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Meet J. Edward Goldman, MFT of Power Therapy LA in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to J. Edward Goldman, MFT.

Thanks for sharing your story with us J. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was always the odd duck in my family in a small town in the Midwest. Never quite fit in except with other sensitive, intelligent and questioning creatures like myself.

My childhood was rough in some ways and gravitated me towards psychology and philosophy and art. I was reading Freud and Greek philosophy and writing poetry and making self-taught music on my own in my early teens. In the Midwest there are tons of wide open spaces and it makes you feel small sometimes and makes you feel big other times, but in any event it gets certain minds and souls thinking about the bigger picture and why we are all here–for what purpose. My purpose seemed to be the creatively use my introversion, intuition, feelings and non-judgmental nature to help others who were looking for their place in the World and with others.

How do we make the most of our short lives on this planet is what fascinated me. I took that predilection to the University of Iowa where I studied the scientific side of psychology and human behavior. I also minored in philosophy and existentialism/European Continental thought and was equally transfixed by that as a lens through which to understand the human condition. Finding that I was becoming a bit too cerebral by end of my undergrad, I decided to move to San Francisco. I was always in love with the idea of moving West: go West, young man. The West is the best, as Jim Morrison once said. My musical and intellectual inspirations to expand my horizons and to seek a more progressive lifestyle propelled me to the historic center of psychotherapy and human growth, at least in the US: California. San Francisco, at that time, made me who I was and taught how to tolerate and to accept and to expand who I was and who others are as well. I learned so much from that city and those people and from my travels around the World during my that time in my life.

University of San Francisco taught me how to be the best and the fullest Therapist I could be, integrating the science of psychology with the art and various traditions of psychotherapy, with an emphasis on Cognitive-Behavioral, Integrative and Multicultural perspectives. I finished my Masters there, serving the homeless and disadvantaged populations of SF, then I worked at a beautiful drug and alcohol rehab program in Sausalito. I learned at Alta Mira what I had instinctively known as a child of trauma: it is embracing our powerless over various aspects of our lives that is precisely what can set us free and empower us, rather than behaving as if we are in complete control of any and all things in the Universe; we are not. The clients there taught me volumes about the recovery process and the dual diagnosis approach to treatment. But I needed a new challenge and I needed to complete my hours towards Licensure as a Therapist in California. I put out applications all around the State and found out that Los Angeles was calling me. I took a job in a locked psych facility in LA County working with DMH and began a new therapeutic adventure: schizophrenic, bipolar, personality disordered, and formerly incarcerated clients. I finished my hours and passed my exams working with those endlessly complex folks; it was difficult, but I learned even more towards my theory of human nature and human change. I was well on my way to Power Therapy LA. I became Licensed as an MFT in 2012 and opened my private practice in West LA. I began serving some of the most interesting creative and business and professional adult clients of all ages and backgrounds. I eventually relocated to a better space in Eastern Santa Monica where I could be more comfortable and still be conveniently located for Greater Los Angeles via the freeways and right there on the Westside.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The essence of my approach is harnessing the creative power and potential of overcoming obstacles in life. I became a Therapist precisely as a response to difficulties I had faced as a young person. It has definitely been a long and hard road, but I would not be here doing what I do if I had not traversed it. It is a kind of magical alchemy of the spirit that humans can transcend so much of what is done with them and over which they have no control. The abuse I experienced as a child was a struggle, my Undergrad and Grad educations, my journey to California was literally difficult across Country alone in my car in the Western frontier, leaving my beloved San Francisco for LA, gaining wisdom from Los Angeles and its people, and establishing a private practice.

There are many ups and downs in my business and my field; it is a courageous profession all about perseverance and change. In my move from West LA to Santa Monica, my clients and caseload changed. I’ve learned that we live in a city very much dictated by convenience and preference and technology. You must adapt to the needs of your clients while also protecting your needs. That is why I make my service relatively affordable and cater to folks that might not be able to afford other psychotherapists because of their lifestyle and creative pursuits. I understand what it means to be an artist and an entrepreneur and that one must push through the pain and avoidance and resistance that will inevitably arise in accomplishing anything worthwhile in life. Every day is a new opportunity for growth and connecting to the community as a helper. It is my calling.

Please tell us about Power Therapy LA.
Power Therapy LA is a psychotherapy/counseling business providing individual counseling services, mental health therapy, life coaching, and career consultation. I also provide marriage and couple therapy as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I work with families and parents in order to assist their teenagers and children with a variety of problems, issues and disorders. By and large I serve individuals from the creative and business community of Greater Los Angeles with anxiety, depression, relationships, life and career transitions, addiction and recovery, trauma, insomnia, sexual problems and technology excesses, and personality disorders. I specialize in a CBT empowerment model and incorporate spiritual and holistic approaches, along with the power of art and music and creativity.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memories of childhood are always spending time with my grandparents, particularly my Maternal Grandmother, who was a religious and spiritual helper of sorts and a pillar and benefactor of her community. She was incredibly wise and taught me tons. I also remember my Paternal Grandpa taking me and all my cousins in an RV to the Washington State Coast, where my Aunt, who later lived in NorCal, has been living at the time. I remember her big beautiful dog and the Pacific Ocean. Just as I had been in love with the lakes and forests and camping of my Midwest youth, I immediately became in love with the magnificent nature and coastline of the West Coast. I felt one with the Pacific and I think that planted the seeds for my later move to SF and LA. I always loved Mother Nature and its animals. My childhood dogs were the absolute best. Dogs offer that unconditional love that so many of us lack and can also find in things like psychotherapy. And cats are great too! So mysterious and curious, like life itself. And hopefully humans, at our best.


  • $60 per 60min Indiv. Session
  • $90 per 90min Couple Session
  • $90 per 90min Family Session

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