Tom Bender and Family

Welcome To My Site

I graduated from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado in 1996 with a Masters degree in Transpersonal Psychology. With my first career leap, I landed squarely in the dank hallways of the Bernalillo County Detention Center where I spent four-a-half years working on the Psychiatric Service team. After wrapping up my time there (I like to think of it as “completing my sentence”), I spent the next decade working with Native American communities both in New Mexico and Oregon. In 2010, and with the loving support of my wife, I launched into the grand adventure of private practice. Ever since, it has been my awesome privilege to work with clients as they work through various trials and tribulations, victories and heart-connected moments, that life presents us with.

I have drawn great inspiration from my travels in both the United States and abroad. At various times in my life, I have been a student of Peruvian healing, Buddhist psychology, Native American traditional practices, and Judaic comedy. In 2011, I began training with renowned couples therapist and trainer, Terrence Real, and became certified in his Relational Life Therapy model in 2015. My specialties include: couples and individual counseling, affair recovery, past trauma healing, men’s work, and spiritual support

I am happily married and the delighted father of a shining, ten-year-old daughter.

Client Experiences

Tom has a remarkable gift for facilitating conversation and communication. He has life experiences that extend beyond academic and theoretical realm that are valuable and enhance his practice and how he relates to his patients. Tom’s wisdom and insight have been invaluable in providing us, both as a couple, and as individuals, with with tools for bettering our lives, our relationship, and ourselves.

Bianca and Jeff, Albuquerque, NM

Years after my last visit with Tom Bender, I continue to find our sessions helpful.  Outwardly, I still have the same challenges in my work, my marriage, and with my mentally ill adult son, but my time with Tom helped me see myself more clearly, recognize the ones I love, stop trying to “fix” everything, communicate a bit better, and live into relationships more fully.  He gave me insights and resources I continue to use.  I appreciated his ability as a man to work from men’s perspective.  I also enjoyed his ability to leap outside professional bounds with an occasional tarot card pull or other inspiration.  I’d recommend him particularly to men trying to “hold it all together” while really feeling they’re about to rip themselves apart. 

Rob P., Albuquerque, NM
Tom has been instrumental in helping me navigate several life transitions. He is always patient, insightful and compassionate. He has helped me focus on being more vulnerable, more empathetic and more grateful.
Nick, Albuquerque, NM

Tom Bender helped me through my journey of healing within. He gave me tools that were crucial to becoming the best me possible. I will be forever thankful to him for helping me find my unconditional self worth.

Melissa L. , Albuquerque, NM

Tom Bender saved my life. I know that seems hyperbolic, especially in a testimonial. But it’s true. I have been to Tom for two different reasons in five and a half years of treatment in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At first, it was for marriage counseling. Tom gave my wife and I tools to help communicate so when we would fight, we could fight in a better, more respectful way. With those communications skills we found that eventually, “fights” became conversations. But a year after ending couples therapy, I returned to Tom because my life was falling apart. I was an addict. I had lost my job. I was sleeping on my mother’s couch because my family was falling apart. It turned out I had much deeper issues than lack of communication. I was in the darkest place in my life and so I returned to Tom. I opened up to him immediately and was shocked by his response. He was empathetic, without excusing me. He was kind and generous, without judgement. He gave me solid solutions that actually helped. Today, I am happier than I’ve ever been. Tom taught me that there is always a road back. I owe Tom more than I could ever say.

Taylor H. , Albuquerque, NM

My husband and I feel that Tom was put into our lives for a reason.  My husband often says he “saved my life” and I can certainly say he helped save our marriage.  Tom has treated us in Albuquerque for the past five and a half years.  He has seen my family through sobriety, job loss and career change, cancer, and every thing in between.  We have shared our most vulnerable moments with this man and his compassion, empathy, and commitment to us has been present at every turn.

Rosemary H.
Tom Bender helped save my life! Tom guided me in dealing with my childhood trauma and my divorce so I can embrace my true purpose and desire to be the best father to my children, a more fruitful human, and now, I am a better partner in my relationship with my true love. Finding Tom was nothing short of divine intervention and I am grateful for his knowledge and guidance.
Christopher M., Albuquerque, NM
Tom helped me through two major transitions in my life, divorce and switching jobs, all while helping me navigate the maze of depression.  Tom’s holistic and balanced approach was one that truly helped me keep the importance of family, hold the value of self, and embrace opportunities in the community through stimulating conversation and guided activities. Tom was my navigator to a better place.
Peter C., Albuquerque, NM
When we first met with Tom I was nervous to go! I felt vulnerable and I was scared that I was going to be blamed for everything wrong with our marriage.  I was happy to find out that it was quite the opposite. Tom was kind and understanding.  As Tom says “have a light touch” not everything has to be so intense.  Tom gave us great tools to work on our communication. We do not see Tom regularly anymore and I think that is the point.  We have grown individually and as a couple. It is always nice to know Tom is there if things get tough.
Charlotte K., Albuquerque, NM
I don’t know if I have the words to do justice to how thankful I am that we went to Tom as a therapist both personally and for our marriage. Our marriage had basically ended when we decided to try working with Tom. He truly transformed my husband, myself, and our relationship. We now communicate healthier, love each other more fully, and work through differences with the tools he showed us how to use. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t use something Tom taught us. He provided us a safe space where we were able to work through some very difficult and uncomfortable issues and we felt we could trust him to be on both our sides and never judge.
Melissa T., Albuquerque, NM
I started working with Tom several years ago. I was in a very difficult marriage need Tom worked with both of us. I grew so much during this time. I developed an entire new set of communication skills during my time with Tom.
My marriage didn’t last and I worked with Tom to get through the divorce and reset my life. He played a critical role in my path to the person I am today.
 Tom is gifted at seeing what underlies the issues. He asks deep thought provoking questions and is kind listening to answers. He is also firm and is willing to push appropriately when I was unwilling to look at my own issues.
Tom’s style is friendly and trusting. Our sessions were reminiscent of a great gym workout. Fun and challenging while  difficult, exhausting, and ultimately very rewarding.
I’d highly recommend Tom to anyone looking to make serious progress on their personal path. He’s been a great addition to my life.
Russ C.

Tom provided the verbal tools and setting for my partner and I to converse in a constructive way to improve our relationship. He helped me to verbalize my feelings and better understand myself. Tom is a great person, with a direct and fun sense of humor whom I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts and emotions. We appreciated the way Tom could cut through the superficialities when necessary in order to facilitate healing.

Peter A., Albuquerque, NM

Tom has the ability to make you feel at ease and brings a friend vibe to the conversation. He helped pull me out of a horrible spot in my life, helped guide me to finding myself and understand my self worth. He challenged me to think through my feelings and empower my ability to problems solve. Tom not only is a great therapist but and an amazing person.

Shawn, Albuquerque, NM