Psychotherapist

Individual, family, and couple therapist
Psychotherapy is not so much about changing people,
but rather helping people navigate through their thoughts, problems,
struggles,and emotions to arrive at their own solutions.  
If change happens,
it will be a result of this process of self discovery.  
A therapist is the objective vehicle
through which this discovery, healing process takes place.

I have recently closed my private practice in St. Louis, MO and
now have a full time private practice in Sioux Falls, SD at the
address listed below.   I am accepting new clients.

Experience:
 I am licensed in the States of Missouri and South Dakota as a
clinical social worker, and I have a wide variety of experience working with
clients of all ages with a wide range of presenting problems.  I work with
individuals, families,children, teenagers, adults, elderly 65+, couples, and
groups.  My specialties include trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder,
post-traumatic stress disorder, transitional issues for the aging and elderly,  
domestic violence, anxiety, GLBTQ, women's issues, and couple counseling.

I have provided several workshops each year through the Washington
University Professional Development Department and in the St. Louis
community on such topics as domestic violence, working with adolescents,
working with difficult parents, TF-CBT and other therapy topics, and I have
supervised other students and therapists for licensure.  In addition, I am an
adjunct professor at George Warren Brown School of Social Work at
Washington University in St. Louis, teaching Applied Behavior Therapy,
Differential Diagnosis and Parent Child Interaction Therapy.   

I also provide services as a consultant and expert witness on domestic
violence and I am a past president of the St. Louis Family Violence Council.  

Education:  I have a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Louis
University.  My dissertation focused on the life experiences of adults who
witnessed domestic violence as children.  I received my Master's Degree in
Social Work from George Warren Brown School of Social Work at
Washington University in St. Louis.  I have a BS degree in Social Work,
Psychology, and Sociology from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD.
   
I continue to attend several workshops each year on such
topics as trauma therapy, sexual abuse therapy, marriage therapy
and other mental health issues including depression, social phobias,
and bi-polar disorder.

Philosophy:  My approach to therapy is very strength-based,
cognitive, empowering, and educational.  I believe that often problems
are the result of a lack of adequate information, misconceptions
about past or present life experiences or past trauma.  I am very
empathetic and supportive, but can be more direct in my approach if
necessary.  I use a lot of evidence-based approaches to therapy,
including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy,
Trauma-Focused CBT, Parent Child Interaction Therapy,
Solution-Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy.
Joan L. Benz, PhD, MSW, CSW-PIP
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Office Location:


3701 W. 49th Street
Suite 202 A
Sioux Falls, SD  57106

Phone:  605-212-3307