Featured Therapist for January, Mark Goodson
Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Mark Goodson, DA. Learn more about him in the below interview!
What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person?
What makes me unique as a therapist and as a person is the privilege I have had to serve others. I have worn many hats for many years, which has required serving my family, community, and nation. My life experiences have positioned me to be able to relate to a broad range of clients from various backgrounds. Having worked as a police officer for over 30 years, pastoring a church for 16 years, and serving as an Army Reservist for eight years has helped me become a unique therapist for others.
What do you consider to be the goal of therapy? How do you help your clients achieve their goals?
I feel that one of the goals of therapy is to help people work through the challenges that brought them to therapy. In the climate of COVID-19, as well as the trauma caused by the public murder of George Floyd, people are on edge, experiencing stress, and not feeling their best. Therapy can help normalize issues clients face, while providing a safe, confidential space to address concerns. A therapist using a collaborative approach with the client helps the client achieve their goals by working together.
Why did you become a therapist?
My initial reason for becoming a therapist was to help first responders, as well as the parishioners of my congregation, address the difficulties of life. The issues officers were experiencing were becoming more challenging in scope, and the issues parishioners were having were becoming more difficult as well. I decided to increase my education to address the issues of the officers and parishioners I was serving. I decided to become a therapist so that I could not only continue working with first responders and parishioners, but also to continue serving the citizens of Philadelphia.
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling with the decision to start therapy, but may not feel ready?
The decision to start therapy can be a scary decision to make for anyone. Because of the mistreatment of people of color historically in medicine, therapy, and other fields, the decision to start therapy can be even more difficult for citizens of color. My advice to those struggling with the decision to start therapy would be to consider if they are feeling that their challenges are getting worse and not better. If feeling overwhelmed is their current state, if sadness, or a sense of helplessness is increasing, then I would suggest reaching out for a consultation with a therapist. I would suggest that people make a courageous decision to invest in themselves by investing in good mental health; they deserve it.
Mark Goodson, DA is a Staff Therapist at our University City and Wynnewood 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. 7012.