I believe that we should use our past to inform our present and not let it get in the way of our future.
This doesn’t mean you have to relive every last moment, good and bad or dig into healed wounds. Sometimes our experiences are all we know and are what is “normal” to us, however bigger picture they may have been outside the realm of normal. Being aware of this and learning how different experiences affected us can help the healing and moving forward process.
I believe that the words we speak to ourselves, as well as others, hold a lot of power.
I strive to help my clients become aware of the messages they are sending by the way they think and speak and how the messages they’ve received impact them. I also do a lot of work around empowerment. By taking responsibility for yourself and your actions you will feel more in control of yourself and that you are an active participant in your life instead of feeling like life is always just happening to you.
I believe the struggle is real. And that it doesn’t have to last forever.
I have always been curious about people and how their experiences impact them. As a pre-teen I started with myself. I went inwards and began to explore what made me me and why. 20 or so journals and 18ish years later… Man! What a ride! From that point it’s just been constant fine tuning and tweaking. Having dug down and really had it out with myself through the years has helped me gain invaluable insight that I bring to session. I like to use your strengths to highlight what you are all ready capable of and how you can utilize those strengths to address your challenges. Because the struggle is real and it is much more motivating to feel like you all ready have a tool or two to start with!
I believe in embracing imperfection.
Perfection is a silly thing to strive for. Yea. I said it. Like beauty, perfection is in the eye of the beholder. You can, and will, drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone. You will also miss so many valuable lessons and possibly wonderful opportunities along the way. We miss out on the beauty of life and learning from mistakes when we strive for perfectionism. We actually need to make mistakes for a variety of reasons, especially as parents! Our children need imperfection modeled for them. They need to learn how to handle situations that don’t go as planned gracefully, how to let go of the little things, that not everything is under our control. (Truth be told, the only thing we can really control is ourselves and our actions.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t need people to be perfect. I learn best from watching people own up to their mistakes, shortcomings, what have you, and handle their business. That is inspiring and motivating. And takes a lot of courage!
I believe in the importance of the relationship between the therapist and client.
Without it, the work cannot be done. You must feel safe to open up and be vulnerable. Therapy can be difficult, hard work at times. I am sensitive to that and am aware of some of the struggles and roadblocks that come up for people. I strive to create a safe and trusting environment from the beginning. I will meet you where you are. We will work together from there. Whatever you throw out there I will not judge. I will allow for you to openly and honestly explore what needs to be explored and let out what needs to be let out, no matter how “dark” or “dirty.”
I tend to start from a more non-directive stance, following your lead, and take it from there. This doesn’t mean I am hands off! I’ve got ideas for days regardless of if you prefer a more directive or non-directive approach, I will probably just present them a little differently. I enjoy thinking outside of the box, brainstorming, trying all sorts of things because you never know what crazy idea will jumpstart the work or keep it going.
I do tend to use humor as much as is appropriate. Laughter truly is a wonderful medicine. It helps to ease tension, keep things in perspective, allow for heavy things to not break us. And it can bring great levity to otherwise overwhelming material.
*And, for the record, I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Registered Art Therapist (ATR). This means I am just as comfortable talking as I am utilizing various art techniques to explore issues and concerns brought into session! I obtained my master’s degree at Lesley University in 2010.