MY APPROACH TO THERAPY
Therapy that is non-judgmental,
personalized, and accepting of you.
Are you afraid to try therapy because you’re afraid you’ll be judged? I can see why. Therapy is becoming more and more normal in our society, but it still has some negative beliefs associated with it (hint hint: “you’re crazy”). Not only that, but it’s intimidating to think about opening up to a person you don’t know. Well, first of all - I see you, and I understand. Second of all, my office is a judgment free zone. Third of all, we’ll get to know each other and the process will get less and less scary every time you come.
As I’ve mentioned throughout my website, I do EMDR therapy and talk therapy. Check out those pages to learn a little more about what that means. I see adults and teens, and I do therapy online or in person. Therapy is actually very customizable to your needs in these ways, but beyond that - you control the direction of our sessions. You know best what you want to work on - you are the expert on your own life. Leave the other expert-ish and therapy-ish stuff to me!
MY PHILOSOPHY ON THERAPY
Let’s start by talking about the term “coping skills.” If you haven’t heard that before, basically what that means is different tools and skills you have to feel better when things get tough. Coping skills are amazing and they are necessary. But honestly, coping skills are just a bandaid. Before you get offended that I called your wonderful coping skills a bandaid, let me explain.
We need bandaids. When we’re wounded, we need to protect ourselves from infection - and bandaids do that! They allow healing by protecting the wound and they are a temporary solution to healing. So - bandaids are great. Here is what wont work - slapping a bandaid on a wound for 10 years because it still hasn’t healed and you have no idea why but you’ve spent an absurd amount of money on bandaids and they’re not even sticking anymore. That’s not the intended use of band-aids. Now, get ready to have your mind blown - replace the word “bandaid” in this paragraph with the words “coping skills.” Woahhh!
So here’s the deal, we need to get to the root of the problem and address the wound itself. Let’s try another metaphor. Have you ever pulled weeds? It’s such a bummer, I know - especially if you don’t get the taproot out. That weed you pulled will just keep growing back uglier, bigger, and maybe even spread to other areas. It looks pretty at first, because the weed appears to be gone. Under the surface, though, it is working on popping right back up. Our problems are a lot like this. We can stick a bandaid on it, or just trim the weed back, but it’s not going to stop the problem from resurfacing over and over.
Below are a few other words that explain my approach!
My job is not to shame you. My job is not to judge you. My job is to walk alongside you as you navigate this life. There is nothing you can bring that is "too weird", "too small", or "too big". We already live in a world of judgment and harsh critique. I seek to create a safe space with you where you can be yourself and check your worries at the door. We're all a little "weird" anyway - why not have a space where you can let it out.
I value creative approaches. This means a few things for me - I value the unique creative ways you have already taken on the challenges in your life and I want to expand on those. A creative approach works extremely well for children and teens, but surprisingly for adults as well! This also means that I absolutely encourage engaging in anything creative during a session! Whether it is sharing music, art, or other creative expressions - bring it! Diversity, uniqueness, and your journey are of utmost importance to me.
Restoration is wonderful word because it can mean so many things. What is key about the idea of restoring something is that not only are you making it new again, but you're making it to your specifications. Restoration might mean restoring it to its original form, or it may mean giving it a total makeover to turn it into something you've always wanted. This is how I think counseling can work. Sometimes we want to feel like our "normal" or "old" selves. Other times we have hopes to become something new and different. Whatever it is you want to do, that is what matters to me.
Another way to think of this is "empowering". However, the word "empowering" implies that I am lending you power. On the contrary, I want to help you cultivate your own power to battle the difficulties you face on a daily basis. The more your power is created by you, the more effective it can be against these problems. Together we can examine your strengths and discover ways to make them even stronger against the challenges you come up against.
You may have notice I seem to ramble on a bit about "story". Well, that is because it is very important to me. Your story belongs to you and you alone. If you feel that you have been robbed of the right to author your own story, then I want to work with you to gain your power back. It can feel overwhelming when problems, like anxiety, are writing your story for you - turning you into the character who wants to take risks, but doesn't because anxiety tells you to fear them. Or the character who sees a goal on the horizon, but feels they cannot achieve it because stress has hogged the storyline. Perhaps another person in an overbearing relationship has taken the pen and begun to write your story. This story, this life, belongs to you - so let's work on taking that back.