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“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” 
- David Richo 

Welcome! If you're on my website it’s likely you're looking for an individual or couples therapist. Choosing a therapist that you feel comfortable with can be challenging. It's my hope that these pages will provide some information about who I am, my clinical practice, and the perspectives that inform my world-view.

Clinically, I am a fearless, empathic, and engaged psychotherapist committed to working deeply with the individuals, couples, and families I see in my practice. I maintain a kink, queer, and LGBTQQIAA welcoming and affirming practice serving a diverse population of folks from varying social classes, racial, ethnic and cultural origins. I hold a respectful and curious approach to difference while searching for similarities and shared experience that allow me to connect with my clients. I am licensed in Massachusetts as an Independent Clinical Social Worker, and I am a board certified sex therapist and supervisor of sex therapy, through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and a clinical member of The Society for Sex Therapy And Research. 

Credentials

I graduated from Boston University in 1995 with a Masters Degree in Social Work and a specialization in group psychotherapy. While studying at Boston University, my field placements focused on family therapy, adult mental health, substance abuse and dependency, community mental health and people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. 

My undergraduate degree was completed in 1993 through The University of Massachusetts Boston. While enrolled at U-Mass Boston, I worked full time with homeless men, women and families struggling with chronic mental illness, substance dependency, and domestic violence. I was employed at McLean Hospital for several years where I worked primarily in an adolescent residential program and several other programs including the psychotic disorders residential unit. 

Ideas that influence how I work with clients

I maintain an eclectic approach to my work as a psychotherapist. This means that, rather than relying on a single theory base, my understanding of human relationships, struggles, and problem resolution is influenced by multiple psychological and sociological schools of thought. As no two people, couples, families, or problems are exactly alike, a mixed model approachallows me to tailor my interventions to work with my client's in creating personalized approaches to resolving their presenting concerns.

Some of the models that I've found most helpful in my practice include various family systems theories, emotion focused therapy, existentialism, humanism, contemporary psychodynamic perspectives, motivational interventions, somatic awareness models, narrative, constructivist and collaborative language approaches, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and harm reduction interventions.

In addition to seeing clients, I also lecture, teach and supervise about issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, LGBTQQIAA mental health, problematic sexual behavior, LGBTQIAA elders and sexuality, sex therapy, and problematic relationship dynamics.

Address: 

My office is located at;  114 Commonwealth Avenue, Concord, MA. 01742. 

My office is accessible by The Commuter Rail Concord Station stop. For those who choose to drive there is ample on street parking available. Should you have any questions regarding my practice, or would like to discuss the possibility of our working together, please contact me at 617-461-8479. You may also email me at; josephwinnlicsw@josephwinnlicsw.com 

Why do people come to therapy? 

People enter therapy for different reasons and often with specific ideas about the causes of their struggles. Whatever the reason, there is the realization that 'something' doesn't work the way it once did. This 'something' may be dealing with new relationships and feelings in old and unhelpful ways or a recognition that old wounds can no longer be ignored without painful consequences. These realizations, and the uncertainty of how to address them, often require a non-judgmental place to begin moving towards the person we want to become. Below are listed some common issues seen in my practice.

Depression, anxiety, traumatic histories, and other painful experiences:

Everyone experiences 'the blues' from time to time, and who hasn't dealt with anxiety about an upcoming event, work project, or school assignment? Complex and uncomfortable emotions come with the terrain of being human! However, when disturbances in mood become overwhelming and undermine how we deal with life, work, and relationships it may be time to consider getting help. Therapy to address these emotions may be as simple as sharing your concerns and being offered new tools to improve your mood and functioning. In other situations, a combination of psychotherapy and medication may be suggested to provide the relief you are seeking. 

Adjustment Difficulties:

Adjustment difficulties refer to the challenges of life transitions. Many of these transitions are normative experiences and may include births, a recent loss, a child leaving for college and the challenge of returning to being a full time couple after focusing so heavily on being parents. Adjustment difficulties often present with anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, and a host of other changes in mood and sense of self that impacts the quality of your life. While normative, many people find that therapy has been helpful in adapting to these changes and considering how to deal with new options for living.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender identity exploration:

Addressing the complexity of sexual orientation or gender identity, let alone the possibility of sharing this information with others, can be overwhelming. A central theme of self-acceptance is the ability to confront the myths and misinformation we have internalized about what it means to be a gay, lesbian, bisexual, sexually fluid, or a transgender or gender non-conforming person. Having a supportive and affirming environment to explore identity can greatly improve the process of self-acceptance.

Sexual difficulties and a desire to improve sexual pleasure:

There are no sexual issues, concerns, problems or practices that cannot be discussed freely and openly in my office. Sometimes people come to sex therapy to address issues of sexual desire, arousal, or pain during sexual activity or difficulties with orgasm. Individuals and couples also enter sex therapy to discuss new ways of exploring pleasure with oneself, a committed partner or with multiple partners. Unfortunately, our culture is steeped in conflicting messages related to eroticism, sexuality, and sexual pleasure. These messages often reduce sex into simple “good” and “bad” boxes that leave people feeling uncomfortable with their sexuality. While there are many ways to address and resolve concerns involving eroticism, sex and sexuality the first step is to acknowledge that these concerns exist.

Family therapy:

Family therapy focuses on working with the entire family, or selected parts of the family, to assess, identify and resolve conflicts. A major focus of family therapy is to change patterns of interaction and improve how family communicates and functions together.

Recovering from sexual violence: 

Both women and men can be victims of sexual abuse and assault. Learning to find ways to deal with this type of violation can be tremendously difficult. The emotions that follow this type of violence and it's impact on ones sense of safety, relationships, and self-perception are at the core of the journey towards feeling, healing, and learning to rebuild a new life.

Recovery from substance dependency and abuse:

Changing behaviors can be hard, particularly if those behaviors have provided ways to escape from painful life events. Building on early recovery, and creating a supportive environment, people learn to take stock of the damage done to their lives by substance abuse and dependency and learn to create new ways of being in the world.

Personal growth:

Not all therapy is about struggle. Sometimes people just need a place to share thoughts, feelings and recollections in a supportive, non-judgemental, and confidential space. A place that is big and safe enough to openly share new ways of seeing oneself and others. Through this process we come to realize that we are dynamic and evolving beings, trying to make sense of aspects of self previously unrecognized or un-acknowledged. This growth could be related to a desire to find deeper connection and community with others, a spiritual awakening, a sense of the sacred, or some other subtle, but powerful, transition into the possibilities of a new way of being alive. What ever you may be looking for, or hoping to acheive in your journey, know that there is a place for you in the world.