Michael S. Avender - LSW




I am a clinician committed to developing and strengthening the therapeutic relationship between myself and my clients. I believe that authenticity, transparency, and mutual empathy are imperative for the growth of both the client and the therapist. My goal is to foster a safe, inclusive space where individuals feel comfortable expressing who they are without fear of judgment. I specialize in talk therapy, incorporating multiple therapeutic modalities to cater to the specific needs of each client. Regardless of the therapeutic theory being utilized, I approach each session from a strengths-based, person-centered approach. I recognize the importance of intersectionality and acknowledge that individuals face multiple stressors at once, including: race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and nationality/citizenship. I believe in the inherent resilience of each person and encourage folks to embrace their vulnerability in order to heal and create a more meaningful life.


“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”-Marianne Williamson 




I received my Master of Social Work degree with a clinical concentration from The University of Pennsylvania. I am licensed through the Association of Social Work Boards. I have worked with clients on a wide range of presenting issues, including substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, relationship issues, trauma, grief and loss, and LGBTQ+ issues, among others. I currently work full-time in the addiction field as a substance abuse therapist where I facilitate individual and group therapy. Additionally, I am the program lead for a LGBTQ+-specific program where individuals can address the intersection of their queer identities with mental health and substance use. 


Psychology Today