Ben Spear, Ph.D.
Addiction Assessment and Resource Counseling Coordinator
- Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin
- M.A., Educational Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin
- B.A., Psychology, The University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- Counseling and Psychological Services, Washington State University
- Counseling Services, Southern Methodist University
License and Certification
- Licensed Psychologist, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, No. 38371
Approach to Therapy and Professional Interests
Howdy! I am glad to be part of the wonderful Texas A&M community! Gig ‘Em! In my clinical work, I focus on helping students find ways to manage their stressors and worries, so that when they experience a particularly challenging life stressor “stress” does not necessarily turn into “distress”. In therapy I utilize a client centered humanistic approach. This means I view therapy as a collaboration between therapist and client, where the goal of therapy is to have a safe and supportive space to explore the different challenges that arise in a person’s life. I see my clients as being the experts on their own experiences, and I see my role as helping to facilitate exploration by asking questions that help people identify their thoughts/feelings/values, with the goal being to help my clients put those experiences into context in regards to how they are navigating their current life. I also provide psychoeducation and help clients learn new skills and approaches that they can utilize outside of therapy to help them manage a wide range of concerns (e.g. anxiety, stress, feelings of depression, loss). I believe everyone has their own strengths, and the trick is finding out what works for someone individually, and finding ways to continue to build those coping strategies that complement a person’s unique way of navigating the world.
Areas of Special Interest: Identity development, family and relationship issues, anxiety, depression, self-esteem/self-worth, addiction treatment and prevention, self-harm prevention, and college adjustment concerns.
Personal Statement on Diversity and Social Justice
As a therapist, I am continuously impressed by the strength and bravery that students demonstrate by being willing to engage in the process of therapy. I strive to be worthy of that trust by providing a safe space where all client are treated with respect and dignity, and where they can discuss their experiences in an open and nonjudgmental environment. I believe that our individual selves are composed of a complex mix of our cultures, intersecting identities, experiences, family expectations, values, beliefs, and our own privileges and challenges. It is through these experiences that we navigate the world and are impacted by it. Because mental health does not operate in a vacuum, it is important to be both appreciative of the individual and their uniqueness, while also being aware of the wider cultural context in which people live. To be able to engage in this type of work with others, I believe that as clinicians we must be aware of how our own cultural lenses, and intersecting identities, might be impacting our clients, and their ability to feel safe and understood. I strive to be mindful of the complexities that can exist in this process, as I work to create a space in which clients can feel safe to discuss their authentic selves.
Approach to Supervision
I approach supervision in a similar way to how I approach individual therapy. Philosophically I operate from a Humanistic framework, and I see supervision as a collaborative endeavor, where my role is to help facilitate growth by providing a safe environment where my mentees can openly discuss their successes, goals, and challenges. In addition, I draw from a developmental model in supervision, and believe that supervision should be tailored to the current educational level, and skills, of the supervisee. I ask that my students work to challenge themselves, try new interventions, and push their growth edges, while in return I strive to always have an open door policy, and provide on-going support for my mentees as they navigate their educational journey.