20 Years Exp
20 Years Exp
Hello! I am a licensed professional counselor and a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional that has worked as a therapist for over 20 years and in the mental health field since 1997. I work primarily with adult individuals who are desiring help coping with life stressors or challenging transitions, symptoms of depression, anxiety, or has experienced traumatic stressors in their past. Sometimes a person comes to therapy knowing what they would like different in their lives after therapy and sometimes they need help identifying those initial goals. I see my job as helping people meet their own goals for their lives.
I have had many times where I have worked with a person who has been in therapy before and feel like they still are struggling after learning beneficial therapy techniques or feel supported by their previous therapist. Often times, the person is still feeling disconnected from their body so, for example, they have learned a great skill about recognizing a negative cognitive pattern but they are still holding anxiety in their body. Helping someone make that bridge between their thoughts and their body has often been a great breakthrough for the person I am working with and has provided clarity for them.
I often start each session with a check-in to make sure that if there is something that the person I am meeting with wants to discuss in the session, it is identified. I want to make sure that the person goes into the session knowing that if they have a something that they want to make sure gets addressed in session does get addressed. Once the check-in is finished, there may be follow-up from last week's session to address. Often times, during the check-in/follow-up something is identified that the person would like to address and that aligns with their therapy goals.
My first session, after the intake, is a review of treatment goals and also focused on establishing rapport with the person seeking therapy. How fast that rapport is established often depends on why the person is seeking therapy. Sometimes a person wants to jump right into their therapy goals and sometimes they want more time to feel comfortable in the therapy process. Both are productive therapy paths. I often mentioned in the first session that it is helpful to have a therapy notebook and bring it to each session. People I have worked with have found their notebook to be a great tool for them.
When I started as a therapist, I came into the field with newly learned techniques. While these techniques were and are theoretically sound and I still use many of them in sessions when they are relevant, I don't think I really understand therapy. Learning the art of being present in therapy to who is sitting in front of you, truly believing in the ability for change based on the strengths of the person seeking therapy, and recognizing the role of the whole brain and the body are things that not only motivates me as a therapist but continually draws me to grow as a therapist.
What can clients expect to take away from sessions with you?
I would like everybody I meet with to feel that I have heard them regarding what they want different in their lives, and that they leave each session feeling safe and secure in the work they are doing in therapy. I often find also that having a plan for therapy that is driven by what the person I am meeting with is helpful. The plans provides a structure regarding what the focus of therapy is going to be. This does not mean there is no flexibility or acknowledging the issues of the day but I want each session to be of benefit for the person that has taken time out of their day to attend therapy.
What treatment methods and tools do you utilize?
I bring to our therapy sessions a variety of therapeutic interventions. These interventions include cognitive behavioral techniques, dialectical behavioral techniques, mindfulness techniques, attachment techniques and solution focused therapy techniques and somatic techniques. Having been a therapist for so many years, I have found that I bring the "tool box" of techniques and work with the person that I am meeting with to find the right therapeutic technique for them and their situation.
Explain to clients what areas you feel are your biggest strengths.
I feel like I can blend structure with flexibility in therapy session. This helps me meet each person where they are at and we work together from that space. I also have years of working with people in the therapy process. I believe my experience is a strength because I have learned to understand that everyone is an individual and their individual strengths and needs have to be acknowledged in the therapy process.