Counseling for Teens, Adults, and Families
Peter Lear LCSW, LAC
Peter became a therapist because he experienced firsthand the transformational power of therapy. Seeing a therapist in high school helped him immensely, alongside his first psychology class was the foundation for his curiosity. His parents called him the “kid psychologist” because he had a gift for insight into the human condition. Born in Los Angeles, with a couple of years in New York City, Peter spent his formative years in the suburbs of Chicago. He attended Pitzer College in Claremont, California where he studied psychology and art. After college, he went on to study music theory and sound engineering at the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music and Columbia College. Soon after he began writing, performing, and recording original rock music in Chicago. He reconnected to his passion for the human sciences after he returned to therapy to resolve some personal issues. This led him to graduate school.
Peter received his master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago in 2001 specializing in family therapy and psychopathology. In his first year of work, he treated couples, and also children in a public school setting. Later, he worked in a clinic specializing in cognitive-behavioral techniques for adults. When Peter achieved his licensure in 2005 he began working in private psychotherapeutic practice. From 2007-09 Peter worked in community mental health where he treated children, families, and adults with a range of mental health issues. At this time he also developed a dual-diagnosis group for adults with addiction and mental health issues. Peter worked at Mental Health Partners for a number of years, in Boulder, Colorado, as a clinican assessment specialist and developed an expertise in mental health assessment and diagnosis. Peter has been teaching yoga part-time since 2007 and utilizes these techniques to support healthy mental and emotional functioning.
Peter Lear has completed specialized post-graduate training in several treatment modalities. For more information, click on the header links.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. It has also been found to be effective in the treatment of panic attacks, disturbing memories, phobias, pain disorders, performance anxiety, stress reduction, addictions, sexual and/or physical abuse.
Psychodynamic Insight Therapy – Insight treatment’s primary focus is to reveal the unconscious content of a person’s psyche in order to bring relief from behavior and thought patterns that are harmful to one’s functioning. In this way, it is similar to psychoanalysis, but psychodynamic therapy tends to be briefer and less intensive than psychoanalysis. It also relies on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist as a vehicle for growth. This form of therapy tends to be more eclectic, taking techniques from a variety of sources rather than relying on a single intervention.
Psycho/Physical Therapy (Somatic Psychology) – PPT, developed by Bill Bowen, is a treatment modality that synthesizes both psychological and body therapy concepts and techniques into one simultaneous process. One’s physical, mental, and spiritual issues are seen as parts of a complex interactive system where all parts are inseparable from the whole.
Family Systems Therapy – Family Systems Therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that tends to look at the entire family’s functioning instead of seeing one family member as having “the issue”. It tends to view change in terms of the quality of the family members’ relationships.
Mindfulness-Based Approaches – Mindfulness is designed to focus one’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental. Mindfulness has its roots in Eastern techniques, in particular, Buddhist meditation. The practice requires that one observe and accept the present situation exactly as it is, regardless of whether that is good or bad. Mindfulness-based approaches and contemplative approaches are becoming widely accepted methods for relieving symptoms related to many psychological issues and can be applied across many different population segments
Yoga – Yoga has existed for approximately 5000 years and is a commonly known term for mental, physical, and spiritual practices that enable wellness. Yoga is a system of wellness that sees little or no separation between the mind and body. Certain yoga poses are utilized to target particular body systems that may be out-of-balance (e.g. immune, endocrine, digestive). Peter is a Yoga Alliance 200-hour Certified Teacher, a regular practitioner since 1998, and a part-time yoga teacher since 2007.
Biopsychosocial Assessment – A bio-psycho-social assessment is an in-depth process that examines your strengths, looks at your family history, examines current functioning, takes into account medical issues, and creates a comprehensive treatment plan that can be objectively monitored. This may include evaluation for a mental health diagnosis. Peter has several years of specialization in clinical assessment.
Peter attained LCSW licensure in 2005. An LCSW is someone who has graduated from an accredited social work master’s program, completed supervised clinical hours (3,360 hours in Colorado), and passed the ASWB’s clinical licensure exam. This is the highest level of social work licensure a person can obtain. LCSWs are able to practice clinical social work, such as psychotherapy, diagnosis, treatment recommendations, supervision, crisis intervention, and other clinical mental health roles.
Peter attained his LAC licensure in 2020. LAC (licensed addiction counselor) is the highest form of addiction licensure in Colorado that begins with CACI, CACII, CACIII. One must possess a master’s or doctoral degree in behavioral science with a completion of 3000 hours of supervised clinical work experience in a setting that actively treats substance and process use disorders. It is also required that a LAC has completed approximately 200 hours of post-graduate course work in addiction science and treatment, passed the MAC exam and the Colorado jurisprudence exam.