We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Braman, LCSW and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, what principle do you value most?
My family. I’m an imperfect husband, new dad, and new small business owner. I started my solo private practice after working several years in criminal justice and juvenile justice rehabilitation programs, an outpatient community mental health agency, an inpatient adolescent crisis stabilization unit, and a group private practice. I wanted to build my dream mental health practice, and make my business work for my family instead of the other way around. Now, I have more flexibility as a small business owner that allows me to show up and be more present with my son and my wife. This is what matters most to me in life – spending quality time with my family – and it also allows me to show up and be more present with my clients as I work to empower their verve.
What should our readers know about your business?
My solo private practice is called Verve Psychotherapy, which is a modern and inclusive online mental health practice for busy adults located in New York, Georgia, and Maryland (where I’m licensed as a clinical social worker). Clients need a return on their investment into the therapeutic process, and it’s my mission to empower men, new dads, and their partners with mindful masculinity. Many men don’t typically seek therapy, and if they do, then they may not actually receive gender-sensitive care. I’m most proud to offer a safe therapeutic space that welcomes men to show up and lean into the edge of their comfort and discomfort without judgment, and invites them to find the parts of their Self that need to be seen, heard, and understood so that they can build a life worth living. Most notably, I’ve learned that there are inevitable bumps in the road as an entrepreneur, as a father, and as a husband, and you may plan for a straight line and then you find some zig-zags along the way. Admitting this can be a vulnerable experience, and I’ve learned that as a therapist, I may have to lead the way to embrace and model emotional vulnerability if I want my clients to get to the heart of the matters that lead them to therapy in the first place. I tell all of my clients that “heart work is hard work”, and I believe that mindfulness-based approaches to therapy can actually help men, new dads, and their partners on that marathon journey from their head to their heart where they can really feel safe to love and be loved.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For a morning treat, we would start out strolling through the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail near the Krog Street Tunnell with coffee & donuts from Revolution Donuts of Inman Park. We would probably venture through the Tunnell for a few (selfie) pics and a few stops along Wylie Street on the Cabbagetown side to view all of the painted murals. For lunch, it would have to be either Nina & Rafi’s Detroit Style “I Love Pepperoni” Pizza going up the BeltLine or hopping over to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Little Five Points. It would be nice to round out the food & drink scene over the week long trip with cocktails from Cold Beer or a nice chophouse dinner at Kevin Rathbun’s Steak along the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, brunch at Sun In My Belly in Kirkwood, a Southern family-style meal at Revival in Decatur. For a fun night out, I would want to get tickets to an improv comedy show at Dad’s Garage Theatre and follow that up with a speakeasy-style night cap at The James Room. Weather permitting, it would be nice to stroll through Piedmont Park and visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Regardless of the weather and especially for friend’s visiting with young children, I would take them to the Georgia Aquarium. For a fan of the beautiful game, I would take them to an Atlanta United soccer match because Atlanta has some of the best fans’ atmosphere in the MLS at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Anyone up for a furry good time at the Bar(k) would have to join me and my pup named “Emory” at Fetch Dog Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe my heart to my wife, Daria, and my son, Noah, because they sustain me and give my life enduring meaning and purpose. Professionally, I want to shoutout all of my former supervisors who have supported me and given me the mentorship and encouragement to grow: Erin Hinek, LPC of Fleurish Psychotherapy, Kerry Ledden, LCSW-R and Tanya Gonzalez, LMHC of New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center, Ashley Dixon, LCSW (formerly) of View Point Health, Elizabeth Walker, LMSW of Good Shepherd Services, and Mary King (formerly) of Catholic Social Services’ Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative.