Bill Frea, Ph.D., BCBA

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I am a licensed clinical psychologist. I received my Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I completed an internship at Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine, and a research fellowship at Vanderbilt University. I have been working in the field of psychology for over 20 years, using only evidence-based approaches proven to improve mental and emotional well-being. 

I am trained in a broad range of behavior therapies, family therapies, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), and various methodologies within the broader behavioral research. What does all that mean for you? It means that I take a practical and active approach to immediately assessing what is affecting your life negatively. I introduce solutions to you very early on in your treatment. I am constantly assessing your progress, and checking in with you through the use of a “dashboard” reflecting your specific mental and emotional improvement.

 I live in the Boulder area with my wife and three children. I enjoy playing guitar, hiking, travel, and spending time with my family. I entered the field of psychology early in life, with an interest in helping children with severe disabilities and their families. I continue to have a portion of my practice focused on families struggling with the issues of raising children with developmental and behavioral needs.

How do I believe lives improve?

I believe that in most cases people’s lives improve by setting a series of realistic goals, and then conquering those goals. My approach is behavioral, and has a very strong foundation in decades of clinical research.

My methods are action oriented. You will not be lying on a couch discussing your childhood. You will however be working with me to understand the best approach to helping you feel better. I will set a course for your treatment in the first several sessions. And we will work together to adjust that course as results come in.

As a cognitive-behavioral psychologist I believe in the importance of setting measurable goals. My clients know exactly what improvement means for them, and we evaluate that improvement every week. I use the analogy of a personal dashboard. Imagine individualized goals that are critical to feeling better set in front of you as you go through life. We celebrate the improvement of those goals. And if one of your goals is not being met, we address your needs and adjust our approach to that goal.

In our sessions we will discuss your relationships, daily routines, challenging habits, and overall motivation in life. My focus is always on early improvements to build momentum toward accomplishing your goals. I do not embrace an approach that has clients with me for years. Most modern research shows that this is seldom necessary or productive.

You will never see me embracing the fads that are introduced to psychology practices almost every year. I do not try out new techniques that have not been validated with strong evidence. Your time is too precious to have a psychologist experiment with you. Unfortunately, it is common to see psychologists using methods that have no solid research, but sound seductive in their promises to cure patients. 

I believe strongly in a client having clear benchmarks for what it means to be “better.” For some those are personal examples of what it means to no longer be so depressed. For some they are personal examples of what they could accomplish with lower anxiety. Some describe what it means not to feel stuck in life. Others reference what they would like to accomplish within a relationship. These benchmarks are critical to setting goals. They are real life hopes that are made concrete and obtainable as we work toward them. This practical approach toward obtaining the life that you want is the cornerstone of my clinical practice.

Whether you are seeking relief from depression, anxiety, relationship issues, or any number of problems life presents, my goal is to give you hope and specific tools to manage what you are struggling with.

 We will work collaboratively on understanding the source of your problems, and develop specific goals for relief. Very soon in the therapeutic process you will understand how specific behaviors impact your sense of well-being. We will evaluate weekly how your goals are progressing, and build skills to support ongoing improvement.

Family Clients

Family Therapy

I take a multi-dimensional approach to helping families overcome tension and stress. I look at how couples communicate, how routines are set up for success or failure, and how children’s time is managed. I will often do sessions in the home to better understand how communication breaks down, or how routines fall apart. I evaluate power struggles and demonstrate effective ways to better manage stress and disagreements.

Child Behavior

I am a hands-on therapist when it comes to helping parents manage behavioral issues in the home or school. My approach is very behavioral and very positive. I believe in setting clear contingencies within the home, school, or community routines where the child is struggling. My goal is to build supports to help the parents become more confident and comfortable in managing behavioral issues. And to build skills for the child to better cope with the social and environmental struggles they are facing. I specialize in social skill development, and believe that it is never too early to build on social skills. I also draw from my speech background to assess the need for stronger communication skills, realizing that many behavioral issues can stem from poor communication skills.

Parent Education and Training

I have developed numerous structured trainings for parents. When parents come to me for support I evaluate what they need, and individualize my training to those needs. Generally, this is a short-term process designed to get past a difficult time, but when there are specific challenges related to child development or major behavioral concerns it can become more involved. I will also do parent education in parallel to working directly with the child.

Areas of Particular Expertise

I am a behaviorally oriented psychologist with over 20 years of experience. My current practice focuses on general psychology. My patients struggle with anxiety, depression, parenting, child behavior, relationship issues, sexual dysfunction, and life transitions.

I have expertise in child behavior problems, general parenting stress, and family therapy. I also have a background in developmental disabilities and struggles within the educational system. I am particularly comfortable treating high functioning individuals on the autism spectrum. I have expertise in the areas of social skills, transition to adulthood, and school anxiety.


Dr. Bill Frea Reaches

Longmont CO
Boulder CO