Bruce Brown LICSW, LADC
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor providing mental health, substance abuse and couples counseling to adults, teens and families.
Education, Licensure and Certification
Methodology (or Why I became a therapist and how can I help you?)
People have always told me I’m a good listener and it must be true because people I just met will often open up and tell me their personal problems without me telling them what I do for a living. But that’s not why I became a therapist. I believe people can change. And let’s face it, none of us are perfect and most of us would like to change some aspects of our lives. That’s “normal”. People enter therapy often feeling “stuck” in their ability to change or thinking they are lacking the “willpower” to make and sustain the change. I see my role as a therapist, not as one who knows what is right and what will work for my clients, but as one who will help the client explore what will work for and motivate them to change. Sometimes it is looking at underlying issues that can go back into one’s past and other times it is a result of life’s many stressors that get thrown our way. Looking at our reactions to these events and the often negative patterns of behavior that result, can be the keys to developing new ways to view and cope with these situations which will bring about the sought after change.
Motivation to Change (or why “Trying is Lying”)
Change is not easy and is often scary. The fear of change, the fear of the unknown or fear of failure, is often what prevents people from attempting it. And then there are those who say they are going to “try” to change, to quit smoking or doing drugs, etc. But they do not often succeed, not because they didn’t try, but because trying is not enough. Change is a two step process: 1. you have a strong reason to make the change and have a need to succeed, and 2. you are committed to success; failure is not an option. Commitment is the key to success and means developing a mindset that only leaves room for success because the alternative is unacceptable and even intolerable. People who only “try” haven’t made that commitment and therefore are lying to themselves and others about their true intent and usually fail.
Areas of Expertise
I primarily work with individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. I also work with couples dealing with relationship issues. I have over 12 years of experience affiliated with the UVM Substance Abuse Treatment Center specializing in treatment research for opioid dependence. I have extensive experience with the administration of buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Methadone for maintenance assisted therapy. In my private practice I work with all forms of addiction, including alcohol and other drugs as well as gambling, internet and gaming.
In my work with couples, which I particularly enjoy doing, I begin by telling both parties that a relationship needs to be built on one of two things; either love or trust, but preferably both. I ask where they feel they are on the continuum for both and we begin working from there. Poor communication is a major problem for most couples experiencing relationship issues and we work on communication skills. There are rules of fair fighting that are important to learn in order to resolve arguments. I give homework assignments for couples to complete between sessions to help them focus on the areas that are critical to their taking responsibility for their own actions and part of the problems.
InsurancesI accept most insurance and managed care plans, including Medicaid, VHAP, Dr. Dinosaur and Medicare.
Professional MembershipNational Association of Social Workers
Vermont Addictions Professionals' Association
NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals