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Dr. Michael Avila, LMFT, CSW

As the Founder and Executive Director of Sojourners, I am committed to our ever-expanding mission of providing personal care and professional support through counseling, individual psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy, as well as by our access to other professionals, resources, and services, which can be included in your ongoing network of contacts. I have 20 years' experience working with individual adolescents and adults, as well as couples and families, to resolve relationship conflicts and to develop more harmonious and satisfying relationships. I specialize in counseling couples who are struggling with problems in the areas of communication, power, decision-making, sexual fulfillment, financial responsibilities, or intimacy.

In particular, I have extensive experience in working with:

  • parenting concerns, especially in relation to adolescents and to those with special needs, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, and chronic illness
  • issues related to separation, divorce, re-marriage, and blended family life
  • marital or family conflicts due to differences in values, beliefs, or priorities
  • partnership preparation and marriage foundations for those deciding about intentionally taking their relationship to more complex levels of commitment and intimacy

I have an interactive and direct communication style, in a spirit which makes room for humor and playfulness. People benefit from the immediate feeling of welcome acceptance, and my warm and caring manner. I have an unwavering commitment to supporting a process where together, we work toward the goals that matter to you, as well as learning to give yourself permission to take a journey which sometimes pushes up against your comfort zones in order to move from a focus on problems, to strategies for resolving problems. Ultimately, this results, not only in growth, but also, in change.

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Social Worker. I completed my post-graduate residency at Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute in New York City, where I obtained professional certifications in Marriage and Family Therapy and Pastoral Psychotherapy. My doctoral degree from New York Theological Seminary is in the Integration of Spirituality and Psychotherapy. I hold Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Pastoral Care and Counseling, and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. I am a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a Fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC).

In addition to my work in as a therapist, I have created and presented seminars and workshops for a wide range of organizations addressing adolescent issues, effective communication, substance abuse, leadership development, and boundaries in professional relationships, sexual harassment, and other subjects. I have also consulted with organizations in the areas of conflict resolution and professional development.

You may reach Dr. Michael Avila directly by phone at 201-393-0370, or by email, drmichaelavila@sojourners-family-resources.com