The Process of Therapy
Choosing to engage in the therapeutic process is an important decision, and one that should be made consciously, thoughtfully, and with as much awareness about potential benefits and challenges as possible. In the following paragraphs, I’ll try to give you a sense of what you can expect from me as a therapist, as well as what your rights and responsibilities are as a client, all with the intention of helping you feel as safe, supported, and informed as possible. Even so, each client’s journey is unique, and so the process will be tailored to meet your needs. I imagine you’ll have questions before we start and as we go, and I invite you to ask for what you need at any time.
The Challenge of Change
Therapy has the potential to make profound changes in your life. We’ll be exploring your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; we may look at the important relationships in your life, both past and present; we may talk about your physical health, your social life, your career path, or even your spiritual path. These are very intimate and meaningful aspect of your life, and the changes that come with these explorations can be liberating, empowering, exciting, and deeply transformational.
Taking an Active Role
Such explorations can also be, at times, challenging, frustrating, frightening, and painful. You may find aspects of your life changing that you never expected or planned to change. You may find some people in your life objecting to these changes, or wanting you to stay the same, and that can be hard. You may find that some changes come quickly, others seem to take forever, and at times you might even feel like you’re going backwards (and we can talk about this if it happens). But despite these very real risks, I will ensure that you will be safe and supported throughout, and that you will feel in control of the process. Also, the more fully you engage in the process, the more willing you are to share of yourself openly and honestly, and the more you put into practice what we discuss in session, the more you will get out of our time together.
My approach to therapy is collaborative, holistic, and strength-based, and is grounded in mindfulness practice, cognitive behavioral therapy, and feminist theory.
- Collaborative. While I bring training, experience and theoretical expertise to our relationship, you are the foremost expert on your life. Working together, we will decide what changes you’d like to make and how best to make them. Only you can know what works best for you. My job is to help you make those discoveries.
- Holistic. We are complex beings, and no one part of ourselves operates independently of all the others. For healing, growth, and change to occur, we will explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as the social, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life, and look at their dynamic interaction with one another.
- Strength-Based. By discovering, defining, and highlighting the skills and strengths you already have, we can build on what’s working well for you, let go of what isn’t, and develop new ways of being in the world that enhance your quality of life.
- Mindfulness Practice. Mindfulness is a way of increasing our awareness of ourselves and our world in a way that decreases judgement and increases acceptance and compassion. As we learn to pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without immediately reacting to them, we begin to find more ease, fulfillment, and joy.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are closely connected. CBT can help us enhance those thoughts that are serving us and change the ones that aren’t. When we shift our thoughts, we find that our feelings, behaviors, and experiences of the world shift as well.
- Feminist Theory. In keeping with my collaborative approach, I work from the feminist perspective of an egalitarian relationship between client and therapist. By viewing us as equal partners, by highlighting your strengths, and by demystifying the therapeutic process, I want to empower you to be the author of your own growth, both during our work together and beyond.