Walcar Bera, PhD
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Psychologist
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
AAMFT Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor
American Family Therapy Academy Clinical Member
Kenwood Therapy Center, LLC
2809 Wayzata Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 5540
Walter Bera is the founder and director of the Kenwood Therapy Center in Minneapolis and has worked to provide innovative, effective and ethical approaches to serious therapy issues since 1970 when he began teaching self-defense/assertiveness courses to victims of sexual assault while attending the University of Minnesota.
In 1976, he was certified as a chemical dependency counselor and worked as a coordinator of Pharm House Center Hotline, providing alcohol and drug information, assessment and referral phone service, face-to-face therapy and detox/”bummer” services at rock concerts. In 1977, Walter worked as a family therapist with one of the first programs for incest families at the Family Renewal Center of Fairview-Southdale Hospital. In 1978 he studied hypnosis and new therapy approaches with Dr. Milton Erickson in Phoenix. In 1979, he moved to Illusion Theater's innovative Sexual Abuse Prevention Education Theater Program. Walter worked as a research assistant, actor, and moderator for TOUCH and collaborated in the creation of No Easy Answer's, a sexual abuse prevention program for adolescents. He moderated and performed these plays throughout the United States.
From 1982 to 1987, Walter worked as a therapist with juvenile sex offenders and their families in the PHASE Program, the largest outpatient program of its kind in the Midwestern United States. He completed his master's degree in Educational Psychology in 1985 with a research thesis entitled, A Preliminary Investigation of a Typology of Adolescent Sex Offenders and Their Family Systems. Now called the PHASE Typology (co-developed with colleague Michael O'Brien) has been used in the United States in research, assessment and clinical training.
Walter wrote the script for the SHARP (Sexual Health and Responsibility Program) videotape which uses high school actors playing the role of various teenage sex offenders and victims. Developed in 1986, the videotape-based curriculum is the first juvenile sex offender prevention education curriculum and was sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. From 1987 to 1990, Walter broadened his skills as a structural and strategic family therapist at the Metropolitan Clinic of Counseling. He worked on an adolescent and family crisis team using systemic approaches with a variety of serious juvenile and family concerns.
Walter’s more recent publications include “The Systemic-Attributional Model: Victim-Sensitive Sex Offender Therapy” in The Use of Victim-Offender Communication in the Treatment of Sexual Abuse (Safer Society Press, 1990), “Betrayal: Clergy Sexual Abuse and Male Survivors” in Dulwich Centre Newsletter (Dulwich Publications, South Australia, 1993) and republished in Breach of Trust: Sexual Exploitation by Health Care Professionals and Clergy (Edited by Gonsiorek, Sage, 1995). He coauthored with John Gonsiorek and Don LeTourneau Male Sexual Abuse: A Trilogy of Intervention Strategies (Sage Publications, 1994), a book providing innovative clinical approaches with young males who may be victims, offenders or prostitutes. He developed with Fran Seplar and Kitchener•Reese the video-based adolescent sexual harassment prevention curriculum entitled Crossing the Line, now used in more than 6000 schools. In 1995 Walter received his Ph.D. in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota with a dissertation entitled Clergy Sexual Abuse and Male Survivors: A Study of Stress and Coping Among 25 Men Abused by the Same Minister During Their Adolescence.
Over the years Walter has trained with Milton Erickson, MD, Jay Haley, Salvador Minuchin, MD and Carl Whitaker, MD. More currently, he received the prestigious Bush Leadership Fellowship in 1994-1995 which funded his Ph.D. research and study of Narrative Therapy in New Zealand and Australia with cofounders David Epston and Michael White. Since then, Walter has continued to help develop and deepen Narrative Therapy ideas and practices in Minnesota through providing and organizing on-going workshops and supervision and bringing national and international presenters.
In November 2000, he founded the Kenwood Therapy Center, providing individual, couple and family therapy, and professional clinical supervision, consultation and training emphasizing research-informed, relationship-based, narrative, collaborative and social justice approaches. There Walter supervises more than 50 therapists in 6 groups for licensure in Psychology, Marriage and Family and Alcohol and Drugs.
Walter works locally, nationally and internationally as a consultant, therapist and speaker on sexuality, abuse, relationship and advanced therapy approaches for therapists, universities, schools, churches, business and government. He is Adjunct Faculty in the University of Minnesota’s Family Social Science Department and the School of Social Work, Adjunct Professor in St. Mary’s University Graduate School and the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. He was the 1997 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award at St. Mary’s University. Walter is married with one daughter and an active 3rd Degree Black Belt Sensei in Shotokan Karate and practitioner of Kali/Jeet Kune Do and Mindfulness Meditation.