“No one else has to change for me to be free”


John Lonsbury is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years.  He earned a Bachelors Degree in Literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California.  John obtained his MFT license in 2000 and has been practicing in the Central Coast area, has expertise in substance abuse treatment and domestic violence as well as individual and family counseling.

John is bilingual/bicultural in Spanish and English.  He is also trained in a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment utilizing family and community based support systems.

John hails from Newark, New Jersey, but has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, Central and South America.  He comes from an inner city, multiracial, multicultural background and has experience dealing with a wide diversity of people and cultures.  He is the published author of “Two Trains Running,” a book of poems.  He is active in his community through his church as well as a volunteer at the Lompoc Federal Penitentiary.  He is married with two children in college and currently resides in Lompoc, CA.

John works as an independent contractor by providing mental health services to our Hispanic and Spanish speaking community.

Therapy is a cooperative process between you and your therapist beginning with the establishment of an empathetic, trusting and non-judgmental relationship where you can feel free to discuss whatever issues are disturbing you.  I seek to establish such a relationship in our first session,  discuss the presenting problem, relevant background and context, and to set goals for further treatment.  I will also present some coping skills to help you alleviate your immediate distress.  Together we will explore your concerns and develop a plan of action that will lead to a more fulfilling life.

Good mental health is the ability to think, feel and act in one’s own best interests and not merely solve problems in life.  Often people develop patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are uncomfortable, or act as obstacles in pursuing one’s own best interests.
A therapist is someone trained and experienced in helping others explore, discover and discard dysfunctional ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.  A therapist can also educate you about coping skills and resources you can utilize to live more effectively.  Sometimes people experience trauma which may be difficult or impossible to overcome without professional help. 
Therapy can also be a component of a more holistic approach to total healing in conjunction with medical treatment, self help groups, and personal spiritual practices.  Pain can be unavoidable part of life but continual suffering is optional and can be alleviated.

Mental and emotional distress, like any other form of illness, usually gets worse if left untreated.  Many people do not seek therapy until there is a crisis situation in their lives.  Many times these crises situations can be avoided by early intervention when  problems are beginning to develop in a marriage, a family or in an individual’s personal life.
Although crisis intervention is part of what I do, I find that many people live with mental and emotional pain sometimes for years unnecessarily, when consultation with a therapist could reveal a solution or at least some relief. 

While it is true we cannot change the past, there is something we can do about the here and now and thereby create a better future.