David Pillar, MDiv, LMFT
David is an Arizona Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in marriage and relationship therapy that helps couples and families stop the endless loop of conflict and emotional distance so they can reconnect, strengthen and sustain healthy bonds of love. He also works with individuals on a variety of issues such as: stress, anxiety, depression, emotional and spiritual trauma, substance abuse recovery and relapse-prevention, and young adult issues.
With over 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist, David has learned that we are wired for connection- with others, ourselves and beyond ourselves. We thrive when these relationships are safe, secure, open and mutually caring. Whenever these connections are blocked or threatened by stress, conflict, loss and negative emotions, we suffer mentally and emotionally. Through deep listening and building a partnership of safety and trust, David can help you identify the root causes of your struggles and pain with fresh clarity and self-compassion. While a listening ear is crucial, it’s only the start. He will also help you tap your inner strengths through evidence-based strategies, proven to promote lasting change by effectively managing stress, difficult emotions, mental negativity and building healthier relationships.
Many of these strategies are based on the core skill of Mindfulness. The problems that bring us to counseling are like quicksand- the more we struggle to get free, the deeper we seem to get stuck in them and the more our inner negativity controls us. Mindfulness offers a new way to relate to our negative reactions so the power they have over us lessens. As you grow in the practice of mindfulness, you also cultivate your inner wisdom, which guides you into new perspectives and the effective actions that can build a life based on your most cherished values and goals.
David completed his undergraduate studies at Pepperdine University and graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. He also completed a Post-Graduate Residency in Marriage and Family Therapy and Pastoral Counseling at Phoenix Interfaith Counseling. His clinical approach draws on training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, Bowen and Structural Family Systems, Existential Therapies and the “third wave” of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness Relapse Prevention, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
David also offers Spiritual Direction drawing from his training in theology and Contemplative Spirituality and from his 25 years of experience as a pastor.