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Dennis Estill
MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
LMFT 89626

Phone: 619-858-3105 x 154

Relationships are vital to everyone, but like a garden they must be cultivated and cared for. They require time, hard work, and imagination if they are expected to flourish and produce fruit. Healthy relationships are not the result of chance but rather choice, they are the best thing about life, but they can also produce deep pain.

I want to help you become the person God intended you to be and to enjoy an enriching relationship with others. 

For over 35 years I have served as a Senior Pastor of local churches in the Southern California area. During those years I have come to realize that nothing is more vital to us than relationships, with God and with each other. When we are experiencing challenges in personal relationships, whether it is caused by sickness, infidelity, loss, or incompatibility, we need help to “fix” and overcome those challenges. I have helped couples, individuals, children and families to do that as a pastor and now as a professional therapist. Sadly, not everything in relationships can be fixed, some things like loss and estrangement, we have to accept and move forward. I want to help you to do that.

My decision to become a professional Marriage and Family Therapist was prompted by a desire to provide a level of care to individuals and families, that as a pastor, I did not have the skills and training to offer. I had for many years lamented the lack of spiritually integrated psychotherapy available to the local church. The Center for Enriching Relationships provides an integration of good psychological theory while remaining biblically centered in its focus.

My therapy with individuals, couples, and families is based on the process of helping people to talk about what is causing relational distress, to identify the negative cycles that have developed and to create new cycles of interaction. My therapeutic approach is collaborative and respectful of clients and combines the best of several techniques to help you achieve a secure attachment and implement a strategy for change.

In addition to providing direct psychotherapy and marital and family counseling services, I have also been privileged to lead marriage seminars, parenting classes, leadership development institutes, and personal growth seminars. I would be happy to discuss the possibility of my leading a seminar or teaching a class on these subjects to your church or organization. 

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  •  Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology, MFT Program, Azusa Pacific University, San Diego, CA
  •  Master of Arts, Organizational Leadership, Biola University, La Mirada, CA
  •  Bachelor of Arts, Pastoral Ministry, Life Pacific College, San Dimas, CA
  •  Ministerial Ordination, 1977


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
MFT Practicum Student and Intern, Family Focus Christian Counseling—El Cajon
Senior Pastor, Heartland Community ChurchEl Cajon, CA
Certified Trainer, Focusing Leaders
Chaplain, El Segundo Police Department (1988-2002)—El Segundo, CA
Registered Marriage & Family Therapy Intern, #IMF 68278, California Board of Behavioral Sciences
Supervised by Donald W. Welch, Ph.D., MFT #MFC 50129

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

  • Marriage and Couples counseling
  • Blended family issues
  • Relieving anxiety and depression
  • Leadership training and mentoring
  • Individual and couples facing the challenges of ministry related issues
  • Retreat and seminar speaker


AREAS OF ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE AND INTEREST:
Since I grew up in a pastors home (PK), served as a pastor for 35 years, and now have a son serving as a pastor, I have an intimate knowledge of the stressors that they face and a deep love for ministers and their families. I know how lonely and challenging it can become and I would like to offer you a safe and confidential environment for you to talk and find rest.

I have a passion to work with couples and to see marriages restored and families healed. I have seen couples in the midst of divorce rediscover their love for each other and move from anger and disconnectedness to secure bonding and mutual respect. I have great hope for your marriage and believe that if you are willing to do the hard work of rebuilding you can have a better marriage. The good news is that God will partner together with you to give you His grace and strength. 

One of my life verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” I really do believe that God has a good plan for each one of us, filled with hope and promise, it is my passion to help you to discover what that plan looks like and to begin to live it out.


PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
  • Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS)

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