My Approach to Helping
I am only just the guide in this therapeutic journey. You will be the one to decide to do the work. But know I will be there to support and guide you along your path.
The biggest barrier in people seeking treatment is the stigma of mental health treatment. People worry they are going to be judged by their loved ones and or associates, they might be perceived differently or as unstable, that seeking counseling would be considered weak and or something for only the severely mentally disabled person, such as schizophrenia or psychosis. Sometimes the barrier can be what has been portrayed in the media, film, or TV that can often be portrayed as cold, insensitive, and unethical. Regardless, there is fear and uncertainty for the individual seeking counseling. It is a big decision and taking that first step can be daunting. This is something I acknowledge with my clients. It takes strength and courage to participate in this process. I spend time in letting clients know right away, that it is ok if they aren’t sure counseling is for them. But I will do what I can to make it a comfortable and beneficial experience for them.
Early on in my clinical practicum, I started to see how often the root of mental health distress comes from trauma. I first started to see patterns of trauma with substance abuse/addictions when interning at an addiction/rehab treatment program.
When I started learning more, I was surprised how trauma treatment is not fully taught in graduate programs. Trauma research is relatively new in the sense of the history of mental health disorders studies. Unfortunately, some mental health providers do not even discuss with their clients the past trauma they may have experienced. What I learned is that trauma is complex. It’s not about whether or not you experienced a life or death event, combat battles in war, or if you suffered abuse growing up. It’s those significant experiences in your life that impacted you and struggled to recover from. Many, but not all, who experience trauma often struggle to cope with life stressors. This can then lead to those negative coping behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol. Trauma impacts can also present in other ways such as anxiety, depression, self-worth issues, and other mental health distress.
I work hard with my clients to help resolve any trauma that they have experienced. I actively educate myself to further my knowledge of how trauma can impact an individual and the best treatment available. Because what I have learned so far, is that trauma can not only affect your mental health, but also your physical health. And for me, this is something that needs to be discussed in considering one’s overall well-being.