ABOUT COMPASSIONATE & CREATIVE THERAPY
While no therapist can promise specific results from therapy, I can promise to never judge you. I can also promise to be kind and authentic, to be understanding and patient, and to empower you as your own best advocate and healer.
I appreciate the therapeutic power of well-timed humor, and I believe in a holistic approach to therapy that integrates health in mind, body, and spirit. Offering a creative, individualized approach means that besides just talking to resolve concerns, I may offer expressive techniques (art, music, writing), therapeutic movement (yoga), and mindfulness activities (meditation, walk & talk therapy).
Sometimes our past or current experiences influence our perspective and cloud the ability to see alternative options. One of my roles as your therapist is to offer options to move beyond your stuck points.
For more specific questions regarding the logistics of therapy, please keep on scrolling and read below!
Why should I see a therapist?
Licensed Professional Counselors are regulated healthcare providers who have specialized knowledge and training in:
How we feel, think, and behave;
How problems can develop in these areas of functioning; and
How to facilitate change in order to help reduce distress, resolve problems, and improve overall psychological health and well-being.
Everybody needs help at some point! I am an adamant believer that we all encounter struggles at some point in our lives because life can be messy. We get by doing the best we can in the moment, but for various reasons sometimes we haven’t learned the necessary skills to manage our distress or we don’t have a safe person we can seek support from.
My education, training, clinical practice, and commitment to life-long learning and professional growth, enables me choose up-to-date, effective, ethical, and creative therapeutic approaches to help meet the unique needs of each client.
What should I expect in the first appointment?
The initial appointment involves a detailed 60-minute assessment to understand you and your current concerns, background, strengths and resources, and your goals for therapy. My aim is to help you feel comfortable and safe to talk openly about your concerns, while reminding you that you are in control of the pace of therapy and what you choose to address in session.
I request to meet with just the parents of adolescents for the initial assessment, so that parents can help to provide a full picture of what is going on, share their concerns, have a chance to meet me and ask questions, etc. I address in the intake the level of involvement from parents throughout the therapy process for their teens.
How long are sessions? How often would we meet?
With the exception of the initial 60-minute intake, regular sessions are 45- 50 minutes long and typically occur once per week, although depending on the nature and severity of your concern(s), they may be more or less frequent.
In my experience, weekly sessions help to develop a strong therapeutic relationship and establish momentum toward your goals. Session frequency may be reduced as you progress and become more comfortable applying what you have learned in therapy.
How long will therapy last?
This is definitely a valid question to ask, yet difficult for me to give a concrete answer. Research shows that the duration of therapy varies and can be influenced by the specific therapy interventions used, the strength of the relationship with your therapist, as well as factors specific to you. Such unique factors may include your goals, personal characteristics, the nature, severity, chronicity, and complexity of the problem(s) you are experiencing, external factors such as what else is happening in your life and available social support, the extent to which you actively engage in therapy and apply outside our sessions, and how open you are with making changes. I very much view therapy as a collaborative process and your progress and goals will be discussed throughout our time working together.
How long before I begin to feel better and/or what does it mean if I start to feel worse?
You may feel some relief after the first few sessions, however therapy may take some time to be the most beneficial. Just as the issues you may have most likely did not begin yesterday, processing and working through them takes time. With that said, therapy does not necessarily have to be “long term” to be effective.
Sometimes clients might notice more emotional discomfort after a therapy session. Truly confronting, and not avoiding or minimizing your struggles is bound to have an affect on you. Your willingness to not only tolerate pain or a 'vulnerability hangover' , is exactly what will allow you to move forward. If you can trust in the process and the need to “feel it to heal it”, I will be there to support you through the most challenging moments. With that being said, I will always take into account if you tell me your experiences in between sessions are becoming too much to bear, and we’ll focus on ways you can better cope.
What is my role as a client in the therapy process?
In therapy, the rule of thumb is that the more that you are willing to be an active participant, the better the outcome. You will be asked to identify goals for yourself, which will provide the framework for our therapy work together. It is important for you to learn to express your feelings and thoughts openly. However, being able to get your thoughts and feelings out is generally not the sole factor for successful therapy. The work you do in between sessions is often as important as the work you do in therapy. I may recommend reading material, journaling, or mindfulness based practices to assist you with your goals to complete between sessions. You may spend the week processing what we discussed in session. Through the therapy process it is not unusual to have “light bulb, Ah-hah” experiences where you gain insight into problems that have previously had you stuck.
What is my therapist’s role in the therapy process?
My role as a therapist is to provide a compassionate and non-judgmental space for you to express your thoughts and feeling, and for you to work toward resolving your problems; allow you the major responsibility for determining the content that is discussed during your sessions; actively listen (not just hear you) as you discuss your concerns and experiences; work to understand you from your point of view; explore alternative points of view with you; help you make connections between different aspects of your life experiences; and illustrate patterns and increase understanding of your immediate concerns and the complexities of your personality and history.
What if I begin to question the effectiveness of therapy?
If you ever reach this point, talk to me about this, please, please, please! Successful therapy can be expected to have ups and downs. Sometimes you may move quickly and feel like you are making progress, and at other times you may progress more slowly. It is so important that you let me know if you think you are not getting what you need out of therapy. Although I am pretty adept at understanding and reading your cues, I do not profess to have mind reading abilities! Perhaps goals need to be re-evaluated or a different approach needs to be taken, and I am all about getting creative in order to help you reach your goals.