Michelle Long Fryback, M.A.
Marriage Family Therapist
"Specializing in Communication"
About Michelle Long Fryback
Who am I? click here for more info
What is my background and experience? click here for more info
What is my approach? click here for more info
I have been providing therapy in the South Bay area for over 10 years, where I have lived for more than 38 years. My private practice specializes in better communication resulting in less conflicted and more meaningful relationships. This includes couples, families as well as parent-teen relationships. One aspect of my practice I am deeply proud of is facilitating a therapy group which focuses on communication, which I have been facilitating since 2002. Throughout my life it has been apparent that I had an inherent gift for communicating and understanding people in a deeper, and more direct way. I spent a lot of my twenties in a pretty severe depression with overwhelming anxiety. This difficult life experience resulted in an amazing growth experience, as I went to therapy and began extensive work on myself, and in my own relationship as well. I know what it feels like to be in an unhappy relationship, and feel depressed and anxious in life. I have sat on that couch in a therapist’s office and can appreciate the difficulty in seeking counseling as well as the growth process itself. I also, have come out the other side and can honestly say I am at peace and experience a wonderful level of contentment in my relationship and personally. I am a living example of how effective therapy can be and that people can really change. I walk the walk and talk the talk. This I credit to the therapeutic process and my therapist, teacher and mentor, Brigitta Westall, PhD. I have spent the majority of my life studying communication, relationships, personally, spiritually and professionally. This is my passion. I often say, even if I won the lottery or when I reach retirement age, I intend to practice therapy, (I may have a walker, but, I will be practicing therapy).
I hold a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. My studies also include 13 years of experience under Brigitta Westall PhD. (lineage of Fritz Perls, master therapist). My experience providing therapy for low-income families and foster children at Starview Community Services for 4 years has proved invaluable in working with some very conflicted relationships and thus promoting healing and understanding under severe circumstances. While working at Starview, I also provided therapy as a private practice intern for Scott Polenz, MFT in Westchester, where I gained valuable experience providing couples counseling. This is where I decided to dedicate my practice to teaching better communication to couples and families. During this time I also became actively involved in The Beach Cities Health District’s Wellness Program, where I facilitated a communications class. Some of my credits include appearing in a series focusing on depression on Santa Monica TV 16's "Coffee Break". For the past two years I have been a re-occurring guest teacher in the School counseling program at Loyola Marymount University.
If I were in crisis with my spouse or teen, I would not be interested in theories, approaches or "psychobabble". However, If I were to use "psychobabble" to describe what I do, I am an existential therapist that uses a combination of Communications (Virginia Satir), Family systems theory and gestalt interventions. Recently, I have been studying meditation in treatment of anxiety and depression along with insight psychology, which is an approach focusing on the here and now, and the meaning we make of things. With that being said what is really important is that I am direct and not afraid to be transparent with what I observe and see going on between people, while at the same time, I am compassionate and understanding about the discomfort and difficulty in attending therapy in its own right and being confronted on your own defenses. I am skilled at challenging people to look at themselves while holding them in a compassionate and understanding way. I spend a lot of time teaching communication skills and explaining the reasons for the change. Most us just want to be heard, understood, and know that our partner cares about what is important to us. Ultimately, we just want the painful round and round fighting to stop so we can get back to enjoying our relationships again.
License # MFC 39858