About Mark Houston
Hello All! You might find it easier to contact us if you’re more familiar with my personal and professional background, so here’s a little bit about me. I was born in Central Florida, grew up in New Jersey, and spent most of my adult life in New York City before moving to Miami. At a young age, I didn’t always fit in. Those who made me feel different were seeing something I had not yet seen in myself: that I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. As I grew up and moved into my adult life, I was fortunate to have many experiences, which allowed me to develop a stronger sense of who I am. Before becoming a clinician, I worked for 10 years in hotel management. During the housing crisis, I took a tremendous leap and resigned from my career to venture back into school. I’m so grateful I did! In 2011, while in college, I began my new career in counseling and serving the LGBTQIA+ community, by volunteering at New York City’s Ali Forney Center (AFC). Working with homeless youth taught me the importance of consistency and reliability in building trusting relationships with individuals who have experienced trauma. My passion for serving the community grew during this time, which prompted my employment with AFC as a Youth Counselor at an emergency housing shelter and the drop-in center. Following my youth work, I spent time in HIV/AIDS advocacy as a Housing Case Manager with Harlem United. I also worked in community mental health at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center (New York City). There I was fortunate to provide individual counseling, group counseling, and HIV testing services to individuals on the transgender feminine spectrum, as part of The Center's Gender Identity Project. I went on to work as a clinician for a program funded by the New York City Department of Health in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY). Under this grant, I provided counseling services to marginalized, at-risk community members who lacked access to mental health care. My experience with this program informs a collaborative care approach, which I use in clinical practice to coordinate increased access to care. The dynamic personal and professional experiences which were gifted to me, have been filled with joy and sorrow, love and loss, success and failures. These experiences have complimented how I practice. I employ a trauma-informed and intersectional approach to my work. I believe we should not put ourselves in judgment of others because the choices we make in life are based on the resources we have available to us at the time. Therefore, who you are in the present-day is shaped by your life experiences, and you are the only one who understands the reasons behind your choices. In addition to private practice, I currently serve as a Clinical Manager for a non-for-profit providing clinical services and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ youth in South Florida. I find this work extremely fulfilling, as it allows me to provide counseling to youth and their families. It also allows me to support the community through trainings, which increases acceptance and competency for our LGBTQIA+ young people. I am a proud graduate of the City University of New York's Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, which teaches an anti-oppressive lens. I have received analytic training through the William Alanson White Institute in New York City. I am certified in Cognitive Behavior Therapy through Florida Atlantic University. My office is a non-judgemental space for you to grow at your own pace. You may even have fun! We are in this together. I look forward to meeting you and bearing witness to your growth.