Bruce Gorden, MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #LMFT-17833
With almost 40 years of experience as a licensed therapist working with adult individuals, couples, and families, I continue to be fascinated by the human heart and mind. I find great joy in helping my clients reach their goals for physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. I offer genuine respect, curiosity, and interest in my clients and will make every effort to help you pursue your interests, desires, and goals. Using proven therapeutic methods and techniques, you can be equipped with the tools and resources you need to overcome the trials you face and enjoy wholeness in Christ.
Carlsbad – Tue & Wed
I will use my four decades of counseling experience to help you experience lasting joy and peace, with God’s direction and guidance. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, marriage problems or other relationship issues, trauma, grief, addiction, abandonment issues, anger management, or other concerns, it would be my pleasure to work with you toward healing and recovery in Christ. I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen God mend broken relationships and restore individuals to full health and strength in Him. He is able, and it would be my privilege to play a small role in His restorative work in your life.
My Goal as a Christian Counselor
As your therapist, one of my goals is to provide an environment of safety and hope. I work as an advocate, one who walks alongside my clients through their trials to a place of healing and recovery. I will help you develop a treatment plan specific to your own goals, and we will work together to take actionable steps to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
In our first session, I will encourage you to develop a description of how your life will be after the therapeutic work has been done. Based on that description, we will work together to create a treatment plan, which ensures that we have specific, tangible, measurable goals. I often ask my clients, “How I can be most helpful to you?” or “What am I doing that is helpful?” This generates curiosity and freedom in my clients and reassurance that I genuinely pursue their interests, desires, and goals.
My Approach to Christian Counseling
I rely on God’s presence and ministry in each session and we invite Jehovah who heals to the work. This sets us apart and sanctifies the work. I also intercede in prayer and ask for words of wisdom and knowledge for my clients.
Qualifications & Experience
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. I have been a licensed practitioner since 1982. I hold a BA in Psychology from San Diego State University and an MA in Marriage and Family Studies from United States International University.
My Call to Christian Counseling
While I was in a war zone serving in the United States Air Force, I helped begin a program to help other service members who were addicted to drugs. During that time many of these men said to me, “You are the only one who understands me.” That gave me direction and I decided when I was discharged that I would continue my college career and eventually become a therapist. I have been licensed now since 1982.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
I lost my first wife, the mother of our children, to a very long illness. The Lord blessed me again and Cheryl and I were married in 2018. We have five grandchildren. I am a native of San Diego have surfed for most of my life. As a veteran, son, brother, husband, father, and servant of the Lord, I have taken some hard knocks in life – “we suffer but not as those without hope.” Through it all, people in general have come to describe me as one whom the Lord has formed into a gentle strongman.
Areas of Expertise/Specialties
- Abandonment and Neglect
- Aging and Geriatric Issues
- Anger Management
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chemical Dependency
- Couples Counseling
- Eating Disorders
- Family Counseling
- Grief and Loss
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Infidelity and Affairs
- Marriage Counseling
- Men’s Issues
- Online Counseling
- Personal Development
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Professional Development
- Relationship Issues
- Sex and Porn Addiction
- Sexual Abuse
- Spiritual Development
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Issues
So many people who describe themselves as feeling depressed feel alone or even isolated, because no one knows what they are experiencing. You can be very active, or not so active, laugh, or have outbursts of anger. You may feel unhappy or dissatisfied. Living with depression can sometimes mean “getting up and doing what needs to be done” – and sometimes not. As your counselor, I will listen intently to your story of depression and find where it takes a turn. I walk with you to where the road turns and ask you, “Is this the turn you were hoping for?” We will work together to implement therapeutic methods that will make a lasting difference in your life.
Throughout my career I have worked with military veterans and survivors of abuse and other circumstances. I don’t see PTSD as a disorder, but an injury. It is a normal response to abnormal events. Many survivors have harsh expectations of themselves, ignoring the effects of the injury. This is the hard work – the “rehab.” You will find out you are not alone in your recovery and rehab. You can also have a very unique healing process that is your own, not someone else’s. In session, we will work together to find the techniques that work best for you.
Grief and Loss
Grief and loss will touch us all. Even though I have walked this lonely road, it may affect you quite differently. We know there are stages of grief and loss, but they are rarely cooperative and orderly. That is why it is so important to express with loved ones or a helper those thoughts and feelings we believe we shouldn’t have or believe we should be over with by now. Since this subject, especially among Christians, can be a subject that people have lots of opinions about, it is important and helpful to have the freedom to seek a therapist who can help you through the grieving process without judgment.
Sexual abuse is a very difficult issue because the signs and symptoms show in so many different ways. Even though the occurrence of abuse and assault is high, it’s difficult to acknowledge or report. In therapy you can have the experience of being believed, validated, and honored for requesting help to recover from this type of injury.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
So many people experience this condition and never know, because their career or relationships can reward this type of behavior. Sometimes we call it perfectionism or ritualistic and we want to see it in our surgeons and others. Often the behaviors are unconscious and repetitious. Some symptoms are habits to be kicked, and some are masking unresolved issues. Some people can’t “not do” the thoughts or feelings they have that bring them to therapy. Through Christian counseling for OCD, we can learn to make healthy choices in new contexts.
Sessions: I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
- Carlsbad – Tuesday & Wednesday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, Couples, and Families looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment the full fee per session is required at the time of service.
Insurance: As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), most insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals and couples.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 3.7% plus $0.15 per transaction will be added for credit card payments.
Abandonment and Neglect
Aging and Geriatric Issues
Grief and Loss
Infidelity and Affairs
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Sex and Porn Addiction