Individual, Marriage, and Family Therapist

“Nobody can go back and start a new BEGINNING, but ANYONE can start today and make a new ENDING”.  – Anonymous
Call (562) 342-6834 or Contact Me
Rick McCarthy MFT

San Clemente Christian and Couples Counseling

My Experience

I have been in practice for over 40 years, working with a very diverse population, including individual’s, adults, adolescents, and couples with a wide variety of concerns and complex life challenges. I taught for 28 years, first as an associate professor of psychology at Marymount College, and have taught graduate courses at Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, and California State University Dominguez Hills. I have been the recipient of the Lampert Award from Pacificare Behavioral Health, which quantifies client outcomes. In effect, my therapeutic effectiveness has been ranked in the top one percent of over 10,000 participating therapists.

I have an extensive knowledge and experience with a variety of therapeutic modalities, especially cognitive behavioral and brief, solution-focused therapy. This allows me to utilize that which will work best for you, thus enabling you to achieve the most efficient and effective results.

Having taught for 28 years, as well as consulting with the Board of Behavioral Sciences in designing the California State Board Exams for the MFT license, helps me stay on the leading edge of theory and technique. I believe in the importance of an integration and balance of a healthy mind, body, and spirit.


  • Years in Practice: Over 40 years
  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
  • School: Loyola Marymount University
  • Year Graduated: 1979
  • License No. and State: MFC18461 California

Client Focus

Religious Orientation: Christian


  • Adolescents / Teenagers (14 to 19)
  • Adults
  • Elders (65+)

It’s Not Where You’ve Been that Counts,
It’s Where you are GOING… – Anonymous

Treatment in Focus

Rick McCarthy Couples Therapy
Relationship Issues
We are all social beings, and have a strong need to connect with others on a variety of levels. We need closeness and intimacy with at least a few people whether it is friends, family, boy/girlfriends, or spouses. Conflict is inevitable in relationships, and we can always improve on how well we resolve conflicts with others. Some find it challenging to even meet people, or form acquaintances. This social anxiety is not uncommon to some degree in most people, and can be treated and improved. As we grow through childhood and adulthood, our lives are enriched by a variety of relationships that help us feel liked, understood, and especially loved.
Mood Disorders
Mood fluctuation is normal and even healthy, when our changing moods enable us to experience the fullness and richness of this wonderful life. That includes positive and negative emotions. But when our moods no longer enhance our experience, but dictate our experience, our lives can become dysfunctional and unhealthy. Mood disorders generally refer to strong or painful levels of depression, or the uncontrollable fluctuations of depression that not only affect how bad we feel, but can also create negative and distorted thinking, which can become our reality, and then make us feel even worse. We all feel depressed or sad periodically, but most times this is just a healthy reaction to a temporary event or loss. It is when the depression becomes chronic, and begins to have a negative impact on our lives and our relationships, our moods can become not only painful, but destructive. Depression is the most commonly experienced mental illness, and fortunately one of the easiest to treat. Even in severe cases, most people can be treated, and lives can improve.
Like depression, anxiety is a very common human emotion. Though, unlike depression, which should be only periodically and temporarily experienced, anxiety is experienced by us, to some degree, most of the time. Anxiety is generally a very healthy, functional emotion, especially when we are anticipating a challenge or problem, need to pay close attention, or in severe cases, rally to survive an objective threat. Again, like depression, anxiety can become unhealthy and dysfunctional when strong and chronic feelings of anxiety contribute to very negative and distorted thoughts and emotions, which then make the symptoms of anxiety worse. Strong and chronic anxiety can manifest itself in many different symptoms, such as phobias, obsessive/compulsive behavior, panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or an overwhelming fear that can eventually be paralyzing. Most people instinctively attempt to avoid whatever seems to be producing the anxiety, which then makes the symptoms worse. Fortunately, most all anxiety disorders are treatable.

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Rick McCarthy

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