where I learned a lot about asking the right questions to get to the relevant issues. I have a very analytical, but very personal approach to therapy. 

What do you consider to be the goal of therapy? What do you help your clients work towards?

I think the goal of therapy is to assist the client in achieving their stated goals. I help clients set concrete goals that we can break down into smaller parts to achieve the whole.

How would your clients describe you?

My clients say I’m easy to talk to, give them “lots to think about,” and show them commitment.

What is your background? Why did you choose CFR?

I was trained as an Object-Relations Family Therapist, but as I have progressed over the years, I now call myself a Learning Therapist. I believe that most unhelpful behavior in clients is due to the assumptions they make about the world and about relationships, that have not been acknowledged, much less challenged by the client. I chose CFR because there is a like-mindedness of staff in approaching therapy and in providing support for the staff.

What does a first session with you usually consist of?

My first session consists of a statement of the overall problem, getting a timeline on the initial appearance of symptoms as well as development of the problem, and assessing what has been tried already. I take a careful family history and assess current supports. Finally, I help the client develop initial goals and almost always give a homework assignment for the client to work on between sessions.

David MacFarlane, MEd is a Staff Therapist at our Center City and University City Offices in Philadelphia, PA; he currently sees clients via online therapy. To set-up an appointment, you can reach him at dmacfarlane@councilforrelationships.org or 215-382-6680 ext. 7023.