Billy Cleary, MA, LMFT is a graduate of Wheaton College’s Marriage and Family Therapy program in Illinois, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Billy Cleary, MA, LMFT has served as TELL's Clinical Director since October 2018. Billy is a graduate of Wheaton College’s Marriage and Family Therapy program in Illinois, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Billy's therapeutic expertise developed and enhanced in his clinical practice in the city of Chicago and the suburbs (2012-2018), includes working with families, individuals, adolescents, and children. His approach to therapy comes from a belief that we are wired to be in relationship with others, and that creating a space to collectively navigate significant relational issues can lead to healing and change, thus strengthening relational bonds. Billy previously worked in Japan (2006-2012) providing services for Japanese corporations, and actively worked in youth ministry in his local church. As the Clinical Director at TELL, Billy has enjoyed seeing individuals, communities, schools, and corporations thrive through connection and their ability to support one another. He has had the pleasure of leading a team of world-class clinicians who's focus is to improve the lives of individuals and their community, not just in Tokyo, but throughout Japan. To this end, his goal is to aide all who receive TELL's services to build awareness of one's own mental health, explore ways to alleviate suffering, and restore relationships within families and communities throughout Japan. BILLY’S APPROACH TO THERAPY Families & Adolescents I thoroughly enjoy helping parents and adolescents who are stuck trying to negotiate the push-pull for independence and established boundaries. My effective approach with adolescents is to meet them in their space and time emotionally, spiritually, and developmentally, while working with the family to alleviate anxiety, tension, and stress. My experience has shown that strengthening family bonds help adolescents to function more efficiently in school and in their interpersonal relationships. Kids sometimes need someone who understands them and helps them through the changes of life. My work with adolescents extends across cultures where I have helped families and individuals in transition negotiate the turmoil of growing up in multi-cultural and our ever-changing environments. Because of my life experiences, I have become passionate about helping children and adults who grew up in a culture different than their passport country (TCKs) work through identity, confusion, and isolation issues. Couples I also have extensive experience working with couples through the process of Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which is one the leading research-based approaches to helping couples repair relational bonds. My approach is to slow down cycles of conflict that arise with couples and help both partners express their needs and hurts in the relationship. A central goal is to become aware of conflict patterns, and know how to approach the other differently, allowing space for expressing core emotions and the ability to take healthy risks of vulnerability. Throughout this crucial process, I offer space for each partner to be heard and understood, while creating ways of deepening their level of trust and connection. Working with Individuals I believe that individuals often need an avenue to process thoughts, emotions, and have a safe environment to experience healing and growth. My initial goal is to build an authentic relationship with clients and foster a safe, caring environment. I find joy in guiding clients toward identifying obstacles in their lives, and helping them remove the barriers that block them from the path of growth. The journey toward healing is continued by assisting the individual to discover a new road to take that leads to wholeness. After all, we are all a work in progress.