Brian’s inspiration and professional influences are many, but first and foremost is the well-known television educator Fred Rogers – “Mr. Rogers” – who reminded children of all ages: “If it’s mentionable, it’s more manageable.”
In our day-to-day lives, we experience a range of emotions. Emotions serve an important survival function by giving us information about what we need (such as boundaries, belongingness, etc.). However, some emotions may be highly-charged because they remind us of early experiences when we did not feel safe to share openly and honestly. The emotional and psychological safety to tell our story is a necessary ingredient for mental health and healthy relationships. Being able to trust another person with our truth can give us the resilience we need to cope during difficult times.
Brian Stefan (ACSW) is a psychotherapist and proud social worker specializing in grief, suicide, anxiety, and crisis response. He proves individual, couples, and group therapy for those who are experiencing deep suffering due to profound difficulties such as grief and traumatic grief. He works with several organizations including Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center, San Gabriel Valley Grief Resource and Training Center, Dr. David Plotkin & Associates, and the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Crisis Response Team/Suicide Response Team. He is an adjunct faculty member at California State University Los Angeles, School of Social Work.
Brian is trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy-Suicide Prevention (CBT-SP) and is a facilitator for Didi Hirsch’s 8-week Survivor of Suicide Attempt support group (SOSA).
He is actively involved with Miry’s List, a non-profit created to connect neighbors and friends dedicated to welcoming newly arrived refugee families into communities through inspired crowdsourcing solutions + mental health & vocational support, Truman National Security Project‘s new initiative to address suicidal ideation and hopelessness among national security professionals. Additionally, Brian is the co-founder and facilitator of InsightLA’s weekly virtual mindfulness group: Deep Suffering H.O.P.E. Affinity & Practice Group (Healing Ourselves through the Present Experience). Along with Dr. Jamie Gamboa, he launched Spotlight on Suicide in 2021 with the mission of educating the general public about suicidal ideation and providing a space for people to listen, learn, and practice how to “Sit With Suicide” within themselves and for others.
He previously served as an intelligence officer with the U.S. Department of Defense and an intelligence analyst with the FBI-LAPD Joint Regional Intelligence Center-Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center (JRIC-RTTAC) in Los Angeles.
He received his Master of Social Welfare (MSW) from UCLA in 2019, as well as graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the National Intelligence University.
To reach Brian:
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
-Jean Jacques Rousseau