My name is Manuel Cruz and I am a licensed marriage and family therapist with 13 years of experience working with families, children, and adults in a multitude of settings. I received my masters of arts in counseling from California State University Fullerton in 2007 and started my career working for a non-profit school based program called Outreach Concern where I worked in the homes and in schools in Los Angeles County with children who were struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. After leaving this position I began working with the Boys and Girls Club in Garden Grove as a therapist in their Family and Youth Outreach program where I would continue my work with families and children struggling with behavior issues at both home and school. Following this position I worked at College Hospital in Costa Mesa as a therapist in their partial hospitalization program. Here I was primarily in charge of running group therapy with adult patients who were suffering from a range of mental health issues including schizophrenia, chronic depression and anxiety, and personality disorders. For the last 9 years I have worked as a clinician with Western Youth Services in Santa Ana working with families and children ages 5 to 21. Much of my work with this outpatient clinic was with adolescents who were struggling with mood issues, behavior problems, and academic challenges. Much of my training and background at my previous position has been in Functional Family therapy which is designed for troubled adolescents and their families. I truly believe that the vehicle for change is the therapeutic relationship and one of my strengths has been my ability to connect with my clients and establish a trusting relationship that promotes growth and change. It would be an honor to walk with you on this journey.