I do not approach psychological practice from a manualized point of view. Instead, I practice psychology synergistically, incorporating existentialism, Buddhist (Dharma) psychology, and a psychodynamic approach.
This unique combination tends to produce a lot of movement and transformation where needed, which can happen very quickly. At the same time, it can elicit areas of more profound work that may require more extended support. Each journey is unique. I believe that if given the appropriate environment, humans can produce their own sense of strength and agency. And that’s what I hope to provide with my practice.
Drawing upon a diverse clinical background, Mr. Leão founded The Primary Witness, a psychology and psychotherapy practice, in 2012, and currently serves as the primary clinician. With a commitment to optimization and performance in his professional roles, he has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Naropa University and collaborated with law enforcement, responding to calls as an emergency crisis clinician in mental health crisis centers.
In his extensive professional journey, Mr. Leão has demonstrated an expertise-driven approach in psychological scenarios, effectively working with diverse populations and implementing evidence-based treatment programs. His proficiency extends to addressing developmental disorders and combat-related PTSD, alongside his role as a yoga and mindfulness instructor, showcasing a holistic optimization of therapeutic approaches.
After earning a bachelor's degree from Naropa University in 2008, Mr. Leão pursued a Master of Arts from the same institution in 2012. He further enhanced his skills through a residency with Veterans Affairs Hospital, focusing on combat veterans from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam. As a licensed professional counselor and a current Doctor of Philosophy candidate at Saybrook University, Mr. Leão exemplifies a commitment to ongoing education and performance excellence.
To stay abreast of developments in his field and optimize his professional growth, Mr. Leão is an active member of the Denver Psychoanalytic Society. His dedication and achievements have been recognized through various accolades, including an Outstanding Recognition Award from members of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Additionally, he received recognition from the Police Department in 2018 for his outstanding contributions and was awarded for conducting mental health training in 2014, highlighting his commitment to optimizing mental health services in the community.
Looking forward, Mr. Leão aims to achieve all his professional goals, emphasizing the completion of his education and Psychoanalytic training.
The name of my practice – The Primary Witness –refers to old Zen and Buddhist stories. The Primary Witness is the one that’s connected with watching all of our experience, versus the Secondary Witness, which is busy with the noise, disturbances and confusion. My practice and the Primary Witness is about transforming confusion into sanity- or brilliant sanity as it would be called in the Dharma.
If existential conflict, the unconscious, and waking up sound interesting to you, I would be honored to meet you and see how we can work together.