Dr. Ren Massey
Experienced Psychotherapist & Consultant
My earliest training was volunteer work for a crisis line, a hospice, and a senior retirement home. In these settings, I had deeply moving relationships and began learning the processes involved in helping people through difficult times, transitions, and losses. Starting with these early experiences, I began developing a deep and abiding compassion and caring for all of our struggles.
My formal training began upon entering the University of South Florida’s clinical psychology doctoral program, which is approved by the American Psychological Association. To gain expanded clinical experience, I sought a variety of training positions and theoretical perspectives.
I gave and received training as Director of the Campus Alcohol and Drug Resource Center, as Treatment Counselor at the Hillsborough County Psychiatric Hospital, as Assistant Director of the Psychology Department Training Clinic, and as a trainee in numerous other outpatient and inpatient settings.
I completed my formal training at the Veterans Administration Medical Center of Gainesville, Florida, in an internship training program approved by the American Psychological Association. This internship included rotations in health psychology, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, and family and children’s services. As in my doctoral program, I pursued opportunities to work with adults of all ages, adolescents, and children. I also obtained supervision in individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy.
Upon completing doctoral and internship training, I had the unique chance to work with adolescents, children, and their families at an outdoor experiential treatment facility. This psychiatric hospital stabilized dangerous youngsters on the indoor Evaluation and Observation Unit until they were able to transfer to the outdoor program. I worked in the indoor unit as well as enjoyed working with the therapeutic components of the outdoor program, which included equestrian therapy, ropes courses, and other unusual and effective interventions. At this facility, as in earlier training, I worked with multi-disciplinary teams, with professionals representing all areas of mental and physical healthcare.
While working at the hospital, I was offered and pursued opportunities to begin independent outpatient practice. Now, I have over 25 years of outpatient experience, integrating all of the extensive therapeutic approaches and techniques that I’ve studied and practiced over the years. Clients benefit from customized therapy to fit their needs and goals. I see psychotherapy as a “client-driven joint endeavor.” I ask clients to say what they want out of therapy and help them clarify their goals when they need such assistance.
I employ a holistic view, dealing with behavioral, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual aspects of clients’ lives, to the extent they wish to work in each area. My style as a therapist is active. I give feedback, suggestions, ideas, research-based information, and other perspectives.
Then, clients are supported in discovering which ideas work for them, how they want to modify suggestions provided, and how they can start creating their own solutions for improving their lives. With depth of training and breadth of experience, I am comfortable working with a wide range of issues. I have confidence that I can help many clients based on past experience and based on the number of referrals I receive from colleagues and former clients. In keeping with my personal and professional ethics, I refer clients to other professionals who can help them if they present with an area I believe is outside of my training or experience.
Some clients are not seeking psychotherapy, but instead only want some type of evaluation. I write letters and reports for proceeding with several medical procedures and other circumstances. These types of consultations are often highly specific and individualized, as described under my Psychological Evaluations.