Adam Furtado is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) whose work has focused primarily on family therapy and trauma-informed care. His approach honors the client and their family’s story, while working to resolve the effects of trauma that may be inhibiting healthy living. Adam is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and has additional specialized training in Attachment-Based Family Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. He is particularly inspired by the work of psychotherapists Carl Rogers and Virginia Satir, who emphasized the importance of valuing a family’s story and understanding that they hold the key to their own healing process.
As an adjunct faculty member for Chapman University’s graduate marriage and family therapy program, Adam teaches courses in the areas of assessment, treatment planning, and advanced theoretical application. Before joining the Newport Academy team as the Clinical Director of Admissions, he served as a clinical supervisor at The Guidance Center and at Genesis Healthcare, both in Long Beach, CA. In those roles, Adam provided supervision and guidance to other clinicians, including support around case conceptualization, treatment planning, and implementation of treatment interventions.
Adam especially enjoys working with teens and young adults. “This age is so important for youth who are exploring their identity, connecting with others, and planning for their future,” he says. “Being a part of this key time in a young person’s life is both engaging and rewarding.”
My Five Fundamental Beliefs
1. Assessment is one of the most important parts of treatment.
A thorough and accurate assessment of an individual’s biological, psychological, and social health is essential to laying the foundation for effective treatment. To set appropriate goals, we must engage in problem solving only after we understand the problem. If a practitioner moves forward with interventions too quickly, the strategies employed may be poorly tailored and ultimately ineffective. Matching the treatment model, goals, and intervention strategies to each unique client—through an accurate understanding of the problem from the outset—is an invaluable factor in successful treatment and attaining lasting gains.
2. The family is at the core of an individual’s emotional and mental health.
A person’s family unit, however defined, is integral to shaping their identity and present life, as well as moving towards growth in the future. From the moment we are born, we are observing and learning how to navigate life’s challenges through the example of those around us. The strength of the attachment and the quality of the support offered by our loved ones contributes greatly to our illness or health. Along these lines, healing often requires the support and involvement of family, providing collaboration and commitment from everyone towards a common goal.
3. Behaviors are the symptom, not the problem.
Negative behaviors are a way to protect ourselves or to get our immediate needs met. We may lash out in anger in order to deflect from our own fragile self-esteem. We may turn to addictions to avoid feeling the pain inside us. We may even harm ourselves in unthinkable ways, because we do not have the tools to express our true thoughts and feelings. But if families and treatment professionals spend their time only looking at and addressing these behavioral manifestations of the problem, they may fail to identify or alleviate the true illness.
4. Diversity and cultural considerations must not be ignored.
Each individual comes with a unique set of beliefs, life circumstances, and family history that has helped shape who they are today. All of this should inform goals and interventions throughout the treatment process. There should be no “one size fits all” approach within the treatment world. Customizing care using cultural competency, paired with cultural humility, is essential to achieving positive outcomes.
5. Integrate strengths into treatment.
Strengths-based approaches help to refocus a person’s efforts towards healthy outlets and existing protective factors. We often spend so much time focusing on all that has gone wrong in our lives that we forget what is still right. Starting with the foundation of our existing strengths and successes, we can more quickly cultivate a robust and healthy skill set for navigating life’s challenges, now and in the future. We all have strengths, and effective treatment usually involves the active and deliberate integration of one’s interests, relationships, and unique skills into their healing process.
Newport Academy …in his own words
“Newport Academy provides a truly exceptional model of treatment. We are sensitive to culture and diversity, and move at a pace that is appropriate for each individual family and their unique needs.” – Adam Furtado