Grief & Trauma
Gifted & High Achieving
Children, Teens & Adults
Marla Berger, LMHC, ATR, RPT-S, EMDR Trained, Eagala Advanced Certified
My story begins when I was 16 and met my friend, John. What struck me at the time was his openness to sharing about his mental health issues. He struggled with Bi-Polar Disorder, which made making good choices difficult for him. He would frequently find himself in legal trouble during his manic phases. We forged a quick bond around our love of art and expression. He had reserves of bravery that left me in wonder. So it was particularly devastating when I received a phone call from his friend informing me that he had completed suicide. I was in shock. We were only 16.
John showed me the value of telling the truth, even when it can feel painful. So I shared with friends and family about his life and death. I quickly found that people were confused and upset when I would share openly about death, suicide and mental health issues. While that could have stopped me in my tracks, I kept going despite the negative feedback.
About six months after his death, someone mentioned the profession of Art Therapy. It was instantaneous - I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I immediately sought out information on becoming a Registered Art Therapist. I had found my vocation.
John's death was the first step on my journey. He had taught me so much in the time I knew him alive and he continues to challenge me to uphold those aspects of himself that I found most dear - honesty, bravery and self-expression through the arts.
I started Berger Counseling Services in 2009 to provide innovative, transformative therapy in a unique setting. Experiential Therapies - Art Therapy, Sandtray Therapy, & Play Therapy techniques offer insight and change.
By engaging in Experiential Therapies, participants can see how old patterns, behaviors and reactions can be changed and improved with instant feedback in real time.
I specialize in helping clients with grief & loss, depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, adoption issues and substance abuse.
I am a Registered Art Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor, EMDR Trained, PATH Int'l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Qualified Supervisor and an EAGALA Advanced Certified Professional, the highest individual professional credential offered by EAGALA. With 4,500 members in 50 nations, EAGALA Advanced Certified Professionals help people change their lives by practicing The EAGALA Model: The Global Standard for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Personal Development. EAGALA Advanced Certified Professionals complete an advanced rigorous training program, commit to evidence-based client solutions, utilize an exclusive team approach and operate with a strong code of ethics. These experiential therapies utilize our innate capacity to solve our own problems and desire to change our lives for the better.