Merritt Benz, LCSW (MO) LSCSW (KS)Therapist, Consultant, & Team Builder
What happened before you started a search?
Or maybe it’s more complicated than that. Anxiety, depression, or maybe someone suggested you “talk to someone.”
Life brings changes. Uncertainty. We adapt. Whether the change in our life is one we did not expect or could not control, or it is a change we anticipated, it’s still hard to organize, understand, and (at times) even feel.
Wherever you are at the moment, and whatever you are facing, it is important and I’m here to join you as we figure it out together.
Curiosity is leading the way, and the direction is up to you.
Featured Groups and WorkshopsBrowse our selection of ongoing groups and workshops (both online and in person) and special offers.
THE DARING WAY ™
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. All Daring Way facilitators complete a training and certification program created and facilitated by Dr. Brené Brown and her team.
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 :
CounselingConsidering therapy is a brave act.
Rarely is that decision a whim or an impulse, and most likely you’ve been thinking about this for a while. Now here you are – being curious and maybe nervous and scared at the same time – and in my opinion brave things are rarely comfortable, but always worth trying.
Managing our relationships and also feeling good about them takes a lot of energy. Sometimes, we are in a crisis and other times we feel dull and unsatisfied. For most of us, the quality and fulfillment we have in our primary relationship impacts our lives on a daily basis – and it can always shift and change towards more of what we want and who we want to be – together with our partner and also for our own selves.
Children & Family Counseling
“Je suis faché.” – I am angry.
My son drew this and I have it hanging in my office to remind me that kids don’t feel “kid sized” feelings. They feel it all, and often they tell us with their choices and behaviors rather than their words. The good news is, that with the right approach, support, and effective strategies to identify and treat what is going on under the surface – but that is showing above the surface – change happens.
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” -Pema Chodron
Starting therapy/counseling or re-starting and finding a new therapist can be a daunting task. I’m here to tell that considering/exploring therapy is a courageous action. Whatever is prompting you right now to reach out is right where our work starts.
Years in Practice
Programs Opened & Developed
Days I Have Wished I Had Chosen Another Profession
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.
Experience, education, training & the other stuff you might want to know about me
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
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
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...
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...
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
Keep me in the loop!
Be notified when we have new Brené Brown Daring Way groups & other topical/seasonal workshops coming out. This is NOT for a newsletter or wekkly emails crowding your inbox. Groups we have offered in the past are Equine Therapy, Couples Workshops. Understanding the Ennegram, Rise Up (for Teens), Parenting, Mediatation etc.