Josh Masterson is a Licensed Master Social Worker in Arizona specializing in anxiety, depression, and life purpose/life calling topics. We asked Josh more about his work with clients and his guiding philosophies on therapy.
Josh’s background and personal life
How did you decide to become a therapist?
I went to undergrad for operations management - during my senior year I started getting into yoga and meditation and decided to take a different track once I graduated. I went on to complete an Americorps program in CA and followed that up with teaching English in Northern Thailand for about a year.
I continued to explore via traveling, outdoor leadership, and community service in the spirit of 'what is a career that most aligns with my purpose for being on this planet?' This inquiry eventually led me to the wilderness therapy space, where I was a guide for 14 months. This experience profoundly impacted me, and inspired me to go to grad school for clinical social work. I fell in love with the human experience, and exploring this human experience with others in clinical and wilderness settings.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to mediate, spend time in remote outdoor areas, cook nutritious food, move my body, play music with friends, and travel!
Josh’s specialties and therapy philosophies
What guiding principles inform your work?
Creating a safe an non-judgmental space, manifesting inner liberation, exploring consciousness, exploring the intelligence of the body, and collaboration.
What clientele do you work with most frequently?
I most frequently work with young adults ages 18 to late twenties.
Can you tell us more about your specialty in working with clients on topics related to their life purpose/life calling?
The question of life purpose can be a difficult one for clients I serve. I notice clients are often looking for a concrete 'answer' that the mind can produce. I have found that this question is better answered by being 'in process' with life, and also by the body. This question can be supported by recognizing that the 'purpose' often lies in simply being in process with the present moment.
I encourage client's to pay attention to embodiment 'pings' around what environments, people, and places feel good to them - we can trust this and use the mind to help manifest these embodiment pings into the material 3 D world we live in.
Can you tell us about your work with clients on stress management and nervous system regulation?
We live in a chaotic and stressed out society. If you are aware, you most likely have some difficulty managing stress and maintaining a balanced nervous system. The nervous system is always sending us signals about our stress levels and overall well being. Many of the answers we seek in therapy can be found in our own bodies. I support client's to tune into their own nervous systems, and find ways to manifest more balance and homeostasis from a nervous system perspective.
Therapy sessions with Josh
What will our first session together be like? What happens in ongoing sessions?
Our first session would entail getting to know each other a bit. It will also include basic information about my practice and its policies. Additionally, I will collect relevant historical data, and work towards building therapeutic goals.
How long do clients typically see you for?
This depends - usually 5-6 months of weekly sessions with some variability.
Are there any books you often recommend to clients?
- No Bad Parts by Dick Schwartz, PHD
- Death by Sadhguru
- Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Do you assign “homework” between sessions?
I do occasionally assign homework. This can be journaling, spending time in nature, using assertive communication with loved ones, noticing unhelpful cognitive narratives that pop up frequently, and other assignments.
How do you help ensure I'm making progress in therapy?
I ensure you are making progress in therapy by getting specific about why we are engaging in therapy - creating concrete and measurable goals. I will then reference these goals often, and get your self report about how we are meeting (or not meeting) these goals. If therapy is working, you ay feel more connected to your body, build more resources to manage stress, and notice healthier relationships forming in the external world.
How do I know that it’s time to start seeking therapy?
If you are asking this question - it may be time to start!
How can I prepare for our first session?
Get clear about what you want out of therapy. Come with an open mind and be ready to challenge the way you view yourself and the world.
How will I know it’s time to end my time in therapy with you or reduce session frequency?
You will know it may be time to terminate or reduce session frequency if we are making significant progress on treatment plan goals.
Why should I seek therapy, rather than turning to my partner, friends, or other loved ones?
Seeking therapy is a powerful move. It's always important to be able to have deeper more intimate conversations with friends and loved ones. The therapeutic container is unique as it's an opportunity to get unbiased support regarding your healing journey.
What advice would you share with therapy seekers?
Keep asking questions! Inquiry around your own well being and healing is a powerful question to keep asking yourself for the remainder of your life.
Visit Josh’s profile to watch his introductory video, read more about him, and book an initial call!