Margaret Benson Thompson

Margaret Benson Thompson is a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor who also provides training and supervision for other therapists as well as being a workshop facilitator and conference speaker. Margaret'a work has a focus on viewing individual psychological issues within a cultural and community context. She draws on Qigong, a meditative martial art and has trained with Vicki Dello Joio for more than ten years. Margaret presents on a range of topics including mentoring youth, American history from a multicultural perspective, solution-focused therapy, child abuse assessment and prevention, and collaborative practices for community problem solving. Margaret has worked extensively with high-risk adolescents and she also has a private practice.

Margaret has worked with children and families in school-based and community mental health programs since 1988. She also provides training and supervision for other therapists, as well as facilitating training programs for people in organizations who seek to establish genuinely respectful collaborative practices for communication and problem solving.

In her private practice she uses Psychodynamic, Family Systems, Brief Therapy and Social Justice theories, modalities, and techniques, along with using and teaching Powerful Non-Defensive Communication. She works with clients whose issues include child abuse and neglect, substance abuse and recovery, sexual abuse, relationship problems, lesbian/gay/bisexual concerns, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, anger management, domestic violence, parenting, bi-racial/bi-cultural identity, and dealing with job-related stresses. She has co-facilitated therapy groups for adolescents girls, sexual assault survivors and high-risk youth.

Margaret earned Master of Arts degrees both in Clinical Psychology and Women's Studies from Antioch University West, San Francisco, CA. She has worked at Bayview Hunter Point Mental Health, been a Clinical Supervisor for Learning Services of Northern California, and a Senior Clinical Supervisor for La Chiem Children and Family Services. In addition, she has been an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate Psychology Program and the Humanities Program at New College.

Margaret is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She also belongs to the Bay Area Partnerships for Social Justice, a multicultural group of psychotherapists practicing Narrative and Social Justice theories. She is a past President of the Board of Directors for Destiny Arts Center, an outstanding Violence Prevention Program for Youth utilizing martial arts, dance, and theater.

Margaret's own background includes growing up in Virginia in a multi-generational African-American family. Her paternal grandmother and her parents instilled in her a dedication to educating herself and thinking critically about the world and a commitment to being socially conscious and responsible. She has exercised these values in her professional and volunteer work with urban youth, disenfranchised populations, people of color, and victimized women and children. Ms. Thompson's spiritual and political beliefs and values inspire her to work tirelessly to create a more just, tolerant, and peaceful world.

Sample Workshop and Conference Topics:

Adolescent Development
Advanced Family Therapy
Feminism: Theories and Issues
African-American Women Writers
Early American History from a Multi-Cultural Perspective
African American History
Building Accountable Relationships
Working with African-American Lesbian Clients
Mentoring Youth
Resiliency and Strengths in the Psychological Development of African Americans
That First Session: Child and Family Assessment Concerns
Solution-focused Therapy
Case Presentation of a Multi-generational Family
Cultural Competence when Working Therapeutically with African-American Families

Partial Client/Conference List:

Narrative Therapy Annual Conference
California School of Professional Psychology
CA Department of Social Services
Pacific Center for Human Growth
San Francisco City College
Tender Lion Family Program Annual Conference
Oakes Children's' Center
African-American Heritage Society
American Association of University Women

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