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Meet Matthew Koch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Koch.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
With an undergraduate degree in Psychology that I earned in 1994 as a graduate from James Madison University, I learned in my early adulthood that I wanted to pursue a career in the broad field of human service. I had volunteered through most of my college years in different activities that brought me into direct contact with individuals of various backgrounds facing an array of issues, including homelessness, incarceration, low income and limited access to resources, developmental delays, chronic psychotic disorders, and personal tragedy.

That exposure set me on my path to further my own personal understanding and development in pursuit of a career in social service, psychology, or education, though I still was uncertain on what exactly I would find myself doing to cultivate that fervor and earn a living. When I look at what initially led me on my professional journey as a self-employed Psychotherapist, I am enticed go back even further, when as the youngest of 5 children, and the only one born outside of the San Diego area, though conceived in it, the several moves my family would make throughout my youth hold considerable influence in the desire to establish meaningful, supportive connections with others. Having to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings, different social mores and local customs, and new people at significant developmental stages of my early life, I found the challenges daunting at times, but reflectively opportunistic in the sense of learning more about myself and my fellow human. Continuing to go more inside myself and the history of my own family, I also sought to understand those outside myself and the influences that make us who and what we are. Further steps along my career path following my four-year university experience, I lived and worked in a boys’ home as a Residential Counselor in St. Louis, MO for one year, then getting back to California, this time in the Bay Area, I taught Elementary and Middle School for three years before taking a year-long hiatus to South America.

There, I would learn both Spanish and Portuguese as I traveled, lived, and worked as a teacher in Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Upon my return, with two new languages and some rich, wonderful experience living abroad, I made my way back to San Francisco, where I would work in a juvenile diversion program. It was during my time as a Case Manager, connecting with young people who were getting themselves into legal binds and their families, I decided to seek a return to school and eventually moved back to San Diego to pursue my Masters in Counseling through San Diego State University.

As I was working toward my degree at SDSU, I also worked in different positions that added to my professional resume and more directly exposed me to the realm of psychotherapy. In 2005, I attained my M.S. in Counseling, then continuing my pursuit of a License as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I worked in juvenile diversion programs, schools, the foster care system, drug rehabilitation programs, and an organization that serves adults with long-term disabilities. Upon getting my License, and with some direction from a former professor from SDSU, I opened my own private practice as I also worked full-time for other organizations that provide direct counseling services. Nearly three years ago, I went on my own to establish my business as a full-time private practitioner who continues to do contract work with some local schools and agencies, but I am now able to focus on my private practice working with individuals, families, and couples.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been vast challenges along the way to building my own business and reaching full-time self-employed status. It had been a part-time gig for several years, while holding down full-time positions, before I finally was able to launch into the scary, unfamiliar world where I no longer could rely on another organization for consistent income, health benefits, and other comfortable benefits that go with working for fixed establishments.

With my educational background in Psychology and Counseling, I had very limited experience with business-related items. It was an accelerated process of learning unfamiliar business practices to which I had never been drawn or realized I would have to utilize with so much regularity. There was also ensuing doubt, worry, and fear induced by trying to fully commit to a professional life as a full-time, self-employed business entity.

At times, trying to make ends meet on a month-to-month basis as the primary breadwinner in my family, was overwhelming. The financial demands, emotional struggles, and mental pressure would often lead me to consider getting back into the full-time comforts of an established organization.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Matthew Koch, LMFT – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am passionate about working with people who are struggling to overcome particular challenges in hope that they can be more successful in managing the issues unique to their personal situations, learn to create healthier relationships, improve communication, and sense considerable progress in the quality of their lives.

My own life experience has presented me with opportunities to live in different areas of the United States and abroad and to develop meaningful connections with people from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences. I have dedicated my professional life to the service of others in a variety of settings and situations, including schools and group homes, probation and foster care, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, and mental health facilities.

I specifically offer my services to support individuals in the process to deepen self-understanding and strengthen self-identities while learning to limit the distractions that may alter the directions they take to live with more passion, fulfillment, and efficiency. Through my experience, education, personality, and background, I have developed the DAFT (Depth and Freedom Therapy) approach, which combines various counseling theories and techniques, philosophical tenets, spiritual teachings, and wellness education and research within the current socio-cultural context in which we find ourselves.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
San Diego offers so much in the area of outdoor activity, which is something I enjoy very much and helps me to replenish my energy. With its beaches, canyons, and access to desert and mountains, I find that I can find so much to do that gets me into nature and strengthens my spirit. The weather our fine city presents are also so important to me, as I frequently commute by bicycle and I have year-round possibility for riding my bike. The diversity of the people of San Diego, with so much rich culture and unique customs, gives those of us who reside in San Diego so much variety and opportunity for expanding our horizons.

With San Diego being such an interesting city, it draws a lot of people to it, so with that, there are issues associated with traffic and a very high-cost of living. While those are aspects of our city that are not appealing, it goes with the territory. There are also a high number of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, with some areas more saturated than others. That, though, also presents opportunities to connect with more skilled people in my field but can make it hard for consumers to find a good match with what they’re seeking through the therapeutic process.

Pricing:

  • $150 per session

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5100 Marlborough Drive
    San Diego, CA 92116
  • Website: www.alifeofbalancesd.com
  • Phone: (619) 549-3545
  • Email: matthew@alifeofbalancesd.com
  • Twitter: @Matteoohkoch


Image Credit:
Matthew Koch

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