I’m Paul (Andy) Martin M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor and Martin Psychotherapy Services is the culmination of my educational, clinical, and personal background. This is the work I have had the honor of doing as a counselor in various settings.
I was a non-traditional college student who moved from the Dallas area to Austin over twenty years ago to attend UT and some detours happened on the way. I completed my Bachelor of Arts. from UT in Psychology and Philosophy in 2010 at age 39. I took a year away from my educational goals to work in the mental health field as a treatment center tech to make sure this was the field I wanted to be in and it was!
I completed my Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M-Central Texas in 2013. I worked five years in the substance abuse field as a counselor before establishing my private practice Martin Psychotherapy Services in 2018.
Initially I worked in a 12 Step heavy treatment center (AA focused, abstinence based) and then moved into a harm reduction model for substance use treatment in methadone clinics located in the Austin area (MARS/CMS in Cedar Park and Addiction and Psychotherapy Services in Austin). The goals were the same, the way the goals were achieved were quite different in both settings. I learned to be flexible in both settings and working in a harm reduction setting taught me to listen to what was needed from the client, not to impose preset notions towards what “recovery” means for every client. Working in these settings taught me to focus on the underlying issues complicating one’s recovery.
Through this all I was met with various issues that are common issues presented to me in my practice: trauma related issues in childhood and various stages of life, mood disorders, family of origin issues, families lacking support, codependency, and those lacking social support and resources.
The one thing I saw most unattended in these various scenarios in substance use treatment was traumatic experiences were left unattended. This brought me to being trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) in 2020 and DeTUR EMDR in 2021 (more about EMDR below).
I moved to the Austin area in the mid-90’s to attend UT. I stayed for one semester because I started playing in garage-punk bands. Books, lectures, exams, running across campus, and fighting parking in the heat lost its appeal compared to parties, clubs, amd attending shows. Playing shows in the wonderful scene I experienced won out over my perceived stuffiness of college. I experienced the inevitable mixed bag that comes with the music lifestyle, especially where extreme behaviors can be rewarded. I found myself in seriously bad shape, mentally and physically, at the end of my 20’s. This is where intense work was done with a psychotherapist. I learned in a way that was encouraging, insightful as I sat on the couch untangling the mess that was my life.
This is when I began to address childhood trauma that was left unattended for so long and learned how to move forward in life with the help of my therapist and many others that were there to support me. My journey to getting help started well before my 20’s. I was first attending a therapist’s office as a teenager. It was not helpful as the psychologist scribbled his pad and nodded a yes while providing the follow up, “How did that make you feel?” This felt cold and empty to me as a 16 year old. As someone that has relied on various mental health professionals in my lifetime, the one thing that stood out as I did my work was the need for rapport with myself and the psychotherapist I was working with at the time. I focus on providing a setting where you are comfortable telling me aspects of your life that even your closest friends or relatives may not be aware of as you’re telling me what’s bothering you.
This begins with a broad assessment, which is an information gathering process. You provide me with what brought you to seek therapy and we discuss various areas and issues that you are wanting to explore. Based upon this you and I decide what are the blocks to the goals you are wanting to achieve. Your goals are determined by you, you have the right to decide what is in your best interest, I provide the risks and benefits with the goals you want to achieve, but again your right to decide what is in your best interests remains with you.
The goal is the destination and then we decide upon the rough road map to get you there, these are the objectives that are decided upon by you and I. My role is to walk with you, if you are too far ahead of me I will ask you to hold up, if you are following me from behind, I will meet you where you are at. I want to remain aligned with you in your journey at all times.
If you are new to psychotherapy then welcome. If you are returning to therapy then I will explore what was helpful for you with your previous therapist and what was not so helpful.
If I’m sitting with you in session, the main idea I work from no matter how you view yourself and the extremity of the issue is the following, “You’re doing the best you can with what you have given what has happened but here you are addressing the issue and trying to understand and make sense of life.”
I was trained initially as a “talk therapist”, essentially a sounding board for your thoughts and emotions, utilizing various techniques and foundations of psychotherapy. I skeptically began training in EMDR in Austin in 2020, EMDR is a different approach. My skepticism was squashed seeing and hearing the relief my clients experienced in a shorter time than traditional talk therapy. EMDR became an integral part of my practice but is not the only part of my work. This training was approved by EMDRIA the international credentialing body for approved training programs.
EMDR DeTUR, is a hybrid of EMDR that is engineered to address compulsions, those behaviors we don’t necessarily want to do but do them anyway while ignoring the consequences that come with them. These behaviors are self-soothing in a paradoxical sense (anger, substance misuse, disordered eating, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors). EMDR DeTUR focuses on triggers that are motivating compulsions, the goal is to sever the relationship between triggers (barriers) and compulsions that follow from the triggers.
I maintain a framework in what and how I was trained originally calling upon various foundations of psychotherapy based in Existential Psychotherapy (we need and want meaning), Person-Centered Therapy (you know yourself better than I do), Motivational Interviewing (you can talk yourself into change, if asked the right questions) and mindfulness techniques (you can ground yourself in times of stress). So if you need to talk, we can talk.
Along the way I had help from various people, therapists, teachers, and more importantly my loved ones and continue to do so today. In my role as a psychotherapist I have had the ability to help people from various backgrounds and highly different from what was familiar to me before I launched into this career. It has been humbling and educational for me as I work with clients.
Thank you for the time to read my bio, I look forward to meeting you on the way! If something resonates with you then give me call or email me!
Your email never goes into my latest newsletter, we’re marketed to enough as it is. I respect your privacy and time.
Paul (Andy) Martin, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor
LPC License (TX) #73619