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Eamonn McKay, LMFT
I approach therapy from an integrative standpoint, using evidence-based therapy modalities that best suit the individuals, couples, or groups with whom I am working.

Our Team

Eamonn McKay, LMFT

Location

Licensed In

CA

Approach

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Cognitive processing therapy (CPT), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), Integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT), Psychodynamic, Solution-focused

Therapy Style

I approach therapy from an integrative standpoint, using evidence-based therapy modalities that best suit the individuals, couples, or groups with whom I am working. I find the exploratory techniques espoused in Psychodynamic models to be core to and underpinning a great deal of my practice. Psychodynamic work, for me, provides a solid foundation of knowledge on which to base my understanding of my client, and it is the basis from which I tailor subsequent interventions, including the use of alternate models.

As needed - and very much also a primary model of therapy I will default to - is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The affording of structure, the ease of understanding of interventions, and the strong evidence-based support for this model make integrating it into the work an almost seamless task. As needed I also use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and, for trauma, I also employ the techniques of Cognitive Processing Therapy. As needed, I pull from both Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Education

BA - Psychology, San Francisco State University

MA - Clinical Psychology, San Francisco State University

License Number and State

CA 81028

Pronouns

he/him

What are your interests outside of work?

For relaxation I enjoy spending time with my children, I am an avid photographer, I like to write, and I am passionate about technology of most sorts.

Why did you become a mental health professional?

I first became interested in therapy when I was living in my hometown of Belfast, North of Ireland. I grew up during the decades of paramilitary conflict that engulfed the province, and I became acutely aware of how trauma can impact a person both directly - by way of paramilitary activity - or indirectly, simply as a by-product of living in a society in conflict. On starting my career in the Northern Ireland Prison Service, I worked in the Psychology Department, and my duties included providing therapy to traumatized prison guards. This work revealed daily the multiple means by which trauma impacts the individual and family, including the use of substances, the potential for intimate partner violence and familial abuse, and the potential for suicide and non-suicidal self injury.

What is one thing you do daily that supports your mental and emotional well-being?

Self-care is critical in undertaking a career in therapy, and for me this is multifactorial. Besides taking time away from the work - and placing distance between yourself and access to that work - another self-care component which is increasingly important for me, is continued education. The more I am versed in and up-to-date with new developments and new models of intervention, the more prepared I feel, and, concomitantly, the less anxious I might feel when working with an issue on which I have little experience or insight.

What book have you read more than once?

Women Who Love Psychopaths by Sandra L Brown. Dr Brown's work focuses on pathological intimate relationships, in which one partner has (usually) a personality disorder. The trauma that is wrought in these relationships has been - until recently - little understood, inappropriately treated, and only now beginning to be understood as an extreme form of trauma that is very different from many others, despite these resulting in PTSD diagnoses.

Favorite organization/non-profit?

The Women Donors Network (WDN) based in San Francisco. This organization is a collection hub and disbursement point for funds addressing issues that impact minorities and support progressive values, including persons of color, LGBTQ+ persons, and supporting legislation for progressive social policy initiatives. The organization is operated by a small team of women, and is funded exclusively by women donors. A close family member works for WDN, and I am aware of the incredible impacts that can be derived from its support.

How do you recharge?

My primary means of recharging is to spend time with my children. Although at 16 (male) and 12 (female), they have very disparate interests and availability, I find nothing helps me relax more than being with them. Secondarily, I am a very avid amateur photographer, and I like to travel the countryside and cities around where I live seeking opportunities for potential shots. Sometimes these can take months to plan, but those shots are usually the most rewarding should they turn out successfully.

Do you have any pets?

In my family we have two dogs and a cat. I am not a cat person, but I am very much a dog person. My favorite pet story is one from my youth, an incident that happened when my father took our pet dog hunting with him in the forests above where we lived. Somehow, the dog and my father got separated, my father searched for hours, but then he had to drive home as he had searched until it became too dark to continue. We kids were heartbroken thinking we had lost our beloved pet, and went to bed thinking we had lost him forever. However, at dawn the next morning - some 16 hours after he went missing 7 miles north of where we lived - he turned up at our home, announcing his arrival by scratching to get in at the back door. That incident never ceases to amaze me, and my awe for our canine friends has remained ever since.

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