My Approach to Helping
How I See Clients
You are an individual and each individual who comes in to see me brings their own history, emotions, hopes, and fears. I take a compassionate, judgment-free stance with my clients, freeing them from worrying about what the therapist thinks and instead to honestly look at themselves. I believe that each client that comes in is a valuable and worthwhile human being who deserves to be heard, acknowledged, and supported along their path to finding health and happiness.
How I Work With Clients
You are not your problems and that means that when we work together, I start by taking the time to hear out my clients and truly understand where they have come from, what they have gone through, how they see themselves, and how all of this is impacting their life currently. I want to know about you, not just what you are struggling with. As we develop our therapeutic relationship, I'll help you to clearly identify where you want to go and what you want to achieve including both internal goals (mental, emotional, sexual health) and external ones (relational, social, occupational functioning). We then work together to outline what needs to happen for you to accomplish your goals and to develop or refine the skills you need in order to succeed.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Whether or not to come into therapy is often viewed like whether or not you take your car in to the mechanic when that "check engine" light comes on. The car is still running and it doesn't sound funny, so it gets put off. Suddenly though, when the car stalls out and won't start, you realize that you probably should have gone in earlier. Repairs become more expensive if the car's engine is salvageable at all.
The problem with this mindset about therapy is that while ruining a car may be expensive, the car can be replaced almost immediately. Relationships and life are not like that. Once ruined, they take time and effort to rebuild and are sometimes never the same. If your relational or personal "check engine" light is on, don't risk it. Take care of what is bothering you before you find your entire life or relationship stalled on the side of the road.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Just like every other human being out there, I've had to face my own struggles in life. From balancing my work and family to facing my anxiety and fears, I've had to deal with my own challenges. Along the way, I've learned valuable lessons that have greatly impacted my therapy.
The first lesson is "treat everyone you meet as if they have a broken heart; you'll be right more often than you realize." When I was hurting, there were people in my life who treated me with kindness and compassion even when they didn't know what was going on. It was around them that I could take a deep breath, look honestly at what I was facing, and begin to heal and grow. I choose to approach my clients from that same perspective. In some way, each one of them is hurting and deserves the same compassion and warmth that I was fortunate enough to receive.
The second lesson I'll share was well put by one man, "Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.' " Things don't always go right the first time. There are times in my life where I face a challenge and I succeed phenomenally but then there are also times where instead I am presented with a humbling opportunity to learn. Turning to those who could help support that courage to try again was how I made it through some of the roughest times in my life. Having learned first hand how important that support is, I know how to support my clients better as a therapist.