My Approach to Helping
One way describe therapy is that it is simply a conversation centered specifically your life. It is different from talking to family or friends because the historical complications that can accompany talking with family and friends are removed. Of course the image that people carry of therapy may be different from what I just described and may be more specific as well. For some the image of therapy is lying on a couch while their analyst makes occasional comments about their free associations. For others the therapist is very active with lots of comments, advice, and direction. Which is the correct method? Is something else the right way? My belief is that it depends on what is best for each patient because everyone is different and therefore has different needs. It's true that I have a style and don't just become some new therapist with each given session. Rather, what I am saying is that I take what each person's experiences have been and where they come from into major consideration when working with each person. Consider that I don't talk to my fifteen year old patients exactly the way I speak to my fifty year old patients. Imposing some pre-existing template onto a person neglects who they are. This is ineffective at best and injurious in its insensitivity at worst. As a result, meeting a therapist and talking to see if there is compatibility is what I recommend. This simply helps to establish whether a second conversation is a good idea.
I am an experienced clinician. I have worked successfully with a wide range of patients and keep a diverse practice because I highly value the experience of working with people from different backgrounds and lifestyles. Over the years I have collaborated with patients to help them gain mastery over issues ranging from anxiety to low self-image, from addiction to relationship problems, and many other issues as well. Younger and older patients of both genders and all sexual orientations have spent time in my office diligently working towards their goals. When people enter psychotherapy they want to make changes and I take that striving very seriously.
My approach depends on the patient with whom I am working, but a belief I always hold is that people heal and change when they cultivate a healthy internal voice that can guide them through the challenges of their past, present, and future.
Some very personal things are talked about in therapy and I feel it is important that a patient feel safe to talk about such things. Therefore, a patient should talk about personal material only when they decide they are ready and that patient and therapist should work together to make the space safe for such conversations. It's important to respect the boundaries each patient brings to this work.