Billy Cleary, MA, LMFT is a graduate from Wheaton College’s Marriage and Family Therapy program and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. His therapeutic expertise developed and enhanced in his clinical practice in the suburbs and in the city, including working with families, individuals, adolescents, and children to increase self-esteem, build awareness of one’s choices, and improve family relationships. His approach to therapy comes from a belief that humans are wired to be in relationship with others, and that creating a space to share disagreements, confusion, and struggles strengthens relational bonds. He previously served overseas in Japan (2006-2012) in youth ministry working with children and adolescents, as well as teaching culture and language skills to individuals and groups of all ages. He transitioned to the U.S. (2012-Present) to further his ability to work with families, couples, and adolescents in a therapeutic setting. Billy lives with his wife, Emily, who he met while living in Japan. Additional loves in his life include coffee, studying different cultures, sports, and the outdoors. He’s climbed Mt. Fuji three times and has travelled to five different continents in the world. He hopes one day to equip his therapy room with an espresso machine and hot water pot for coffee or tea connoisseurs to add one more element to the therapeutic process. In the meantime, we’ll both have to bring our own.
Billy’s Approach to Therapy
Families & Adolescents
I thoroughly enjoy helping parents and adolescents who are stuck trying to negotiate the push-pull for independence and established boundaries. My effective approach with adolescents is to meet them in their space and time emotionally, spiritually, and developmentally, while working with the family to alleviate anxiety, tension, and stress. My experience has shown that strengthening family bonds help adolescents to function more efficiently in school and in their interpersonal relationships. Kids sometimes need someone who understands them and helps them through the changes of life. My work with adolescents extends across cultures where I have helped families and individuals in transition negotiate the turmoil of growing up in multi-cultural and our ever-changing environments. Because of my life experiences, I have become passionate about helping children and adults who grew up in a culture different than their passport country (TCKs) work through identity, confusion, and isolation issues.
I also have experience working with couples around relational issues through the process of Emotion Focused Couples Therapy. My approach is to slow down cycles of conflict that arise with couples and help both partners in the relationship to understand what triggers the conflict. Throughout this crucial step, I offer space for each partner to be heard and fully understood in the process.
Working with Individuals
I believe that individuals often need an avenue to process thoughts, emotions, and have a safe environment to experience healing and growth. My initial goal is to build an authentic relationship with clients and foster a safe, caring environment. I find joy in guiding clients toward identifying obstacles in their lives, and helping them remove the barriers that block them from the path of growth. The journey toward healing is continued by assisting the individual to discover a new road to take that leads to wholeness. After all, we are all a work in progress.