Featured Therapist for August, Mike Butera
Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Mike Butera, MFT. Learn more about him in the below interview!
What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person?
I have a never-ending lust for learning about human nature that exists both inside and outside the therapy room. When I’m not in the therapist’s chair, I’m constantly reading up on new ways to incorporate body-based techniques to help clients regulate their nervous system and process through emotions. Just as I help my clients regulate during sessions, I like to ground myself during my morning yoga ritual, walking my dog, being in nature, cycling throughout Philadelphia, and playing my tabla drums. I strongly believe that the value I place on my own self-care unconsciously resonates within the therapeutic relationship I hold with my clients.
What is your background? Why did you choose CFR?
I have a background working in the aerospace industry as an engineer with a fresh career transition into the field of marriage and family therapy where I provide individual, couple, and family therapy. I received my Master of Family Therapy degree from Thomas Jefferson University with my clinical internship experience through CFR. I decided to continue working at CFR because of their positive reputation for providing mental health services and their many talented therapists and supervisors that I can lean on for support. Also, I saw a unique opportunity to be a member of the Community Partnerships Initiative team at CFR which allows me to hone my skills in systems thinking, running groups, and relationship building through community engagement.
What do you consider to be the goal of therapy? How do you help your clients achieve their goals?
I think the primary goal of therapy is to have clients experience a sense of their own self-awareness and shift their Self energy to reach their personal goals for therapy. I think setting a client’s goals should be a collaborative process between the therapist and client within the first session. This allows for trust to start building in the therapeutic relationship which is a foundational component for a client’s ability to benefit from therapy. I help clients achieve their goals through psychoeducation, emotional guidance, and interpretations so that they become empowered to take positive action in their own lives.
What advice would you give someone who may be struggling with the decision to start therapy, but may not feel ready?
I think it’s important for individuals struggling to decide whether to begin therapy to assess what’s really holding them back. It could be their financial situation, fear of the unknown, or just not feeling comfortable. My advice would be to take baby steps by reaching out to friends or family who may be in therapy and to therapists who offer a free consultation. Exploring your reservations with someone who’s experienced therapy or a therapist may result in more clarity for knowing if you’re truly ready or not. I recommend bringing a list of questions to ask the therapist to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs.
Mike Butera, MFT is a Staff Therapist at our Center City and University City Offices; he currently sees clients via online therapy. To set-up an appointment, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-382-6680 ext. 4346.