I have been with Naval Special Warfare for 38 years—first as a SEAL for 31 years and as the Director of Plans and Doctrine at the headquarters for the last seven. My journey covered tours at SEAL Teams ONE and FOUR, Development Group, SDVT-ONE, NSWG-TWO, and my current position at HQ. I was involved with multiple deployments, which of course included combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though much of what I experienced was very fulfilling, the tragedies and physical injuries have caused me significant depression. This depression resulted in some serious episodes of panic attacks and repetitive suicidal ideation, which have grown in frequency over the last 12 years. My condition has not responded well to the conventional treatment, including counseling and antidepression medicines. What has helped is my one-on-one therapy and coaching with Kristin and Guy.

Like many people struggling with depression, I managed my professional life with a grin-and-bare-it facade. By the end of 2020 the situation became extremely difficult, and I was seriously close to losing my wife of 33 years and destroying myself. The intervention by Guy and some of my other brothers saved me from imminent death. Guy then connected me with Kristin and the two of them have helped me discover a way to start loving who I really am. The depression disorder may be something I will always cope with but the support and therapy I’m fortunate to have is making things manageable—I’m optimistic about my life.

Kristin’s approach with me in our weekly sessions represents the first experience that I have had where a therapist understands the complex nature of my struggle and what being a SEAL means. She cuts past my defensive armor and focuses me on the base elements driving my negative internal dialog; the voice that tells me that I do not deserve love. My personal connection with her has made it safe for me and she is a blessing in my life. I am eternally grateful for the care that she provides me with as are my wife and sons.

This is real LIFE SAVING help for me and my brothers!

Website ManagerAnonymous
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Former Patient

I was a patient of yours in 2006, and I wanted to thank you for what you did for me then, as it has had an amazing effect on me ever since.

Not a month goes by where I don’t quote you, speak of you, appreciate what you did for me. And I’m just talking about my sessions with you. Beyond that, I contacted you years later from Florida when my daughter had a problem with swallowing. You recommended a book called “Go Away Big Green Monster,” and from then on, that book became a staple of our bedtime routine.

Mostly, I wanted to tell you that the work you do matters, and it matters quite a lot. To this day, even 15 years distant from when we last spoke, not a week goes by that I don’t think about you and what you taught me.

Had it been my choice, I would’ve continued my work with you far beyond where we ended. But I, upon your suggestion, made a drastic change to my life. And I must tell you, that change brought upon me the best years of my entire life.

So I have you to thank for that. And I’m sorry to go on. I’m back living in Massachusetts, and I thought I should reach out, should tell you of your success with me, tell you of the good that you instilled in my heart, to tell you of how much you helped me, to tell you how much value your chosen profession has meant to me.

Website ManagerFormer Patient
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James M. Donovan Phd

I am a Psychologist and the emeritus Director of the Fellowship program at Atrius health, a Harvard affiliated HMO practice in Boston Mass. I co-founded this program and directed it for 40 years.

I have known Kristin Osborn for 15 years and have worked with her closely. We published a book together. Paraverbal Communication in Psychotherapy, Rowman and Littlefield, 2017. We have often co-taught together, our presentations based on this book.

Kristin is an exceptionally creative and dedicated therapist. Her affective phobia approach represents an original contribution to the field which she has presented many times both in the US and in Europe. Her patients respond very well to her approach. She is a warm therapist and colleague. Her work and her personality conforms to the highest ethical and committed standards.

Kristin is one of the top 1% of therapists with whom I have worked. She will be a credit to your program in every possible way.

Website ManagerJames M. Donovan Phd
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In the short few weeks I’ve worked with Kristin, I’ve experienced some profound moments towards my healing. I find her approach and experience with the SEAL culture unique and far more effective than the past psychotherapists I’ve seen. In the past four years, I’ve seen four separate therapists, and Kristin is the first one I feel is getting to the root of my challenges.

Why four therapist? SEALs are a special case. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, but the Naval Special Warfare community selects, trains, and exposes its members to unique and extreme conditions in order to prepare the individual for the rigors of combat in the harshest environments. This exposure in controlled training scenarios has a direct correlation to the overwhelming success most SEAL organizations have on the battlefield. Even in training, stress is high and the risk of severe injury or death is a daily reality. But the rigors of combat training, combat itself, and loss of friends in this country’s longest war takes its toll. So it makes sense that uniquely qualified therapists will have the most impact healing this cohort of special warriors.

SEALs are just as human as everyone else and suffer trauma like everyone else. They are people with extraordinary experiences, who when leaving the military are now offered a medical system designed for people with everyday problems, stressors, and illnesses. Finding “elite” clinicians at the top of their field in trauma, TBI, PTSD, depression, and anxiety are not always readily available “in the system”. We are not like elite athletes who may have also suffered from extreme injury, but have a lot of money or high-value networks to seek and find the best therapies. The reality is that most of our heroes are financially struggling to find rewarding work in a world where it’s hard to translate “SEAL” into the corporate hierarchy and lexicon. Most of us have families, so we can’t afford to fail and don’t have the time to cull through multiple therapists to find one who “gets it”. I believe strongly that most SEALs (post-military) still have something valuable to contribute to organizations and communities, but are struggling. I can’t express stronger the need for maximally effective therapists and therapies to get to the root of the problem and allow these men to live full lives and be productive again.

I’ve found after leaving the military, finding expert clinicians in the VA or Tricare systems is a difficult maze of trial and error. Having been through multiple therapists only left me tired, depressed, and more cynical. No closer to true healing. This is until I was referred to Kristin by a close friend (and former special operator) who I knew understood my challenges.

In a few sessions, I realized Kristin is different. Her experience with the SEAL culture opened up a level of understanding and trust that I have not found too often. Her deeply empathetic approach, has allowed me to go deeper into my own stabbing pain, with new hope I will come back out and things can be healed. Having been a career SEAL for 25yrs, combat veteran, and a survivor of early childhood trauma, I finally feel like I am making progress and not stuck in a perpetual loop of open-ended therapy.

And yet Kristin like many good therapists steer away from Tricare due to the bureaucratic red tape to simply get paid. I’ve had multiple therapists for myself and my family tell me they no longer take Tricare, leaving me to either struggle to pay out of pocket for good care, or go back in the Tricare system and hope for the best. This is absolutely unacceptable for psychotherapy where the consequences of this bait and switch can be life or death.

Speaking from my experience, Kristin’s work is having profound impact towards my healing. I understand it takes a lot of donated resources so she can continue this life-saving work. “Life-saving” is not being over dramatic. In 2018, I hit rock bottom. I was leaving the military. The past decade of war destroyed my family. I was getting divorced, and faced financial uncertainty. The only thing preventing me from suicide was thinking how my death would crush my two teenage daughters. So I didn’t. Instead, I’ve been white-knuckling being a single dad, being hired and fired in the corporate world, and struggling daily to find purpose. Kristin is my third therapist since 2018, and finally one I feel will help me move through the daily effects of trauma, depression, and anxiety while I work to build a life worth living. This is my story, and I am one, but I know there are many like me.

I realize that Kristin is able to do her work with SEALs because of the generous donations from people who care about our warriors. I can’t thank you enough who give generously to keep her life-saving work moving forward. I thank you deeply, deeper than you’ll ever know, not only for me, but for my daughters.

Website ManagerAnonymous
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Kristin Osborn is the best therapist I have ever worked with, and I have seen over ten different therapists in the last 15 years or so. She was able to pull things out of me that I did not even realize were an issue. The way she was able to make connections to events in my life that I could not connect with on my own. Kristin used these traumatic events to explain many of the corresponding behaviors that I have acted upon these thoughts. I feel that one of the biggest reasons I have not committed suicide is because of Kristin. Would you please not let my brevity and lack of articulation in any way take away from the outstanding therapy that Kristin provides. It is just challenging for me to write because it brings up all these negative emotions.

Website ManagerAnonymous
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“Kristin Osborn is gifted. She is deeply knowledgeable and remarkably skilled in the craft of her work. She is keenly observant, insightful and a beautifully clear communicator.  During our meetings, in the most compassionate, kind, respectful way she is able to name the behaviors I am engaging in that are counterproductive to my goals. Through my work with Kristin I have been able to navigate through incredible challenges and have created a wonderful, fulfilling life. I recommend her most highly. She is a gem.”

Website ManagerPsychologist
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Psychologist, Teacher, Supervisor

“I came to Kristin Osborn suffering from a lifelong feeling of paralysis while giving presentations. As a result of my condition, I found myself negatively projecting on the audience to whom I was presenting despite the fact that I have more than 30 years of experience in my field and I am well respected by my colleagues. I have been a keynote speaker at several conferences and taught in several universities around the world. I always managed to get through the presentations and power through all of the things that terrified me about public speaking, yet the price of doing it has been horrendous. The anxiety that I feel during presentations has held me back, so I have avoided offering longer presentations and more interactive workshops that would exacerbate my anxiety.  I would often find myself sabotaging my own presentation by “clowning around” to the point of losing my center. This led to feelings of incompetence about my performance and many times I would get physically sick after a presentation. I am no stranger to psychotherapy and have enjoyed its benefits as a client for the past 30 years, but I needed help and so I took advantage of the opportunity to work with Kristin while at a conference in Boston.  I found Kristin to be clear and direct in my consultation with her and more importantly she has a gentle, engaging manner that helped me to feel very welcomed and able to quickly trust that we were going to do good work together. I felt safe to be open about my traumatic history and the psychological effects that have made me so anxious.  I was surprised how Kristin was able to support my mind, allowing it to move from a continuously overthinking and self-deprecating manner to a point where I was able to access my deepest emotions and challenge some surprising belief systems I developed as a child due to my traumatic history.  Following my work with Kristin, my presentations at conferences have been better than I could have expected. I am still very nervous but I am able to contain myself enough to show my very best, and for once I am impressed with myself.  I recently gave an interview on a national radio program, and although I was still quite nervous I did not suffer the panic attacks that used to be my norm. Shortly after that, I taught in a challenging group and the feedback I received from participants was that not only did I manage the challenges I faced, but participants received more than they expected from my presentation.  I cannot recommend Kristin enough, as she is encouraging and supporting, and her extensive knowledge of her field and wisdom is presented with grace.

Website ManagerPsychologist, Teacher, Supervisor
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Retired Navy Seal with 22 years of service

Working with Kristin has literally changed my life, it is difficult for me to imagine where I would be right now if I did not have her in my life, life would certainly be a dark and forbidding place. Kristin is easily the best therapist that I have ever worked with in my lifetime, and that should hold some weight, here’s why; I am a retired SEAL with 22 years of service, prior to that I had experienced childhood trauma, Kristin is able to navigate this quagmire of emotions with me and make sense of the detritus left behind. I cannot say enough good things about her. I would step in front of a bullet for her any day of the week. Not only has Kristin helped me, she has extended her blanket of care to my family. She has made herself available, often at a moments notice, to my family during this incredibly stressful time. This service in itself is priceless.  I have had a lot of therapists throughout the years, I have never experienced the level of care that Kristin brings to the table with anyone, it is not even close. It would be like comparing a four year old scribble in crayon to the sistine chapel.

Website ManagerRetired Navy Seal with 22 years of service
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Being a combat veteran that has seen and been part of the many realities of war, I have had trouble being fully in charge of my emotions since I left military service. I began seeking help when I realized that I am just going through the motions of life and not being present with my kids or wife. This made every day either seem like it was a repeat of the day before or made me feel guilty every time I would reflect on my days prior. After being in treatment for a few months  I have noticed that I am more able to feel emotions when they are happening to me, which helps me be present in the moment. My family has also seen a positive improvement in my development. I am now beginning to work on having an intentional time everyday where I am fully present with myself and family. I hope to be able to turn this practice into a habit that will grow to become longer than just once a day when I intentionally try to block all the extra distractions from taking over my thoughts.

Website ManagerNavy SEAL
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Former SEAL Officer

When I was introduced to Kristin Osborn to begin therapy, I wasn’t totally convinced that it would help. I had always avoided therapy because I didn’t think it would make an impact and honestly was reluctant to open up to a stranger. My time with Kristin has been absolutely life changing. She has been a catalyst for change in my life, helped me embrace vulnerability, and has become a trusted friend.

Website ManagerFormer SEAL Officer
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