The Rewards of a Career In Therapy With Ryan Parino
Ryan Parino is a dedicated Marriage & Family Therapist Associate with a diverse background in psychology and a commitment to collaborative, client-centered therapy. Ryan brings a wealth of experience from his time at Placer County’s Adult System of Care, where he honed his expertise in case management, therapy, and treatment linkage within substance use services. His earlier roles as a residential counselor, sexual health tester, and peer suicide intervention support have profoundly shaped his empathetic, trauma-informed approach. Ryan excels in creating a non-judgmental space, particularly for adults grappling with developmental trauma, existential concerns, addiction, depression, anxiety, and sexuality. With qualifications including a MA in Counseling Psychology from Humboldt State University, his practice is a testament to his deep commitment to mental health, wellness, and the transformative power of acknowledging each client as the expert of their own life.
Q&A with Ryan Parino, A Guiding Light in Collaborative Therapy
Ryan, can you give us an overview of your role at Whole Wellness Therapy and your approach to therapy?
Ryan Parino: At Whole Wellness Therapy, I function as a Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, where my approach is deeply rooted in collaboration. I believe therapy is a shared journey, where my clients and I engage as partners. Drawing from my experiences, including case management and therapy with Placer County’s Adult System of Care, I’ve learned the importance of creating a non-judgmental space where individuals can safely explore and address their concerns, be it trauma, addiction, or existential issues.
Your previous roles have been quite diverse, from working in substance use services to supporting teenage youth. How have these experiences shaped your therapeutic methods?
Ryan Parino: Each role has enriched my understanding of the various challenges people face and highlighted the necessity for trauma-informed care. For instance, working at a group home taught me the importance of patience and individualized support, while my time at Placer County honed my skills in linking therapy to treatment in a way that’s person-centered. These experiences have helped me to remain adaptable and empathetic, ensuring that my methods align with the unique needs of each person.
You’ve also been involved in sexual health testing and peer suicide intervention. How does this inform your practice, especially concerning sexuality and crisis intervention?
Ryan Parino: Those roles were pivotal in developing my capacity to handle sensitive topics with care and competence. They’ve allowed me to become comfortable and knowledgeable in discussing sexuality openly and positively. When it comes to crisis intervention, these experiences have equipped me with the tools to offer immediate, empathetic, and effective support, helping clients navigate through some of their most challenging moments.
Could you tell us more about your experience co-facilitating support groups for diverse needs like grief, LGBTQ+ family support, and HIV?
Ryan Parino: Co-facilitating these groups has been incredibly rewarding. It’s given me a deep appreciation for the strength that comes from shared experiences. In these spaces, I’ve learned the power of community and the importance of providing a platform where individuals can express themselves and find common ground. These experiences have underscored the value of group dynamics in healing and have been integral to my practice.
What drives your passion for working with adults dealing with developmental trauma, existential dread, addiction, depression, anxiety, and sexuality?
Ryan Parino: My passion stems from a fundamental belief in the resilience of the human spirit. I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of addressing these complex issues head-on in a supportive, therapeutic setting. It’s about witnessing people overcome their struggles and find meaning, joy, and fulfillment in their lives that really drives me. It’s more than a job; it’s a commitment to facilitating growth and healing.
How do you incorporate a trauma-informed approach into your collaborative method?
Ryan Parino: A trauma-informed approach is about recognizing the widespread impact of trauma and understanding potential paths for recovery. In my practice, it means being attuned to the past experiences that clients bring into the therapy room and responding with empathy and safety. Collaboratively, it’s about working with clients to help them rebuild a sense of control and empowerment over their lives.
Many people struggle with judgment, both self-imposed and from others. How do you maintain a non-judgmental environment in your sessions?
Ryan Parino: Maintaining a non-judgmental environment begins with self-awareness as a therapist and a commitment to unconditional positive regard for my clients. It’s about actively listening and validating their feelings without imposing my own values or judgments. I strive to understand their world from their perspective, which helps in creating an atmosphere of acceptance and openness.
Ryan, what message do you have for someone who might be hesitant to seek therapy due to stigma or past negative experiences?
Ryan Parino: Therapy is a deeply personal and brave step towards self-discovery and healing. I encourage anyone who is hesitant to reach out to remember that their past does not have to dictate their future therapy experiences. With the right therapist, therapy can be a place of understanding, growth, and transformation. Remember, you are the expert on your life, and in a collaborative therapeutic relationship, your voice and story are honored and central to the journey.
Finally, what does success look like to you?
Ryan Parino: To me, success in my practice is multifaceted. It’s when a client discovers the power of their own voice and begins to utilize it to advocate for their needs and desires within their life. Success is visible when individuals I work with start to embrace their personal narratives with confidence, rather than from a place of fear or shame. It’s seeing the tangible progress when someone who has battled with existential dread or anxiety begins to find joy and purpose in their daily life. Above all, success is when a client no longer feels they need my support because they’ve developed the tools and resilience to navigate their journey independently. It’s not about the number of sessions we have, but the quality of change and empowerment they experience.
- Diverse Experience in Mental Health: Ryan Parino brings a rich array of experiences to his practice as a Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, including roles in substance use services, residential counseling for youth, sexual health counseling, and support groups for various communities. This diverse background equips him to address a wide range of challenges, including developmental trauma, addiction, and issues related to sexuality.
- Client-Centered and Collaborative Approach: Ryan emphasizes a collaborative, trauma-informed, and non-judgmental approach to therapy. He advocates for recognizing the client as the expert of their own life, ensuring that therapy is tailored to the individual’s unique experiences and needs.
- Specialization in Complex Emotional Challenges: Ryan is particularly adept at supporting adults who are dealing with complex emotional challenges such as existential dread, addiction, depression, anxiety, and questions surrounding sexuality. His approach is geared toward fostering a deep understanding and acceptance, which are vital for effective healing and personal growth.