About

Donald Goodman, LCSW
Goodman Therapy

Theory

Donald Goodman

Therapy should only feel as though the client and I are exchanging dialog back and forth. I want therapy to make sense to the client.

I believe that there is not one theory that works for everyone. I am comfortable using a broad range of theories. However, I am partial to using an eclectic mix of humanistic, existential, cognitive behavioral, psychoanalytic, and solution focused theories. However, the most important component of my therapy is that it is done through collaboration with my client. It is critical that the client buys into the modality that is chosen. I do not want to apply a theoretical perspective that leaves the client feeling confused. Therapy should only feel as though the client and I are exchanging dialog back and forth. I want therapy to make sense to the client.

Another important factor is that therapy is not going to change the core values of the client. A client once said to me, “I am not going to decide to leave my wife after I go to therapy with you, am I?” I replied, “Is leaving your wife what you hope to be able to do?” My client stated, “Absolutely not, I just hope to appreciate her more.” I replied, “Well, then appreciating your wife is our goal, not you coming to some realization that you do not love her or need her.” This point sounds simple. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. Many clients and therapists become lost in therapy and go in directions that are not helpful. Therapy is not rocket science, if it doesn’t make sense to my clients, then it probably does not make sense period.

Therapy is a journey that I hope to share with you. However, the answers are within you and when challenges are discussed and issues are brought up, the solutions will make the most sense to you. I think that the practice has to match the client. Not the client matching the practice. So together, we will identify the treatment modality that works best for you.

 

“I am always prepared to work as hard as I have to in order to reach my goals. As a therapist, I guide my practice in the same manner.”

My Experience

Donald Goodman, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
License #: 22798

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and trained mediator with over 25 years of experience providing psychotherapy and counseling services. Over my career I have helped my clients with a wide range of issues, but my specialties lie in couples counseling, children and teen issues, and all types of addictions and substance abuse. I also have extensive experience working with sexual abuse and domestic violence.

I spent over six years working with the Child’s Sexual Abuse Program where I provided group therapy to victims, siblings of victims, non-offending parents, and perpetrators.

I have spent over 25 years working in child and family welfare helping individuals, couples, and families, from intake to reunification or adoption.

I have over 25 years of experience dealing with juvenile delinquency, runaways, self-mutilations, ADHD, homicide, and suicide ideations.

Years of Experience Working with Substance Abuse and Addictions

Years of Experience Working in Mental Health

Years of Experience Working in the Child's Sexual Abuse Program

Years of Experience Working in Child and Family Welfare

Organizations

Clinical Supervisor for Associate Social Workers

Former Financial Chair for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Former Field Instructor for the California State University (CSUN) Master’s in Social Work Program

Seminar Instructor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) for four years

Education:

Master’s Degree in Social Work, University of Nevada (UNLV), Las Vegas, Nevada

Bachelor of Arts Degree, California State University (CSUN), Northridge, California

Clinical Focus

Substance Abuse and Addictions

Have you found yourself at a point in your life where you feel that you may have a problem with alcohol or other substances? Perhaps, your loved ones have expressed some concerns for your well-being, or you have suffered legal or professional consequences due to substance misuse.

Grief/Loss/Abandonment

I believe that the idea of loss is foundational to therapy. Many of the issues people face can be traced back to improperly grieved loss, in some form or another. The idea of grief and loss is often avoided because it is unpleasant. Those experiencing loss tend to want to get back to their lives leaving these old wounds open.  In order to make room for change, one has to mourn the loss of the old to make room for the new. There is no miracle to this process, just talk therapy. In my experience, I have seen how simply talking it through provides you with the opportunity to heal from the pain of the loss. There is nothing dysfunctional about feeling the pain of grief, loss, or abandonment.  Quite the contrary, it is the way to move through the pain and heal the wound. Sometimes, healing requires someone experienced guiding you through it. Everyone mourns the loss at their own pace. Your ability to access your pain and grief will dictate the time frame needed for a full recovery and a new beginning.

Depression

Depression is perhaps the most common mental health issue in the field. For many, medication is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about depression treatment. With this disorder, careful attention should be spent deciding if medication is needed and/or if the proper therapy and lifestyle changes can release you from depression’s grip. There are obvious dangers of becoming dependent on medication to treat your condition versus only using it as a bridge. Using it as a bridge may help you access what you need in order to eventually cope without it. While some people may need to remain on medication to treat their depression, others are able to successfully wean off if it. As an experienced clinician, I have treated many clients with depressive symptoms. I can help guide you through that decision by using a variety of therapeutic techniques.

All Child and Teen Issues

I have been working with youth for over 25 years. I have seen everything from high functioning autism to conduct disorder. Whether you are struggling to get your child to follow directions or get them off of heroin, the chances are that I have worked with that issue many times. I started my career working with youth and I will continue to work with this special population as long as I am in this field.

Individual Therapy

Individual counseling sessions provide an opportunity for you to dig deep into your past, heal traumas, learn new coping skills, let go of guilt and shame, and make important life decisions. In my private practice, I have helped many people find their purpose and overcome setbacks.  I am pleased to be of service to individuals who are looking to make positive changes in their lives and discover their true potential.  I am confident in my ability to provide an open, nonjudgmental, and supportive approach in the therapeutic relationship with my clients on an individual basis.  I believe my job is to guide you to the answers within yourself.  I use eclectic techniques that are rooted in a variety of evidence-based practices and tailored to fit each individual client.

Couples Therapy

Relationship and couples therapy is the process of counseling the parties of the relationship in an effort to recognize and better manage or reconcile troublesome differences and repeating patterns of distress. Many couples face issues that start to pile up over time and threaten the stability of their relationship. I have extensive knowledge in guiding couples to better communication strategies, finding compromises, getting needs met, and providing guidance to repair the damage left by past infidelities or other indiscretions.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is the most underreported type of abuse. New research says that one in six men and one in three women were sexually abused in some way. It is possible that due to the taboos associated with sexual abuse, that number may even be higher. Some people find it difficult to ask for help and reveal this part of their past. There is a high degree of shame, betrayal, and guilt associated with sexual abuse survivors. Generally, the depth of how badly someone was hurt by sexual abuse is based on several factors. The level of betrayal – meaning, how close to you is the perpetrator? Was it your mom, dad, or other family member? The actual physical aspect of it; was it exposure, fondling, intercourse, and/or rape? How long did it go on for? And, at what age did it start and end at? In healing this deep violation, the therapist must explore all aspects of the abuse and assist you in addressing how the abuse may be playing out in your current intimate relationships.

Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, domestic violence is much more common than one might think. I don’t believe in blaming or shaming, but instead just changing this incredibly destructive cycle of abuse. Many people don’t understand that domestic violence is not just physical but can be verbal or emotional. Domestic violence can be used to intimidate or control someone without physical contact. Yelling, breaking things, throwing things, and slamming doors are all more subtle ways partners may scare their loved ones. I am comfortable working with individuals, couples, and/or families experiencing this issue in their life.

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  • Privacy Policy

    Confidentiality

    All information disclosed within sessions and the written records pertaining to those sessions are confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without your (client’s) written permission, except where disclosure is required by law. Most of the provisions explaining when the law requires disclosure were described to you in the Notice of Privacy Practices that you received with this form.

    When Disclosure Is Required By Law

    Some of the circumstances where disclosure is required by the law are: where there is a reasonable suspicion of child, dependent or elder, abuse or neglect; and where a client presents a danger to self, to others, to property, or is gravely disabled.

    When Disclosure May Be Required

    Disclosure may be required pursuant to a legal proceeding. If you place your mental status at issue in litigation initiated by you, the defendant may have the right to obtain the therapy records and/or testimony by Donald Goodman. In couple and family therapy, or when different family members are seen individually, confidentiality and privilege do not apply between the couple or among family members. Donald Goodman will use his clinical judgment when revealing such information. Donald Goodman will not release records to any outside party unless he is authorized to do so by all adult family members who were part of the treatment.

    Emergencies

    If there is an emergency during our work together, or in the future after termination, where Donald Goodman becomes concerned about your personal safety, the possibility of you injuring someone else, or about you receiving proper psychiatric care, he will do whatever he can within the limits of the law, to prevent you from injuring yourself or others and to ensure that you receive the proper medical care. For this purpose, he may also contact the police, hospital or the person whose name you have provided on the biographical sheet.

    Confidentiality of E-mail, Cell Phone and Faxes Communication

    It is very important to be aware that e-mail and cell phone (also cordless phones) communication can be relatively easily accessed by unauthorized people and hence, the privacy and confidentiality of such communication can be easily compromised. E-mails, in particular, are vulnerable to such unauthorized access due to the fact that servers have unlimited and direct access to all e-mails that go through them. Faxes can be sent erroneously to the wrong address. Please notify Donald Goodman at the beginning of treatment if you decide to avoid or limit in any way the use of any or all of the above-mentioned communication devices. Please do not use e-mail or faxes in emergency situations. Also, please note that most insurance companies will not reimburse for phone sessions. Clients will be expected to assume the full fee if phone sessions are scheduled.

    Litigation Limitation

    Due to the nature of the therapeutic process and the fact that it often involves making a full disclosure with regard to many matters which may be of a confidential nature, it is agreed that should there be legal proceedings (such as, but not limited to divorce and custody disputes, injuries, lawsuits, etc.), neither you (client) nor your attorney, nor anyone else acting on your behalf will call on Donald Goodman to testify in court or at any other proceeding, nor will a disclosure of the therapy records be requested.

    Consultation

    Donald Goodman consults regularly with other professionals regarding his clients; however, the client’s name or other identifying information is never mentioned. The client’s identity remains completely anonymous, and confidentiality is fully maintained.

    * Considering all of the above exclusions, if it is still appropriate, upon your request, Donald Goodman will release information to any agency/person you specify unless Donald Goodman. concludes that releasing such information might be harmful in any way.