Conversations that matter

team building, group facilitation & counseling/consultation



Workshops/groupsI have a question


Considering therapy is a brave act.

Not a whim or impulse


Here you are- choosing courage over comfort,

what’s right over what’s easy.






It’s time to feel better and live your best life. 






The Daring Way™ is based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. The work focuses on courage building, shame resilience, and uncovering the power of vulnerability.

we are all in this together

Free 30 min consultation session

Easy access, no commitment.
sessions offered THURSDAYS from 10 AM until NOON.
simply click the link below and you will be directed to my virtual waiting room.

You might have to wait for a bit but log on anytime between 10-12 on Thursdays.

No "appointment" needed or email me :



Consultation, Public Speaking & Team Building 

Whether it's a big stage with hundreds of people in the audience or a small group, we all want our time to be worth it. I know I have been there- sitting in the audience thinking, "That speaker is not saying anything new. I could be back at work getting real work done." The difference is when the topics stimulate the conversations that matter to you and your team- the difference is notable and creates an opportunity for dialogue and growth.

It’s not about talking "at" you but "with" you....and I love doing it.


Brené Brown's work in leadership combines practical tools for your organization to lean forward and perform better with the heart and soul that connects us all together.

Using shared values, honest and vulnerable evaluation and courageous leadership, the methods used in Dare to Lead and The Daring Way models are not only built on her research and insight but facilitated by her trained consultants.  

Continuing Education That Builds Community

The days and time spent "working" - especially for educators and helping professionals - is often measured in minutes and not hours. Each minute of a session or a lesson counts, so when one takes time away from their classroom or their clients, it holds tremendous value.

Our goal is that when you leave a CEU or professional development program, you leave feeling inspired to go back to work, and that your time away from your classroom or clients was honored and worth every minute. 

Continuing Education & Professional Development for Educators, Administration, and Helping Professionals

It starts with a room full of people. They are there because they share a vision, a goal, or the same work space.

This is always an opportunity, and not one to be squandered.

 Often, however,  when everyone leaves - they leave with no bigger vision, no greater plan, and instead of inspired to go back to work - they leave thinking of all the work they did not get done during that time.

Small Business/Entrepreneur Development, Coaching and Consultation

What gets in the way.....for me it was fear. What I have witnessed in over 25 years as a therapist, program director and business owner is this: the "tools" to be successful are important but understanding yourself better is a total game changer.


That’s they key; Rewiring your brain for productivity and effectiveness. There is a difference in knowing what you need and want to do and being able to make it happen.


Merritt Benz, LCSW, CDWF

Therapist, Small Business Owner

You know what you're doing. You're good at it but there’s still that one area where you can’t seem to make the progress you want. You’ve been to seminars and you’ve read books.

You’ve sought out experts who make their living talking about how to do “that one thing” you know you are called to do and yet, you’re perplexed.


Experience, education, training & the other stuff you might want to know about me

Education: Yale University School of Medicine

Child Study Center: Post-Graduate Fellowship


Completed competitive post-graduate program that incorporated multi-disciplinary supervision and training alongside participation in ongoing psychotherapy research in acommunity outpatient clinic and local public schools.

New Haven, CT

July 2004- June 2006

Education: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

 Masters of Social Work

Foundation: Advanced Direct Practice: Children and Families

School of Social Work - Awarded the Patricia Myron Memorial Fellowship for academic excellence and practice.

New Brunswick, NJ                          

September 2002- May 2004


This hangs in my home, on my wall, viable for all to see when they enter.   It matters to me as a therapist, that you know that- there should be no  wondering about welcome for any members or allys of the LGBTQ+ community.

my current bedside reading

“Being human is not hard because you're doing it wrong, it's hard because you're doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”

― Glennon Doyle, Untamed

Between the ears

Her unconventional studies have long suggested what neuroscience is now revealing: Our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them.

Naming something play rather than work — or exercise rather than labor — can mean the difference between delight and drudgery, fatigue or weight loss.

On Being with Krista Tippett November 2, 2017 Ellen Langer Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness

Interests & Loves

This "Fly" (which is the "bait" used in Fly Fishing) was given to me after I got my first tattoo by the kind soul who hung in there with me after I passed out right when he started. Thankfully, he and I shared a common love and could talk about it for hours (which is how long it took)


My Favorite spot to fish

Average is the New Extraordinary

Average is the New Extraordinary

Merritt Benz, LCSW When you read this fortune- how does the statement make you feel? This was a fortune I got in a fortune cookie (big surprise, right) and it stuck with me for some reason. I kept it and it's been on my refrigerator for months and I couldn't figure...

Your Story Matters Here

Your Story Matters Here

Merritt Benz, LCSW What if pain, failure, hurt, loneliness, shame disappointment, doubt…. All those words, all those experiences were redefined - Given new meaning. They are real, these feelings and experiences are true but they are not where hope is found. Hope is...

Restoring Water

Restoring Water

Merritt Benz, LCSW A client I met with today shared with me a beautiful experience he had. He was dropping off his best friend at the airport and knew it would be a year or longer before he saw him again and he felt sad. Really sad. He said that in the past he would...

Let's Start a Conversation

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