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Meet Tony Madril, LCSW, BCD of Behavioral Health & Wellness Office

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Madril, LCSW, BCD.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tony. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I first started working with military veterans about a year-and-a-half ago at a non-profit agency in Los Angeles, which provided mental health care to military veterans and their families. Despite the fact that, prior to this experience, I had practiced as a psychotherapist for over 20 years, I had never had such an opportunity to work with veterans. While this agency lost all of its funding within the first year, I am grateful for working there for as long as I did. My time there introduced me to behavioral health work with veterans and allowed me to sharpen my clinical skills I need to successfully work with symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Most importantly, I learned how tough-minded veterans are compared to the rest of us civilians. Truly. I have worked with hundreds of non-military clients—and none of them seemed to be as mentally strong as my veteran clients. For example, the veterans who came in for therapy were always ready to explore the deepest and darkest parts of the mind without hesitation. “Let’s do it!” was their mantra. This was truly humbling, and amazing, for me to witness!

My doors are now opened to see veterans, and their families, in my private practice office in Hollywood. I took a leap of faith, and decided to follow my heart: Instead of finding another classical job that wouldn’t allow me to continue my passion for working with veterans, I opened my own private office and applied to be a Veteran’s Choice behavioral health provider. The Veteran’s Choice program was created to supplement the health and behavioral health care available through the Veteran’s Administration.

Essentially, this means that veterans who have been unsuccessful at obtaining behavioral health care at the VA (usually because of long wait times) can see me at no-cost to them.

Has it been a smooth road?
In fact, I am in the middle of a struggle now. The struggle of getting-out-the-word to prospective veteran-clients that I am here and ready to provide evidence-based psychotherapies to help them work through distressing mental health symptoms associated PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I am currently working with a marketing expect to help me with marketing my practice.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Behavioral Health & Wellness Office – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in working with military veterans who are functionally impaired by issues related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) whether or not the symptoms are related to their service in the military. I use specialized forms of talk and behavioral therapies validated by research and recommended by the Department of Defense.

Namely: Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR), which improves symptoms through bilateral stimulation of the brain; Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), which help clients more accurately appraise trauma-related thoughts; and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which helps clients work through troublesome emotions using skills from mindfulness meditation and cognitive talk therapy to increase awareness of thoughts and emotions.

These specialized types of psychotherapies are valuable as they are not typically offered by not-for-profit agencies, which serve veterans. This makes my practice unique and practical. Veterans can come to me for these highly specialized treatments at no cost to them, provided they participate in the Veteran’s Choice program. If they do not, I also offer a sliding fee scale.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years? Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
As more and more veterans arrive home from duty with serious behavioral health symptoms, I see a greater need for more civilian behavioral health providers in Los Angeles to be trained in military culture. Being able to understand a culture, which is so unlike what most civilians are used to is essential to earning to trust of veteran clients.

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