Mario emulates the philosophy of the old masters who believed that during the therapeutic process the client and the therapist affect, teach, change and learn from each another. With this perspective, the most important ingredient of successful counseling is the development of a therapeutic relationship. Mario has been working with children, adolescents and families in the juvenile justice system; teens with substance abuse and eating disorders, MICA (Mentally Ill and Chemically Dependent) clients, sexually abused and neglected children, as well as children with mental, behavioral, and social deficits.
Mario utilizes Supportive Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy to help his clients “feel good about who they are.” Mario also uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy, the System Theory of the Family Therapy, and the Transtheoretical Model of Change to help them overcome their emotional and behavioral difficulties. He is particularly keen on using “Socratic Questioning” and administering Becks Depression Inventory.
Mario brings with him a wealth of experience from two continents as a child of holocaust survivors, a refugee from the communist Yugoslavia, and as well as being an immigrant. He has had first hand contact with many ethnic groups and nationalities. Cultural competence is something one experiences not learns. This has been evident in his work with the most marginalized minority populations in Long Island. He has visited clients in their homes, accompanied them to courts, schools and funerals. Mario‘s Client Centered Approach has helped him to gain clients’ trust. Many of his former clients view him as a family member.
For over a decade, Mario has been working via Skype with the Croatian people to get Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon off the ground. He is in daily contact with recovering alcoholics and their families across Europe. In addition, he also has been active with the Clubs of Treated Alcoholics, an alternative modality for the treatment of alcoholism. The Clubs of Treated Alcoholics is a family-centered approach to treating alcoholism and substance abuse, something which is conspicuously absent from the existing treatment modalities.
Mario has conducted gang prevention and the harm reduction groups for the teens at risk. As the research has shown, at times the less we “mess “with young people, the better the results, which many parents, stakeholders and practitioners find difficult to accept. Mario has conducted workshops concerning these issues at the People of Color Conference, the Child Advocacy Conference, and the countertransference effects in counseling youth in the juvenile justice system, and the schools.
The Freedman Center welcomes Mario Brajuha, Ph.D., LMSW, and his multitude of experiences and professionalism.