Getting to Know August Featured Therapist, Ryan McMillian, MDiv, MFT
Every month, Council for Relationships highlights one of our staff therapists on the blog. Read our interview below with August’s Featured Therapist Ryan McMillian, MDiv, MFT.
What makes you unique as a therapist and person?
I am charismatic and reserved, direct and diplomatic, a guide and a learner. Such paradoxical elements make me unique as a therapist and a person. I have had a knack for connecting with men in couple’s relationships that at one point saw no value or use in therapy, and through the therapeutic relationship, the same men anticipated and looked forward sessions.
What is your role here?
I am a staff therapist at the Council For relationship. I work mainly with couples including veterans, premarital counseling, and affairs. I also work with families with adolescent boys struggling with anger and aggression.
What is something your clients would say about you?
My clients have used words like “balanced,” “attentive” and “understanding.” One family indicated “you are a part of the family” as she spoke of how they not only allowed me into places they have shown no one else, but she added that she felt that her family has improved due to our work. One couple shared “you do a good job of hearing both of us and pointing out what you see.” Overall my clients indicate they feel heard and that the therapy is centered around their goals.
Is inner peace real? If so, how can one work towards this?
Inner peace is real. One day I went to the botanical garden and closed my eyes. Initially, I felt the rush of all the day’s thoughts, and then suddenly I felt a calmness. Inner peace comes through remaining in the present and refraining from judging thoughts and feelings as they surface. To obtain inner peace accept all feelings as valuable and allow each to pass through. Most times we can miss out on peace through avoiding feelings.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give people who may be struggling emotionally and would like to seek to counsel but may not be ready?
I do a 15-minute free phone consultation, so perhaps they can start off with a phone call to learn more about the therapeutic process. Taking the first step actually, eases the emotional turmoil or struggle. Part of the emotional struggle sometimes is battling with it alone every day or putting on a mask to be strong for everyone else. In the 15 minute consultations share your reservations, so your therapist can give you the reassurance you need to get started.
Ryan McMillian, MDiv, MFT