Leah Benson, LMHC

Meet Leah Benson

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
–Victor Frankl

Mission Statement

To help 100,000 people start feeling more emotionally successful by 2025

I am a Licensed Psychotherapist in private practice in the Tampa Bay Area. In 2001, I earned an Ed. M. and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York. I received a B.A. in French and a Bachelor of Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin in 1994. I have been practicing psychotherapy and psychology in the Tampa Bay area since 2001.

During graduate school, I worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings with adults, adolescents, and children. I helped people resolve problems that created recurring personal and relationship challenges for them. I worked with young and middle aged adults experiencing life transitions, and I worked with adolescents and adults at a psychiatric hospital.

Services Provided

If you ever wondered why therapy doesn’t work, read on.

From my perspective, therapy is composed of 3 main elements:

Functional work can be described as the tools I use to work with you. And ultimately, they will be the tools you use to take care of yourself. They include bioenergetic exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, somatic psychology, gamma charge releasing exercises, resistance-release bodywork, mindfulness techniques, and meditation. In short, these are the tools I use to work your emotional muscles.

Analytical work can be thought of as how you use your brain for self-knowledge. It includes your creation of a coherent life story, analyzing why you do what you do, the integration of your rational brain with your irrational emotions, understanding the science of how your brain works, getting a clear definition of the mind and the science related to it, learning the importance of your formative years and how that affects you today, character analysis, and psychoanalytic work of uncovering your subconscious.

This is where the rubber meets the road. You can talk all day about how you do the functional work and know the analytic stuff. But unless you put it into practice with another real human being, those are just ideas. Relational work is putting all you have learned into practice with a supportive human being. This person is highly trained to help you build new neural pathways with frequency and duration. And it is imperative that the support is one-sided. Meaning, it is solely about you and your needs. Anyone who offers you less is a friend, not a therapist. Without a doubt, friends and family can help you along the way. But typically, they are not trained in setting all their needs aside for your personal growth. Most people are too involved in their own to be 100% objective. A therapist has a specific skillset to be so objective. This skillset includes the use of transference and counter transference. Ultimately, using your functional and analytical work to guide you in your relational work. Thus, you build a solid foundation of growth. Your progress is marked by lasting success and timely achievement of goals.

If you omit any one of these 3 elements in therapy, it will fail you.

Don’t get me wrong, you can progress using any one of these elements. And sometimes in a crisis, all you need is one of them.

But to truly free yourself from a pattern you repeat over and over again in your life, you must engage all 3 elements.

What qualifies me to do this work with you?

I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Tampa, Florida. My formal education includes an Ed. M. and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York. And I have been practicing psychotherapy and psychology in the Tampa Bay area continuously since 2001.

In addition to my credentials as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), I am certified in the following:

  • Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, by the Florida Society for Bioenergetic Analysis (FSBA)
  • Certified Adoption Competent Counselor
  • Licensed practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Dr. Richard Bandler Certification
  • Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator (CFMHE)

My memberships include:

  • Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association
  • Florida Society for Bioenergetic Analysis
  • National Board of Forensic Evaluators

Most importantly, I practice what I preach. My personal practice includes:

  • Completed 10 years of psychoanalysis.
  • Completed 4 years consistent personal bioenergetic work during Bioenergetic Training.
  • Maintain an on-going relationship with my analyst for consultation as needed.
  • Engage in ongoing personal work at bioenergetic conferences multiple times per year.
  • Engage in ongoing personal practices of bioenergetic exercise and mindfulness meditation.
  • Monthly consulting/mastermind session with other bioenergetic psychotherapists.

Areas of Expertise

  • Happiness / Emotional Satisfaction
  • Depression / Anxiety
  • Confidence Issues
  • Anger
  • Couples
  • Children / Adolescents
  • Bioenergetic Therapy
  • Addictions
  • Adoption Related Issues

Watch Leah Benson, featured on Fox 13 News Tampa Bay, as she talks about Uncoupling.

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Want a copy of Leah Benson’s new book, Emotional Utopia?

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