FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is your therapeutic approach?
My guiding approach to therapy is humanistic, meaning I view my clients as unique individuals who are capable of tapping into their own abilities to learn, grow, and find meaning in their lives. I have a strong background in trauma, and many clients seek me out specifically to do work around past traumatic experiences. Because so many people have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives—abuse, bullying, addiction, loss of someone close to them—much of my work involves trauma-informed treatment methods within the framework of a humanistic approach.
What’s the goal of the therapy?
The overarching goal of therapy is helping clients to develop at healthy sense of self, and find and create meaning in their lives, whatever their past experiences have been. Because each individual’s experience is unique to them, other goals in therapy might include reducing symptoms of anxiety or depression, learning and implementing coping skills, developing and maintaining healthy relationship patterns, or trauma integration.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my first appointment?
Generally speaking, no. However, your first appointment involves an informal assessment of current and past experiences that led you to seek out therapy. I may be asking questions that may bring up difficult or unpleasant feelings. Most of the time, these feelings are what brought you to therapy in the first place. That being said, you may want to plan some kind of activity that involves taking care of yourself after the session. This activity could involve meeting a friend for coffee, spending some time alone to think about or process what was discussed in the session, or visiting a place that is calming or comforting for you (such as a yoga class or your favorite shop).
What happens in the sessions?
What happens in sessions varies depending on the issues we are working on in therapy.First and foremost, I do not approach therapy from a perspective where I am the expert and my client, a student. Rather, my clients and I work together to develop a therapeutic relationship based on safety, trust and equality. And while I may use various therapeutic techniques in sessions, the most important thing is that my clients feel safe to openly explore their thoughts and feelings and make choices and changes at a pace that feels right for them.
How will I feel after a session?
I often say that most of the therapeutic process happens outside of therapy. During sessions, you may make connections, gain insights, or reflect on some difficult life experiences. You may leave a session feeling empowered, sad, spacey, validated, or emotionally drained. These feelings may change or evolve in the space and time you have between sessions. Therapy is not always easy, and sometimes you may feel worse before you feel better. Taking care of yourself between sessions is paramount to healing and growth.
What if uncomfortable feelings arise between sessions?
Uncomfortable feelings may come up between sessions. When this happens, it’s important to remind yourself that feelings don’t last forever. When you can, allow yourself to experience the feelings—you may have been carrying them around inside you for a long time, and they are finally coming to the surface. This is good. Although it may be unpleasant when it happens, it may be a sign that you are ready to deal with the emotions that have been keeping you from being happy and healthy. For times when the feelings seem intolerable, we will work together to create a list of coping skills, grounding tools, or resources that are helpful for you draw on when you need them. If at anytime you are having suicidal thoughts or feel unsafe, I urge you to go to your local emergency room or dial 911.