My Approach to Helping
People often come to therapy because they feel like something is not working in their lives. Maybe this is true for you. Perhaps you might feel like you can point to exactly what’s going wrong. Or possibly, you have more of a vague sense that things just aren’t going the way you want them to. Whether you have a clear idea of what you want to work on or instead feel like you just need some space to explore your thoughts and feelings, therapy is a great way to work through the parts of your life that are causing you distress.
There are so many misconceptions about what therapy is actually like. Maybe you see therapy as a place where you simply pay someone to hear you talk. In reality though, therapy is an intense process, one where you delve deep into your thoughts and feelings and uncover truths and connections you may not have been aware of before. This work can be uncomfortable at times, as you are often asked to give voice to emotions and thoughts that we often avoid in our lives outside the therapy room. However, from my experience I can tell you that when you do give yourself the opportunity to be fully open and honest, you will end up learning so much about yourself and your experiences.
Because therapy can be challenging, I see my role as providing you with the support and encouragement you need. I am there with you, walking the same path and helping you find patterns and connections as they become clear. I believe therapy works best in an environment of trust and respect, and to this end, I endeavor to provide a welcoming and nonjudgmental space. I value the trust my patients place in me and their willingness to be open in our sessions, and my goal is to make sure that they feel supported enough to do the difficult work.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
There are so many wonderful therapists in the DC area. This often means that choosing one to work with can feel overwhelming, and it can be hard to even know where to start. I believe that there is no "perfect" therapist, but instead one therapist who might be a better fit for our needs than another. Sometimes, part of what makes a therapist a good fit has to do with an aspect of identity--for instance, we might feel more comfortable sitting with a therapist who identifies as the same gender or race as we do. Other times, it is the therapist's style that makes the fit a good one--we might want a more directive therapist who prompts us with questions, or a less directive therapist who lets us direct the course of the session. Then again, the reason a therapist is a good fit may be harder to pin down. It could be something in their personality or their presence that just makes us feel at ease. The truth is that there are so many reasons why one therapist might feel like a better fit for us than another.
Because I see the match between therapist and patient as so important to the work, I make sure to assess the fit at the beginning of therapy. During our initial phone consultation, I will ask you about your goals and expectations, as well as any concerns you might have. The purpose of this is for me to assess whether I might be a good fit for your needs. Around our third or fourth session, I will check in with you to see how you feel about continuing our work together. If you sense something about the fit is "off," we will discuss whether there are any changes we can make, or whether instead it would be better for you to find a therapist who is a closer match for your needs. This is often a very helpful conversation, because it allows us to make adjustments as needed and discuss with more openness how we see our work together moving forward.