What would your clients and colleagues say is your therapist superpower?
My calming, grounded presence. Clients often tell me that therapy with me feels safe, and that there is no where they fear to go. No emotions feel too big, and no thoughts feel too out there.
A second would be my memory. I’m often able to recall even the smallest details my clients share, and I do this naturally because I truly care. This also means that I don’t take notes during our sessions, which to me is a plus as I am able to stay connected with my clients the whole time. I wish my memory was this good for other areas of my life!
What is one thing that you have learned through your own therapy?
Healing is our birthright. On some level, I believe that it is our duty. We as human beings are all interconnected through our stories, environments and communities, and our individual healing ultimately contributes to the collective.
What does a typical session with you look like?
I adopt a client-centered approach, so how a session looks with me depends entirely on you, the client!
But to give you a sense of what to expect, I approach therapy with what I call a “soul-matic” foundation, which means I center our work by engaging with your emotions and spirit (soul) in combination with your physical body (somatic).
I utilize techniques from Internal Family Systems, as well as guided Mindfulness and grounding strategies to help you move beyond the judging, self-critical mind, learn to regulate your nervous system, and develop a richer relationship with your body so that you are able to tune into your authentic needs and emotions.
However our sessions flow, my clients often find themselves feeling a greater sense of hope and peace by the end of our time together.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl has greatly influenced my approach to therapy.
One quote in particular stays with me as I continue my growth as a therapist (and human being):
“A man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.”
The quote takes on an entirely different weight for me when we remember that Dr. Frankl is an Auschwitz survivor. The compassion he has for others’ suffering – though he has himself endured one of the greatest atrocities of humanity – is something I aspire to and hope to bring to my clients and beyond.
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.