My Approach to Helping
As a therapist, I value your insight as much as my own. When I first started therapy for myself years ago, I was fortunate to have a therapist who asked me what I thought would help. This stuck with me through the years. I now use this approach with my own clients. I view you as the expert on your life, with my role being to work in collaboration with you to find realistic goals and solutions based on your unique circumstances.
More Info About My Practice
I specialize in narrative, mindfulness-based, and cognitive behavioral approaches to therapy. These types of therapy teach valuable skills to provides meaningful insights and strengthen the mind-body connection.
Through cultivating a relationship built on safety and trust, we'll work together to find creative solutions designed to fit your unique needs. Consultations are free, private, and confidential. Some sliding-scale availability. LGBTQIA and Poly-friendly. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Therapy can be very useful. It's an opportunity for you to speak confidentially to an impartial third party about yourself. We may get a chance to vent to our friends and family occasionally, but a therapist is trained in how to listen and offer valuable insights and feedback you can't necessarily get from the people closest to you. In therapy you can gain valuable perspective, tools, and resources to help with making problems easier to manage, or solve altogether. Also, I think sometimes we start to feel guilty continuously going to our loved ones with our problems, while this is the therapist's only role. It's our bread and butter. I genuinely love hearing people's life stories and getting to offer feedback and perspective to help them see things in a different light.
Sometimes people will try therapy and feel it didn't do anything for them. There are a couple of reasons why this could have happened. The individual wasn't ready, the therapist wasn't a good fit, or the individual didn't have the proper supports in place to sustain changes. Seeing change in therapy can be thought of like seeing change from going to the gym. You can get the membership, buy all the right clothes, hire the trainers, but if you aren't doing any of the work you won't see any changes.
The preparation is an important part of the process, but that's only one piece of the puzzle. In order to get the full benefits of therapy, you're gonna have to do a little work, in and out of the counseling room. But your therapist, much like a personal trainer, is trained to help guide and assist you through the process safely so you're doing it in a manageable, sustainable way, and you aren't doing it alone.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Choosing a therapist can feel overwhelming. Sort of like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That's why it?s a good idea to think of what you are looking for and make a list that can act as a guide to help you. For example, how far from your home or office are you willing to travel to see your therapist? Any special training or credentials you prefer? These are questions you have probably already thought about. So I will share a few here that I consider important factors to consider, straight from the horse's mouth:
1. Do you feel comfortable around them? Research has repeatedly shown that the biggest predictor of successful outcomes in therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the client. You're going to be spending a lot of time with this person. A therapist who is a good fit will be easy to talk to, they'll make you feel comfortable and heard. They will work with you to talk about your needs and goals for therapy. Do you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with them? Do they look you in they eye and listen, or do they seem distracted? Are they interested in hearing what you have to say, or do they just wait for their turn to talk? Do they offer unsolicited advice, or do they try to see the problem from your perspective and ask for feedback?
2. Have they done their own work? Therapists are people with problems just like everyone else. So it's important that we practice good self-care, including seeing our own therapists. It's important that we do our own work so to speak, in order to make sure that we aren't trying to get our needs met through our relationship with our clients. Countertransference (overly-identifying with the client's experience) is something therapists run into occasionally, after all, humans share many of the same experiences and emotions throughout life. The difference in whether it has a negative impact on the client or not is if we have done the proper amount of work to recognize and properly address it when it happens. It warrants repeating: the therapist should never try to get their needs met during your session.
3. What are you willing to invest financially? Therapy is an investment in your health that will yield returns for years to come. But you need to make sure of your financial parameters before you begin therapy. Research has shown that feeling financially invested in therapy facilitates better outcomes. However, the cost of your appointments shouldn't be keeping you from buying groceries or paying your bills. Most therapists are able to provide sliding scale, if you find it a challenge to meet their full fee. And if they don?t have sliding scale availability, or don?t accept your insurance, they should be able to provide you with referrals to colleagues who take your insurance of have sliding scale availability.
4. Do you feel ready to work? I often tell people starting therapy is like opening a garage or storage closet that you haven?t looked in for a long time, if ever. It can feel overwhelming at first to see all those boxes in there, but with the process of therapy, and a good therapist as your guide, you can begin to unpack those boxes one by one. The therapist's role is to help you with this process, but we aren't going to ask you to do anything you aren't comfortable or ready to do. If you're unsure if you're ready for therapy, talk with your therapist about this. That?s what we're here for!
Choosing a therapist can be a bit of a process, but one which will be worth the time when you find the right fit. Most therapists offer free initial consultations. I recommend picking a few you'd like to speak to in person and schedule consults with them. Then follow your gut. Trust your instincts. And rest easy knowing if it isn't the best fit, it's not the end of the world. A good therapist will help find referrals to point you in the right direction. Happy hunting!