Established in 1994, Strategic Therapy Associates, Inc. began providing home-based therapy services in the Lynchburg area. After many requests to expand, Strategic added outpatient therapy services and then a day support program. Through the years Strategic has continued to grow and currently provides services in Central and Southwest Virginia.
Les Blondino, Jr., LPC, LMFT, director of Strategic, has been working as a family therapist for more than fifteen years. Early in his career, Blondino became interested in strategic therapy and began studying the approach. In 1996, he attended a year-long intensive training program at the Family Therapy Institute in Washington, D.C., training with Cloe' Madanes. Blondino has also attended workshops and trainings by Jay Haley, Stephen Lankton, Jeff Zeig and Michael Yapko.
Blondino has made presentations about strategic therapy at various conferences, including the Brief Therapy Conference, the International Erickson Foundation Conference, the Virginia Counselors Association Conference, the Virginia Alliance of Social Work Practitioners Conference, and the Medical College of Virginia's Annual Virginia Beach Conference.
Strategic employs a team of therapists dedicated to applying and furthing the theory of strategic therapy through their work with clients. Therapists receive extensive training on the theory and its application. Weekly supervision and frequent case consultation continue to enhance their skills and insure the delivery of quality services.
Strategic is dedicated to quality. We believe that the best therapists are always works in progress and that quality services require vigilance and persistence in professional development.
Rooted in the work of Milton Erickson and the Bateson Project, strategic therapy was developed by Jay Haley and Cloe' Madanes through their work at the Family Therapy Institute of Washington, D.C. A systemic approach, some of its characteristics follow:
- It is a theory of optimism and hope rather than explaining problems as pathological and terminal.
- It is a therapy of change rather than insight without action, promoting solutions and new behaviors over understanding and excuses about why problems should exist.
- Strategic therapy is dedicated to the premise that therapists should practice in an active, directive, and skillful fashion.
- The tone of therapy is warm and respectful, often with a playful nature. Humor is used frequently.
- The uniqueness of clients and the need for interventions tailored to that uniqueness is respected. The therapist is expected to work within the client’s own world view whenever possible.
- Flexibility is a key element of the therapy, and different approaches are needed for the variety of presenting problems and cultural, ethnic, and social contexts brought to therapy.
- It is a therapy of responsibility – of parents for children, of therapists for clients, and of supervisors for supervisees.
- Strategic therapy is a therapy of justice and advocacy in which therapists take strong stands against violence and abuse and advocate for children, families, and those living in poverty.
A brief, pragmatic approach to solving problems, strategic therapy has proven to be effective with some of the most severe cases.