What would your clients and colleagues say is your therapist superpower?
I believe my clients would say that I have a special ability to bring a sense of calmness and safety to them. Clients have expressed feeling seen and heard even upon the first session and experiencing a sense of calmness in the therapy room. Colleagues have expressed feeling a sense of knowing I am always up to have chats or deep talks. My colleagues would also say I have an open mind about all people and am accepting and respectful of every individual’s story. I’ve been described as having the ability to hold a positive outlook and hope for others even in moments when they do not quite see it yet for themselves.
What is one thing that you have learned through your own therapy?
Well there are many, but I would say I have 2 main lessons I must share. Therapy has been a place of valuable support throughout various stages of my life. The first lesson is recognizing that “I am enough”. That even when I have made mistakes, said the wrong thing, have been hurt or fall short or feel off track that “I am enough”. I have learned that I hold the power of my value and worth and no one has power over that unless I hand it to them. The second lesson is understanding that “I am ever evolving”. Even in moments where life may leave me feeling like I am behind or off course or not quite meeting the mark, I can gently remind myself that my journey is my own process, and it doesn’t need to line up with others, nor do I need to compete with anyone else.
Is there an example from your daily life where you practice what you preach?
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries. Not only have I learned to respect myself and hold my boundaries, but I am a true advocate for my clients in learning to listen to their own needs and learn to prioritize themself in a healthy manner. Many of us were not raised or taught to understand boundaries or let alone set them. Being attuned to others is a gift, but learning to be attuned to self is a gift that keeps on giving. We cannot leave it to others to tell us what we should or should not be ok with. Setting boundaries is NOT selfish, but rather necessary for mental health and a fulfilling life.
How do you approach the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy?
Talk about it and don’t stop talking about it. Mental health is health. Physical health cannot be addressed without addressing the whole, which includes our minds and emotional wellbeing. Lack of education and understanding has created fear and a divide in addressing mental health and obtaining help and support for it. Embracing our authenticity is vital and in the space of self-acceptance, we can reflect on areas of ourselves we choose to work on and embrace the reality that we all play a part in stopping the stigma of mental health. Therapy is the safest space to start your journey of authenticity and breaking the stigma within yourself and in others.
Short Term (Solution-focused, etc.)
Ideal for those who are coming in with a specific problem they’d like to address and gain clarity on. Typically, short term therapies are present focused and do not dive deep into your past.
Structured therapies are goal and progress oriented. Therapists may incorporate psychoeducation and a specific “curriculum.” In order to stay on track, therapists may provide worksheets and homework.
Insight-oriented (Psychodynamic, Existential, etc.)
Exploring the past and making connections to present issues can help clients gain insight. Getting to the root of the issue and finding deeper self-awareness can help with long-term change.
Non-directive (Humanistic, Person-centered, etc.)
Going with the flow and seeing where it leads.
Behavioral (CBT, DBT, etc.)
Focuses on changing potentially unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors by addressing problematic thought patterns and specific providing coping skills.
Trauma Focused (EMDR, TF-CBT, etc.)
Recognizing the connection between trauma experiences and your emotional and behavioral responses, trauma focused therapy seeks to help you heal from traumas.