Sure, sometimes we will sit in silence, because sometimes that’s what you need – but not when we first start and you’re still feeling extra vulnerable. And, sure, I’ll ask you a lot of questions – but I will answer a lot of questions, too. There are many ways that therapy with me will differ from what you’re used to and what you’ve heard about, including these:
I am a human being, not a robot. Despite the way it’s been done for decades, therapy is not most effective when the therapist is a blank slate. We get hurt in relationship to other people, and we heal in relationship to other people – that starts with our relationship. You can’t have a relationship with someone who only nods at you and asks how you feel. I have opinions and ideas and reactions, and I share them.
My job is pretty strange in that, ultimately, my goal is to guide you to a place where you won’t need my help. A big part of therapy with me is psychoeducation. That is, I teach you what is happening in your mind and body and why, and I teach you strategies and practices that allow you to sustain the work we do in sessions when you’re not in therapy.
Healing does not happen in 50 minutes a week. I have an open line of communication with my clients between sessions via text and email. Some clients never take advantage of this, and some take advantage of it every week. Maybe you want to share an experience while it’s fresh in your mind, or maybe you just need to tell me how you’re feeling to get it out of your system. Perhaps you forgot that breathing exercise we practiced and need a refresher. Or maybe you just need me to remind you that you’re on the right track, that you’re okay. Coaching is a critical part of the work that I do, and it’s part of what you pay for with your session fee.
Different clients need different things to heal. Some need straight-up talk therapy only. Some need to heal their gut via nutritional therapy to keep anxiety and depression at bay. Some need EMDR. Some need individualized mindfulness programs, with meditations written specifically for their issues and their thought processes. There is not one approach that works for everyone, which is why I have trained in many different types of therapy. How we work is specific to you, your needs, your history, and your preferences.
Therapy is hard work. You’ve heard it before: the only way out is through. In order to heal, we need to feel a lot of difficult things that we stuffed away a long time ago. There is plenty of tough stuff, so we need some levity. Maintaining that balance is one of my sweet spots.