I always knew that I wanted to spend my life helping people. I didn’t know exactly what path I would take to get there but helping others was in my blood. My grandfather obtained his PhD in psychology from Columbia, and my dad has spent nearly 40 years as a forensic psychiatrist. So it wasn’t a surprise when I chose to major in psychology in undergrad before going to medical school.
After medical school, I spent 10 years as an interventional radiologist helping people recover from complex health issues including trauma, pain, and cancer. Unfortunately, I experienced health complications of my own that left me unable to practice interventional radiology. As I worked toward my own recovery from surgical knee complications, I learned how to apply Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to my own well-being and was inspired to help others along their life journey.
Throughout my medical training and practice I witnessed firsthand the need so many people have for mental health support. And while we are willing to seek help for medical conditions, like heart disease or cancer, we often hesitate to ask for help when we feel mentally or emotionally troubled. I recognized that there was still a stigma around mental health that was keeping so many people from finding meaningful and lasting healing.
Having grown up exposed to the importance of mental health, and having dealt with medical challenges in my own life, I knew I wanted to use my medical and therapeutic background to help others in a different capacity. This led me to further my post-graduate education with a Masters of Counseling.
As a Montana native, I understand the unique challenges and joys that come with living in Big Sky Country. I grew up ranching and farming, getting outside with the family, taking backcountry trips with the horses, and savoring the sense of adventure—and peace—that comes from the rivers and mountains. I’ve witnessed in my own life the therapeutic benefits of being in nature, and I try to incorporate that with my clients when they are open to it.
My Approach To Therapy
My personal and professional experience has given me a unique perspective that I bring to every therapy session. I have seen both as a patient and a provider how a medical diagnosis, chronic condition, or major life change can impact relationships and families. And I know how important our relationships—both with others and with ourselves—are in maintaining our mental and emotional health.
The first step toward healing is finding a therapist who takes a genuine interest in hearing your story and understanding your needs and goals. But it can be difficult to open up about your experience when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unheard. That’s why I bring warmth, compassion, and validation to every session. My goal isn’t to tell you what you need to change but to foster the wisdom and emotional strength you already possess to inspire the change you want to see in your life and relationships.
I want you to walk out of every session feeling uplifted and empowered. Together, we’ll explore new perspectives and solutions to foster positivity and balance in your personal life and relationships. And when appropriate, I’ll use humor to help you feel relaxed and comfortable. My passion is helping couples restore healthy relationships and helping you transform life struggles into triumphs.
FAQs About Counseling 406
How quickly can I schedule my first session?
I make every effort to get you scheduled within a week.
Will I have to pay for the online relationship checkup through the Gottman Institute?
The Gottman Relationship Checkup is included FREE of charge as a way to supplement our first session and gain additional insights that will help guide our work together.
Do you offer online therapy?
Yes! I offer online therapy for all Montana residents. I understand that it can be difficult to access the mental health care you need in some parts of the state, and I want everyone to have access to the best care possible, regardless of your location.
And when in-person therapy is an option, you can choose to continue meeting online, switch to in-person meetings at my office in Missoula, or we can conduct sessions outside if you prefer.
Travis Stratford earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology in 1994 from The University of Utah, his Masters of Counseling from Wake Forest University, and his Doctor of Medicine in 2000 from Oregon Health Sciences University. He has also completed additional intensive Level 3 Training in Gottman Method Couples Counseling. He provides individual, couples and family counseling to Montana residents both online and from his practice in Missoula.