It’s a true pleasure to spotlight a real life saver, a man I’m proud to call my friend, Frederick Marschner from New Insight Counseling. Frederick is a licensed Clinical Social worker (LCSW-R) and Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), with over 20 years of mental health and addictions counseling experience obtained through working with individuals, couples, families and groups in a variety of inpatient, residential, and outpatient settings. Frederick has found success through a genuine caring for other people, putting his heart and soul into his work. His clinical Website is: www.buffalonycounseling.com
Fred, thank you for taking the time to let my readers get to know you. You have a very noble profession. What made you decide to go into counseling?
Good afternoon Ed! Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed. It is always a pleasure to converse with you. From a very young age I have been a person who has tried to help others. I was known by my friends as someone that they could easily talk to. Friends would often tell me things that they wouldn’t share with others or in group setting as they knew I would be supportive regardless of the issue. While growing up, I was told by many people that I had a gift for helping others and that I should consider it as a career. With that in mind, when I initially went to college it wasn’t the path I had chosen to study. People and situations continued to present themselves to me that made it very clear though that it was a path I should greatly consider. I still wasn’t sure though. I wanted to see what other possibilities were out there for someone like me and I went to the University at Buffalo’s Career Counseling office where I took a test called the “Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory”. This test gives individuals an idea of what they would be great at based on what their likes and dislikes are. The counseling field was in my top three.
Your website states that your “main goal is to help you reach your highest potential” with that in mind, do you provide services for people who don’t necessarily need counseling but could use coaching?
Ed, yes, that is true. But much more than that, this statement goes to the idea of coaching as well as people who have mental health issues that need to be addressed. I feel it is my job to help the people who come to me obtain the highest level of functioning for them. I have worked with people in a lot of different settings with a lot of different issues. Some people just need someone that they can talk to and bounce ideas off of. Others need much more than this. In terms of coaching, I have had individuals come to me looking to figure out how to change careers. How to go from unemployed to employed. I have also had adults come in and due to traumatic events, depression, or anxiety find themselves functioning at levels far below what they should. Whether acting as a coach or clinician, I work with each person to help them get to where they want to be. The main difference for me is how much resources a person has when they walk in the door. Do they have financial stability, supportive relationships, and motivation to achieve their goals.
I will give several examples: I have a client right now who is stuck in a job he doesn’t like. His life dream is to be a comedian. Through coaching, I have worked with him for a while now to find out if this dream could become a reality. He has the drive, the motivation, the intelligence, and the wit to make it work. He is active in the local comedy seen and is respected by his peers. We have worked through the pros and cons of his taking a chance of reaching his goal and he recently came in and told me he has decided to go for it. We continue to work to plan how this will happen. How he will gain the support of family and create a lifestyle conducive to his achieving his dream. I personally am very excited for him and personally and professionally believe he has what it takes to reach his dream.
I had a 28 year old client who hadn’t slept in a bed in 14 years. He would have night terrors every night. This guy’s childhood was plagued with medical issues and at the age of 14, woke up on an operating table while the operation was in progress. Needless to say he was highly traumatized by this event. He was a highly intelligent individual and was functioning way below his ability. I worked with him for about 6 months. Initially we worked on stabilization and helping him build coping strategies. Eventually, we worked on resolving his traumatic memories. At the end of the six months he was no longer having night terrors and able to sleep in a bed. He had found good employment and was making plans to move out of his parents’ home.
When choosing a counselor, what should a person look for?
This is an excellent question. The “goodness of fit” between a therapist and client is an important aspect for someone to make change in their life, but it isn’t the largest part. A person’s motivation to change takes precedence over the client and counselor relationship or even the method of treatment. Each of us comes with our own experiences and perceptions of who we feel we can get along with and best work with. Seeking a counselor is no different. Most people that are referred to me are either referred by a doctor’s office or they find me online. In either case, my suggestion would be to go to the therapist website and take a look at what he or she says. What they have experience working with and how they work with their clients. If you feel this therapist has experience with working with what you’re having trouble with and that you think you will be comfortable with them, give him or her a call or send an email to schedule an appointment. After seeing a counseling, whether it’s the first or tenth session or anything in between, if you feel that the fit isn’t right for you, then talk about it and see if this can either be resolved or if it is time to find someone else. The biggest thing here is to not be afraid you will hurt a therapists feelings for wanting to try somewhere else. We are professionals and understand that relationship is important and that it isn’t personal.
You also offer some nontraditional-alternative therapies, such as Reiki. Can you explain how these therapies enhance your traditional counseling services?
Since 2004, I have been working towards approaching clients from a different direction from traditional clinical work. In September, 2017 my hard work and devotion toward alternative therapies became a reality when I opened a new business, Spirit Wellness, LLC. This business offers nontraditional modalities such as Reiki, Holistic and metaphysical counseling, and mediumship to assist clients in obtaining their goals. There are other services I also offer that can be found on my website, www.leadingtowellness.com. I will offer these services to my clinical clients if I feel they can benefit from them. Clients interested in these services need only ask to schedule an appointment. As these types of services are not covered by insurance, they are not allowed to be used in my clinical work. Clients can go back and forth between my clinical and alternative therapies practices if they wish or they can be seen by another therapist for clinical work and come to me for the alternative therapies.
What is metaphysical counseling and how does it work?
I am glad you asked! As stated on my www.leadingtowellness.com Website, Metaphysical counseling helps one discover their relationship to the universe, how one is connected to a God of their understanding, how to make contact with God and experience His/Her presence, learn to improve life through the conscious mind, learn to trust one’s intuition and be guided by it, and ultimately, be able to create the life one desires.
In my providing metaphysical and holistic counseling, I am able to bring in some aspects of my 20 years as a therapist into my work with others who are seeking not only help with issues, but who are looking for an alternative, spiritual way of approaching them. An example of this is a woman I am working pro bono with currently. She suffered a tragic loss of her 8 year old son two and a half years ago to cancer and most recently the suicide of her ex-husband. She was severally depressed when she came to me and not functioning at all. She had given up on life and had nothing. After her initially telling me why she was seeking help, she stated “I just want to know that my son is okay”. Being connected to spirit as a psychic medium, I was able to tell her he is and educate her on the process he went through when he transitioned from this world to the next. In her first session with me, her son, along with her mother showed up to the session. I was able to tell her what her son and mother looked like without having seen a picture or having any knowledge of them. Since that first session, they have both attended each of her sessions, lending support and love. She has been seeing me nearly every week for three months now and has been slowly working to regain her life. She has a job after more than three years of unemployment and has short and long term goals. Her life is far from perfect at this time, but I am proud to say that she has turned a corner and is on the road to recovery.
How long is the discovery process to determine what kind of therapy is best for a client?
I consider myself an eclectic when it comes to the type of therapy I provide. An eclectic is a person who will use whatever therapies at his or her disposal to help a client reach their goals. For me, with 20 years of experience, it is usually within the first 5 minutes of a session that I have an idea of what a possible diagnosis is for a client. I spend the rest of the first session confirming this diagnosis and then looking to assess the extent of how one’s life has been affected by the problems they are seeking help for and the best way to educate about and approach the problem. In most first sessions with me, I am offering coping strategies to help with the identified problems.
Is it necessary to have a diagnosis? Why do our problems have to be labeled?
Unfortunately, anyone coming into a clinical setting, whether a therapist, or doctor’s office, will walk out with a clinical diagnosis. It isn’t because we want to label anyone or make them feel bad. Diagnosis is based on sets of symptoms. For Therapists like me, we use the DSM 5. It is required by insurance companies that we formulate a diagnosis to justify their paying for provided services. For me personally, it gives me a starting point of how to help someone.
Aside from helping others through Counseling and holistic therapies, what are your other interests?
I enjoy a wide variety of activities. I scuba dived for about 20 years, but ended my diving career this year as I felt it was time for me to move on from that sport. I am involved in charity work through the free masons. I enjoy hiking, photography, listening to and playing music, movies, and reading about history. I enjoy traveling and have a goal of visiting all 50 states. I enjoy visiting historic sights. I also ghost hunt.