Loss & Life Transition Therapist in Columbia, MO
Counselor In Training
Ben specializes in providing individual counseling services to clients who have experienced loss of some kind. Maybe you’ve experienced loss in the form of death, loss of a dream, loss of hope or joy (even suicidal thoughts), loss of a sense of purpose, lack of energy or are simply feeling lost. Whatever form loss and change have taken in your life, Ben can help you adjust to your “new normal” and find meaning again. Ben is also very skilled at helping with family problems and adjusting to life transitions.
Have you been through a significant loss and aren’t sure how to respond?
Do you feel heartbroken or empty?
Have you experienced depression or suicidal thoughts?
Hello, I am Ben Schartman. If you are here on this page reading my “About Me” statement there is probably something significant going on in your life. There is a reason you are seeking help right now. You may be feeling overwhelm, emptiness, hopelessness, heartbreak, heavy sadness or pervasive anxiety. Perhaps you’ve even had suicidal thoughts. These kinds of feelings often come in response to the experience of loss in our lives. This loss could be of a loved one, divorce or separation, loss of health, or loss of a dream or a career aspiration. These significant life changes can leave us lost and confused. Your life may feel chaotic during this time of change. One poet put it this way: “In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost” -Dante.
If you find yourself in this position I want you to know this: there is a way through this dark time. There is a path from where you are to a place that is happier and from where you can again see the sun. You are not alone: we all suffer and struggle at some point in the journey of our lives . But just as there are many who suffer, there is also a well-worn path from suffering to healing. There are many guides along this path. I am one of them, I know this path well and I would be honored to work with you.
Who do I work with?
I specialize in counseling clients who are recovering from grief and loss. However, I also work with people dealing with a wide array of issues including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, self-esteem, and men’s issues. I work with teenagers (usually 14+) and adults all the way through retirement.
My Approach to Counseling
I use a client-centered approach to therapy putting you, the client, first. I help you develop awareness and move towards your goals. For clients dealing with grief and loss this means connecting to the profound significance of what has been lost. Then choosing how to move into your future while honoring your past. I believe that each person is profoundly intelligent, flexible and capable of handling whatever challenges life puts in their path. However, either because of the adoption of limiting thoughts or beliefs or due to the unresolved pain from difficult situations earlier in life we lose touch with these qualities. My role as counsellor is to help you reconnect to your fundamental intelligence, and wisdom and to support you in overcoming challenges in your life.
I am trained in a couple of well research, evidence based counseling interventions. Techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) make up much of my practice. I’ve been through significant training for and participated in professional consultation teams with therapists who use both of these mental health treatments.
Why Did I Become a Mental Health Therapist?
I have been interested in being a counselor since my time in college. However, I felt that I should be older, with more life experience and hopefully more wisdom before embarking on this path. In the 16 years since graduating with my first college degree, I have sought out diverse life experience. I have taught english in a foreign country, lived and worked at a meditation center and then helped to run a homeless shelter/community while I worked as a carpenter. During the time working at the homeless shelter I learned a kind of peer-to-peer counseling modality. I have practiced that mental health intervention for more than a thousand hours. Recently, I spent three years in the graduate program at Stephens College. I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Counseling in December 2017. I am now a Counselor in Training practicing under the supervision of Dr. Ronda Reitz.
The Next Steps
If you are interested to work with me please call or email today to set up a free consultation session. I look forward to working with you.
Ben’s current counseling rate is $90 per 45 minute counseling session. You can learn more about our rates & policies here.