Clinical Social Work, Psychotherapy, Marriage & Family Therapy
I'm a licensed professional.
LCSW - SW5444
I believe people develop a lot of their sense of identity & value through relationships, especially the initial parent-child connections. No parent is perfect, and neither are their interactions. So, children often develop some distorted understandings about themselves through such communications. We bring these distortions with us into later relationships, or into our work environment. This can results in problems. Therapy offers a relationship that can help reshape some of those distortions. It's not that therapists aren't also imperfect humans!, but we also have education in psychological, developmental and interpersonal theories and research that help us work our way around some of that.
In addition to using those kinds of skills with clients, I also believe much emotional healing comes from genuine human-to-human interaction. I am very real with my clients. I am a person, just like all my clients, with my own history. I have been in my own counseling process. I rely on the wisdom of my own experience, too, in counseling.
I love therapy because it is satisfying to watch people discover new understandings that really bring about meaningful change in their lives. I also love to provide a place for people to talk about the things they would never feel free to discuss anywhere else.
Past hurts can leave us feeling despairing. Therapy can instill a sense of hope, and help people make sense of situations that feel senseless.
I actually do not spend a lot of time or energy trying to challenge this stigma. If people want to believe this, that is certainly their right.
I would suggest, however, that our beliefs are not always OUR beliefs. Sometimes it is a good thing to push ourselves out of our comfort zone a bit to find out what we really believe.
I have a great deal of respect for people who are willing to acknowledge they have some kind of problem and are also willing to reach out and access resources, including therapy, to deal with it. This just seems courageous and smart to me.
I understand the concept that acknowledging flaws makes us weak. I was raised with that belief. I have come to see that, often, such a belief is not really a belief, but a manifestation of fear. I have also discovered that such a belief is often associated with another belief--that we are all in competition with each other. Of course, then, you don't want to 'show your cards' by being honest, real or genuine. I think that worldview doesn't really work for people, however. We are all most certainly flawed. We each have our limitations. This suggests that a compassionate attitude would be more fitting. In a compassionate context, the idea of flaw and weakness becomes irrelevant.