Chris Manno, MA
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
transformation story is a very powerful thing. Are you ready to begin yours?
I know you made it here because life’s hardships have been overwhelming. Maybe you struggle with; heartbreak, isolation, career pressure, relationship conflict, emotional chaos, self-sabotage behavior or persistent confusion about your life’s direction. And I know that when you feel so broken down, it’s easy to become bitter and doubtful about your role as the main character, the hero, in the story of your life.
Do you remember how you used to see yourself as a little kid? Back in the days when you were filled with hope, wonder and excitement for your future and for the hero you could become. But today, life may seem to be so endlessly complicated, over-demanding and uncertain. And in your more difficult moments, you may even struggle to see yourself as a hero who is still worth rooting for at all.
As a therapist, I help those who are ready to come out of the shadows and regain creative control over their life story. My place will be right beside you as a confidant and trusted ally as you proceed with your journey of self-discovery. I will help you to face life’s challenges and slay all necessary dragons with courage and grace. I will also introduce you to an array of powerful therapeutic strategies that can assist you on your journey.
Together we will work to restore the faith in yourself you lost somewhere along the way. Together we will collaborate on a full reconsideration of the old narrative of your life that has you feeling stuck and uninspired. If necessary, we will proceed with a full restart/reboot so that you can make room for new chapters. To do this, we will shine light on all of the things in your story that have been holding you back or have no longer been serving you. You know the things I mean…all the negative self-talk and thought patterns, toxic situations and relationships that you’ve been suspecting for awhile now are better off leaving behind.
I believe that undergoing therapy is an act of courage itself and the journey it requires you to take has the potential to be transformational. I will always make sure the sanctity of our sessions provide you with the safety you need to contemplate and express your feelings. My goal as your therapist is to stand beside you as you free yourself from the constraints that have been holding you back.
One of my specialties as a clinician is supporting those who work in LA’s great storytelling industry, the entertainment business. Creatives (actors, writers, directors) and business professionals (producers, agents, studio executives, entertainment lawyers) along with all the below-the-line workers are the backbone of the Hollywood system. As a population unique to LA, those in the industry often face a distinctive set of struggles that may involve; extreme pressure to be successful, unattainable standards, financial uncertainty, poor work/life balance, creative stagnation, vulnerability fears and career burnout.
Being an entertainment industry professional, rest assured I am well qualified to support you as your therapist. That’s because I am a career veteran of it with several years of my own experience working in some of the most powerful talent agencies in the city. The experience left me with a unique understanding of the specific concerns that you might be facing. And let’s be honest…the big entertainment companies that rule Hollywood are not exactly known for prioritizing the mental health and wellness of their employees. And they secretly hope that you won’t either…so you can keep working yourself to the bone to make them profits.
The road to achieving your career dreams in the world’s most glamorous and competitive industry is a tough one. I know that the pressure you constantly face in your career can be so intense that it often becomes easier to bottle up your emotions, day after day. It doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to suffer. You can trust that I will be there in your corner to help you make it through the emotional rollercoaster that comes with making your way in “the business.” If you are intent on taking the ride all the way to the top, we will work together to make sure you don’t sacrifice your own sanity to get there.
Things can seem pretty strange out there in the world these days, huh? If you are not careful, you may find yourself susceptible to living in an almost constant state of fear due to the myriad of things you are told you must be concerned about on a constant basis. But is all that concern worth it? Or do you just need to improve your own subtle art of not giving a damn? Be honest…you’ve probably given out way too many “cares” and concerns to situations, thoughts and people that didn’t really deserve them. It’s time you become more selective about the things you stress about. And as your therapist, I can help with this.
The human brain is truly amazing. But the evolutionary function it has that alerts us to danger was originally adapted for the days when our ancestors lived under constant threat from terrifying predators in the wild. Cut to our modern-day life, we still experience all the same physical sensations that occur when this same alert system is activated. However, now it can get activated for even the most innocuous reasons such as when you are running late for something, or when you get an unexpected phone call or drink too much caffeine.
In therapy, one of our major objectives will be to help you increase your control over the way you react to your stressors. If you can learn to better manage your anxiety states, you can prevent anxiety from controlling you. For this I prefer a two-pronged strategy that brings attention to both your mind and your body. For your mind, we will work together to locate your most persistent negative thought patterns, challenge them and ultimately overwrite them for the better. I will also help you to increase your own physical body awareness so you can determine what it needs. You will learn various mindfulness and breathing exercises that work to activate your nervous system. With the help of your body’s own natural mechanism for chilling out, you will be able to find calm and relaxation in even the most stressful times.
If you have already experienced the profound emotional pain that accompanies a relationship loss, you can likely understand why they say it’s possible for a person to “die of a heartbreak.” However, did you know that it is possible to take your experience of crushing grief and anguish from a breakup or divorce and reframe it into an opportunity to take your own self-understanding to a new level? If you have recently experienced heartbreak, I will assist you in the healing process of your emotional wounds. And we will also take it one step further to help you to reclaim the joy, freedom and spirit of playfulness that you always deserve to have in your life.
If you have been single, perhaps it’s the lack of successful romantic connections in your life that has you feeling disheartened and jaded? Dating in our hyper-paced, social media-driven modern era can be quite confusing, not to mention exhausting. Do you find your self-esteem slowly deteriorating as you endlessly scroll through dating apps waiting for that occasional serotonin rush that comes with a new message? Let’s define your ideal partner so that you can better notice both the red flags and green flags people send out and act accordingly. Examining your vulnerability and discussing how you may use it to your advantage, this will help present a more authentic and confident version of yourself.
For those in a relationship, your experience involves a whole new set of considerations. You and your partner may have questions about things such as; freedom, sex, trust, parenting, attachment or even about the old patterns and ghosts of the past that have found their way into your dynamic. Couples therapy allows you to come together to strengthen your connection while also exploring the mysterious distance that exists between both of you. And the process ensures that neither of you gets left behind, as can often happen when one partner is more committed to their therapy than the other. We will do this together. I will guide you through the process that helps you increase your mutual understanding of each other and allows for your relationship to become one in which you can thrive.
I believe that you and your partner are meant to thrive together, not be diminished by your bond. Your relationship is meant to be extraordinary, not mediocre. You are meant to be on a journey of growth together, not stagnation. Your sex life should be active and fulfilling, not dull and lifeless. Couples therapy is the beautiful process which allows for both of you to restore balance, wherever it is needed in your relationship.
I have a passion for working with couples in any stage of their relationship and in any style of relationship with full respect to the variety of ways human beings have found connection with each other.