Joe Urban, MFT, CSAT
519 Seabright Ave. Ste. 215
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

(831) 431-3322
FAX #: (831) 454-8047

verified by Psychology Today

"Every weakness is a strength, every strength is a weakness."

∼Joe Urban

Children / Adolescents

With children I draw from psychodrama, guided imagery, and art, play and sand tray therapies. For over 50 years I have worked with children, adolescents and adults as individuals, couples, in groups and families as an award winning educator and therapist.


I bring a special compassion and understanding for individuals with disabilities and their families. I grew up in a family where my youngest brother has Down’s Syndrome.

I have worked with many students in the autistic spectrum including Asperger’s. I completed recent training on social thinking focusing on Asperger’s/autism spectrum challenges. (Please see Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum).

Other areas I’ve worked with are depression, muscular dystrophy, schizophrenia, cerebral palsy, anxiety, panic, trauma, abuse, molestation, witnessing domestic violence.

My office is wheelchair accessible. I am available for consultation in the home where circumstances warrant this.


I have attended hundreds of IEP”s. I have worked closely with the legal system as an expert witness and custody evaluator with agencies such as Mediation, Child Protective Services (CPS), and Victim Witness.


I advocate for your son or daughter. My goal is that he/she have a successful school experience in all domains, cognitive and social. We work so that he or she can perform at the best of his/her ability in the class coursework and be comfortable in individual and group interactions on breaks, recess, in the lunchroom, and after school. I want him or her to have friends and be able to fit in socially, to be able to assert himself / herself appropriately, and defend himself or herself if necessary. as well as succeed academically.


Although empowerment should be continual, it is especially important in adolescence. Young hopes and dreams can become confused and lost in the midst of the many realities of family, school and internet. The greatest need AND healing is to reconnect him or her with their own source of energy and power. I receive great satisfaction helping young individuals regain their own sense of power and direction. We can work together to develop strategies to make good choices and decisions for himself or herself with time management issues, organization, and social processing. I believe all behavior is purposeful and makes sense once the underlying issues are understood. That is where change can occur.

Your son or daughter’s happiness and success are my greatest concern in our work together. I have found that children are resilient. Unencumbered by years of negative beliefs, messages, and behavior, they respond more easily and quickly in therapy.


A special note for grandparents either responsible or caring for their grandchildren. I have a special heart for individuals in this unexpected role. The challenges are unique and often daunting as grandparents assume parental responsibilities. It is important to the children that you care for to support yourself as well.


Your child’s son or daughter’s confidentiality is protected by law except in circumstances of abuse and molestation. An audiofile is maintained for clinical purposes.