About Benjamin Wolf

At the age of twenty, I found myself sitting in my doctor’s office trying to comprehend the news that he had just given me.  “You have Crohn’s disease” he said.  As I sat running those words through my head, I started to think about my future. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease (an autoimmune disease of the digestive tract).  What did this mean for my life?  Who would want me now?  How would I ever have a career?  How would I ever be able to lead a productive life?  These were all questions that ran through my head in the first few minutes, and the next several months after learning that my life had suddenly taken a dramatic turn.

In the months that followed I started on a journey to learn that through the twists and turns that life takes us, we can find hope, and learn not only to cope, but thrive as we overcome what were once considered insurmountable problems.  Now, more than a decade later, I still continue to struggle with Crohn’s disease, but I am able to look to a bright future, and know that I can handle whatever life throws at me. 

These are the principals and beliefs that I use with my clients in individual therapy, and work with them to help them find their path. I created Hope & Healing For Life PLLC as a place where individuals and families could come to find hope in their ability to heal from life’s struggles. It is important to me to have an atmosphere where people can feel comfortable, and empowered in the healing process, while at the same time developing goals, and strategies for successful treatment.  I can show you, your family, or your organization why this partnership will work, depending on your specific needs and circumstances.

My Therapeutic Approach

I believe that people are capable of tremendous growth and change, and the vehicle for such is self-understanding. I use this in my approach to therapy by using clients’ own strengths and the power of the therapeutic relationship to promote this growth and change. By utilizing a holistic approach, combining psychodynamic theory with elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, and the unique skills that clients bring with them, I work to foster individualized treatment to assist clients in reaching their goals. My clients have told me that the way I do therapy is different than what they have experienced before.  I believe that fundamentally the relationship between therapist and client is real.  I genuinely show my client compassion,  and empathy.  I challenge my clients to work hard, and by doing so facilitate change in their lives. Therapy is your journey, however, you don’t have to go through it alone.

The Basics

I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota in 2002 with a degree in psychology, then went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Augsburg College in 2004. I am licensed at the highest level possible for my profession in the state of Minnesota, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). I have been providing social work services, individual, couple, and group therapy in counseling centers, community mental health centers and hospital in the Twin Cities since 2002. In doing so, I have worked with people suffering from a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, self-injury, eating disorders, chronic illness, PTSD, relational struggles, communication problems, anger management, and those with a history of trauma and abuse.

Specialized Training

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

I have also trained extensively, and am a certified therapist in the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). One focus of my work is the treatment of severe and pervasive trauma (PTSD) while maintaining compassion and support for those that have found their own way to survive it.  I incorporate the ideas and theory of EMDR into most of the work that I do, which is an approach that is both unique and effective.

Family Based Therapy (FBT)

I also have received extensive training in treating eating disorders, and have been trained in Maudsley Family Based Therapy (FBT), a method of working with adolescents and families to treat eating disorders. The research is consistent in that using FBT is a very effective method of working with adolescents that have eating disorders, and using family dynamics to foster treatment of the eating disorder. By using this method of treatment, over the course of a year, a client can show significant improvement that is both cost effective for the payer, and extremely effective in treatment with low incidence of relapse.

Clinical Hypnosis

Recently, I completed training in pediatric hypnosis and hypnotherapy through The National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute.  Hypnosis is a natural state of selective, focused attention, in which one can use the ability to enter a unique state of consciousness which can open the door to countless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change.  Hypnosis can be a wonderful addition to therapy and can assist with managing chronic pain, chronic illnesses, anxiety, and many other psychological issues.