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Charlie Puttonen, MA, LMFT

About Me:

I am licensed to practice Marriage and Family Therapy and have been working in the mental health field in some capacity since 2009. Much of my mental health treatment has focused on brining wellness to individuals and families by creating hopeful, client-centered, and strength-based treatment to clients in a way that meets each person’s or family’s unique needs and desired outcomes. In all areas of my life, including providing therapy I welcome spontaneity, humor, kindness, creativity, openness, and depth to help develop new ways of seeing old patterns and problems so that organic processes can move clients forward at their own pace. Center to my belief in therapy and change is that the therapeutic relationship provides unconditional support, a nonjudgmental stance, transparency, and genuineness to individuals and families engaged in therapy.

Starting in the world of human services, I first gained experience working with homeless youth in the metro area, providing housing and safety at a homeless shelter. During that time, I learned from the youth, the pervasive and challenging symptoms of our culture and how they have a direct effect on the development of children/adolescents in our society. From there I spent several years rehabilitating individuals with both cognitive disorders and criminal backgrounds, so they could reach their vocational aspirations and overcome barriers to employment. Those individuals taught me the importance of unconditional support and giving people “second chances” after they have committed crimes and sought to rebuild their lives - every person is innumerably and fundamentally valuable at the core, regardless of their behaviors and actions.   

Working with adolescents/children and their parents, I have a keen understanding that sometimes the intervention they need is not sitting in an office talking but incorporating into their treatment, their interests, strengths, and at times movement. By being flexible and creative with adolescents and their families, treatment can match the character of each client and incorporate more experiential or familiar settings such as walking or being outside, so long as confidentiality can be maintained. Additionally, I see parents as the true experts on their children and an integral part of treatment, and the parent joins as a co-consultant.

Treatment Specialization Includes (not limited to):

  • Family Therapy: including: issues related to foster families; high functioning Autism within the family; families with a member/s who experience anxiety, depression and ADHD and other mental health symptoms; family units adjusting to changes in life stages
  • Individual Therapy: providing treatment for a broad spectrum of mental health related issues for adolescents and adults
  • Subjects of Consciousness, Existentialism, and Spirituality
  • Resiliency in Individuals and Systems
  • Mindfulness and Meditative Practices
  • Fatherhood related to Life Changes, Divorce, and Single Parenting

Education

  • Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy – St Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • Bachelor of Arts and Religious Studies – Pepperdine University

Certification/Licensure/Other

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Personal Activities of Interest:

  • I value time with my family, bicycle and ski racing, music, art, food, philosophy, and ideas that push the boundaries of awareness and possibilities.
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