I offer hope, compassion, and support.
Click here for details about my training and experience.
I hike, swim, practice yoga, and spend time with my family including our Chinese-crested mix dog. I enjoy reading, painting, embroidery, weaving, and collage art.
Get the Best of What Therapy Offers
Choose a Therapist - A good rapport and feeling comfortable with your therapist is key! See whether a therapist offers an introductory call, usually a 15 minute discussion, to help you decide whether you believe you will fit with someone. It also helps the therapist because a therapist may have colleagues who they may believe are a better match for your style or particular issue. Look up "questions to ask a therapist" if you're not sure how to interview a therapist. Don't be afraid to end the call letting the person know you're making other calls and will get back in touch once you make a decision. Also, don't be afraid to reach out months or even years later if you abandon the idea of therapy for a while and then go back to it - this can be a natural part of the process!
Trust and Honesty - You don't have to just trust a stranger yet you need to feel comfortable enough that you are able to be honest. Honesty can require some level of trust or at least a hopeful belief that the therapeutic relationship can withstand your honesty. Lying to your therapist is only lying to yourself and will inhibit progress.
Truthful feedback is something a therapist can use to alter treatment or as a way to find alternative methods that work best for you, so being honest about what is or isn't working will help your therapist best help you.
Consistent Engagement - You're investing money, time, and your self in therapy, which can create a conundrum where you struggle for consistency due to financial constraints. Therapy is also an investment in yourself and good self-care. Talk with your therapist about the timing of appointments and what is recommended to address the goals and issues you identify. While it may seem a marketing attempt that a therapist typically suggests weekly or every other week sessions, it relates to there being reasonable consistency so that progress can be made. Think of it like physical therapy or a personal trainer: a once a month or less often check-in is not as effective as a period of regular engagement. In fact, the point of physcial therapy is like mental health therapy in that it is meant to restore you to optimal functioning so that you no longer need therapy! Personal training can be similar, as well, that after you achieve a fitness goal, you have a maintenance plan you use on your own and re-engage with the trainer or therapist when you have a new goal or issue to work through that would benefit from trained help.
Between Session Work - While sharing your burdens can lighten them, the point of therapy is to address mental health overall and it is not the same as chatting with someone like a friend. Therapists will work with you to determine things for you to think about or do between sessions as part of the therapeutic process. If you wish to see change, well, you have to change things! Sure, they may be incremental changes, yet all the cliche adages apply here (the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step and you eat an elephant one bite at a time). It is important to put into practice what you learn in therapy and to practice consistently to enact lasting change. To best do this, consider using a journal or notebook to jot down things from the therapy session, reflect on it afterward, and/or to write down the between session work you agree upon with your therapist. This can be a great way to track your own progress and its own reward as a record of your growth, healing, and learning process. It also helps you with ownership of these things since the work itself is yours to do with your therapist as guide.