It is in my belief that when a client and a therapist are aligned, the process is more likely to be beneficial to you. In this article, I describe my relationship with therapy. It is important to note that different types of therapies work for different people. Your mental health is central to your overall well-being.
I am trained as a trauma therapist. I specialized in this field motivated by my life story having grown up in an abusive home, exhibiting mental health challenges from as young as 15 years old. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression in 2017 when I began my therapy journey.
I am particularly looking to support people living with childhood trauma but have no idea how to navigate it.
It’s possible to recover from the effects of childhood trauma with proper care and guidance.
Please read through this document intently so you can determine if therapy with me is the right fit for you.
During the first one or two sessions, I will collect information from you about what brought you to therapy and the expected outcome of the whole process. The goal here is to understand how best to meet your therapy needs. For our sessions, safety and comfortability are paramount to the journey. By the end of our first or second session, I will tell you how I conceptualize your situation and what I think I can offer you.
I view therapy as a collaboration between us. You illuminate on areas that need work; I use my knowledge and expertise to support you in making the changes you want to make. We will periodically examine whether we are following a path that is helpful for you.
I may take notes during our meetings and give you exercises to do outside of therapy. You may find it useful to take your own notes and to take notes outside of our sessions.
The work will be challenging sometimes, but all of it will be in the service of the direction you would like to take your life.
Psychotherapy is a very active form of therapy. It requires your best efforts to change actions which in turn will lead to changes in thoughts and feelings. You’ll be immersing yourself into the child within you that has felt abandoned for years on end, getting in touch with them and bringing them to the forefront of the healing process.
My approach involves learning skills to handle difficult thoughts and feelings more effectively, so they have less impact and influence over you.
You and I are a team, working together, to help you build a better life. I work from a perspective where you and I are equals. I don’t want you to think I’ve got my life completely in order. We are like two rock climbers on different faces of the rock. From where I stand, I might be able to see things that you can’t see – not because I’m wiser than you, but because I’m standing in a different place. Likewise, there are things you can see and feel that I cannot. So we talk about them and give each other space to see each other’s point of view. We are together in this.
I can be most helpful to you if I can see the world through your eyes and feel it through your hands. I ask that you do your best to give me a sense of what it is like to live in your skin.
Here are some other ways we can work as a team:
I will “press pause” from time to time if I see you doing something that looks like it might help you better deal with your problems and improve your life. I will slow the session down and ask you to make some observations.
For example, I may ask you to take a couple of breaths, notice what you’re thinking or feeling or saying or doing. That way, you’ll be able to notice your experiences more clearly, and we can look at ways you can use it outside of our sessions. I may also press pause if I see you doing something that looks like it may be contributing to your problems or making it worse.
This goes both ways – you can also press pause on me. I will ask you to try new things that may pull you out of your comfort zone – like learning new skills to handle difficult thoughts and feelings – but you never have to do them. You are always free to say no to anything I suggest.
With this type of approach, it can be difficult to assess whether treatment is useful on a moment-by-moment basis. If you plant a garden, going outside every fifteen minutes to see how it is coming along doesn’t work very well. Together, we may explore the question: “Are we headed in the right direction?” We will look at your involvement in valued activities and to what degree you feel like your relationship with thoughts and feelings has become more workable.
I encourage clients to schedule sessions every week. As noted above, this type of therapy is interactive and skills-based and requires a lot of engagement and practice. Clients who commit fully to the process benefit more than those who have sessions less frequently.
While it might seem logical to reduce session frequency over time, this type of therapy is learned by doing, so if you have already practiced the skills in your daily life, and feel confident using them consistently, it’s probably time to end therapy. So instead of asking, “can we reduce to every-other-week sessions,” ask, “can we start the process of ending therapy?”
The process of ending therapy is called “termination” and it is a valuable and necessary part of our work. After you’ve met most of your goals, we will start the process of ending therapy. This process is very individualized and can take place over one or many sessions. How termination looks for you is based on how long we’ve worked together, your attachment style and history, your past experiences with goodbyes, how you process grief, your confidence in ending therapy, what else is going on in your life, etc.
Stopping therapy should not be done casually or abruptly, although either of us may decide to end if we believe it is in your best interest. If you wish to stop therapy at any time, I ask that you agree to meet for at least one more session to review our work together and make space for a proper and respectful goodbye.
Some Values I Bring to the Work:
Types of Therapy
If you have any questions about anything here, please let me know. I value your thoughts and want you to feel excited and hopeful about what you can accomplish in therapy. I look forward to working with you.