What would your clients and colleagues say is your therapist superpower?
It might be said that my therapist superpower is helping clients to feel comfortable. At first, this might not seem like a superpower, but therapy works best when there is an established sense of safety and security. I believe this comes from being able to provide a felt experience of non-judgment, validation, and feeling heard/understood. From this foundation, one is better able to explore the areas of discomfort, which are the necessary tasks for growth and healing.
What is one thing that you have learned through your own therapy?
One thing I learned through my own therapy is that the most effective helpers have, and continue to be, recipients of help themselves. I always knew that therapy was helpful, but it wasn’t until I did my own work, where I really gained experiential knowledge of the helpfulness of good therapy. On another level, I also experienced how learning and growth is truly a lifelong endeavor, and that none of us truly “arrive” – this was a liberating truth to lean into.
If you hadn’t become a therapist, what profession would you have chosen and why?
If I hadn’t become a therapist, I was set on going to music school to do sound engineering and/or production. Music was always a big part of my life and continues to be a space that brings positive energy and joy. Besides that, I always dreamt (keyword “dreamt”) about playing professional basketball in the NBA.
How do you approach the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy?
A wise mentor once told me, “join the club” and “nobody rides for free” – meaning we all go through challenging times, pain, and heartbreak – all of us. Despite the appearance of how others might be doing, no one is immune to struggle and having to work hard at living a meaningful life. It’s ok to “not be ok” sometimes – it’s being human. Often, the misconception is that seeking help is a sign of weakness, when in fact, it takes so much more strength and courage to face the truth about the human experience.
Who says there’s something wrong with you if you go to therapy? Perhaps it’s this unfounded fear we all have – what others might think. When in reality, we’re all just wanting and needing some help sometimes. Believe it or not, we’re all in this same “club.”
Stigma surrounding mental health and therapy is an antiquated relic of the past. It’s cool to be in therapy – to be working on oneself. What’s not cool is allowing our unresolved issues to negatively impact our relationships, careers – to be angry and taking out our stress on our family, friends – the list goes on. We all routinely go to the doctor’s office, dentist, hire personal trainers – who says we’re not supposed to treat our mental health the same way?
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.