What would your clients and colleagues say is your therapist superpower?
I have a kind, warm and nurturing demeanor that makes people feel accepted and safe almost immediately. I am a combination of warm and fuzzy and direct and honest in the most loving way. I approach my clients with compassion and gentle curiosity and provide a judgement free zone for my clients to work through their pain and struggles and see themselves in a loving light so they can ultimately achieve their goals and dreams.
Learn more about me here: www.jessicarycroft.com
What is one thing that you have learned through your own therapy?
We are relational beings and, as such, we heal in relationship. In other words, the therapeutic relationship makes all the difference. It took me a while to find the right therapist, but once I did, it was the relationship I had with my therapist that allowed me to feel safe, seen, heard, and understood for probably the first time in my life. Having a safe space and a strong therapeutic alliance with my therapist at an early age paved the way for me to develop healthy relationships and secure attachments in my adult life and heal from past painful experiences that were holding me back. More than the therapeutic interventions she used, her presence and attunement (how she made me feel) was what felt the most healing and life changing for me. My experience taught me that: Therapy with the right therapist works!
How have your personal experiences helped your work with your clients?
I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the couch. I know how scary it can be to be vulnerable to fully entrust someone with your most personal details, with your pain, shame, sadness, and even your joy. It is for that reason that I approach my clients with gentle curiosity and go at their pace. Healing doesn’t happen on a therapist’s terms; it happens on your terms – when you are ready, willing, and wanting to do the work it takes to make healthy changes in your life.
What does a typical session with you look like?
No two clients are alike, and neither are sessions. A typical session for one client may be totally different for another. If I had to describe a session though: it may look like letting go of and releasing stored emotions (some crying and tears), exploring and processing current or past hurts and experiences that are impacting your life (talking about what’s bothering you), learning tools to improve functioning and relationships (some education, role plays, and take-aways), and acknowledging and celebrating your successes (some recognition, praise, and validation).
Is there an example from your daily life where you practice what you preach?
Absolutely! I try to have a balanced life. I go for nature walks with my dog and husband every other day to help de-compress and de-stress. I love to go to spin classes and spend time with friends and family. I challenge negative self-talk and try to approach myself with love and kindness (always). Finally, I continue to engage in my own therapy as a way to stay humble and connected to the work I do. I think every therapist deserves and could benefit from having their own therapist! 😊
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.