My Approach to Helping
Starting therapy for the first time can be an overwhelming feeling. Hesitancy and ambivalence about initiating therapy are not only common but something that should be expected. This is because it is difficult to discuss personal matters with a complete stranger and there is a sense of ambiguity as far as what to expect as a result. If there is one thing I wish people knew about the therapy experience, it is that processing thoughts and feelings in a safe space has a curative and healing effect. Therapy provides a safe space that promotes free expression with a trained professional, a neutral party whose only agenda is to help the client. The therapist promotes an environment of understanding, empathy, and a non-judgmental stance. elements that are crucial in helping someone make meaningful connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Goal setting is a crucial part of the counseling process. In order to determine therapy goals with my clients, I take into account that said goals should be individualized and centered around the needs of the client. To do so, I like to collaborate with clients to first carefully assess the presenting problem. Once this is defined through collaboration and careful assessment, we develop a desired outcome around said problem. The desired outcome could be something general, but as we develop our treatment plan, we break it down in a specific, measurable, relevant, and time-specific way. I think it is very important to take a significant amount of time on this process, as it is crucial to have some direction of where our journey would be taking us.
My experience, education, and training have led me to adopt an eclectic and integrative approach to therapy. This is because everyone has different needs and flexibility and adaptability are important in therapy. For instance, I can employ cognitive behavioral techniques if there is an immediate need for symptom relief but would move towards psychodynamic principles if there is a need to address the root cause of psychological and/or emotional distress. Having said this, there are universal elements in my approach to therapy. First, the relationship between the client and the therapist would be a crucial focus of therapy. Second, there is an emphasis on the here and now, but I would never neglect someone's personal history, especially if it is affecting the present. Thirdly, goal setting would be a crucial part of therapy.