March Member Highlight: Massimo Avincola, MA, MFT

Massimo’s path to becoming a full-time therapist has been a long one: It began when his family moved from Italy to America and, as a teenager, he was uprooted from all that was familiar to him. The acculturation stress of learning the language and adjusting to new social norms proved challenging. He struggled with anxiety and feelings of isolation. It was not until years later, with the help of therapy, that he was able to process and overcome the negative impact of those early experiences and begin to successfully acculturate.

Through therapy, he discovered his passion for helping others. While working full-time, he obtained a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University and became licensed in 2005. However, with a young family to support, he decided to stay at his job and see clients on the side. In 2014, the company restructured and he was faced with the unique opportunity to join the Center for Health Science where he provided psychotherapy to adults and seniors in nursing facilities, treating adjustment-related anxiety and depression, and helping them cope with declining cognitive abilities related to dementia. When the contract ended, he decided to focus on building a full-time private practice. He hired a coach and joined LA-CAMFT as a way to connect with a great community of fellow therapists, exchange ideas and build a network of resources and referrals.

Through his personal experience, knowledge of Italian and Spanish, and guided by studies showing that immigrants without an adequate level of support are at greater risk of developing anxiety and depression, Massimo now focuses his passion and unique insight to help and support first generation immigrants grieve the life they left behind, address their fears and concerns, and begin to identify and strive toward new goals and acculturation. If you have any questions, Massimo can be reached at massimoavincolamft@gmail.com.