Counseling Philosophy

Finding a good counseling fit is critical!
I'll tell you more about some of my personal philosophies and style so you can determine if you would like to start your counseling journey with me.  
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Connection
A counselor can have decades of training and knowledge of the most up and coming counseling research but if they do not have the personal skills to connect with the people they are working with, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, and temperaments, you will not experience the change you are seeking as a client. 
The relationship between counselor and client is more critical than any type of theory or practice the counselor might advertise.  That is why I will put our relationship as first and foremost.  Periodically, I will solicit feedback and assess how you are feeling regarding our therapeutic relationship. 
I see us as being real collaborators.  I have years of experience, training and concrete skills to offer but you are an expert on yourself, your family, your past and your relationships with others.  Together, with a strong connection, well, that is where the magic of therapy can occur!
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Emphasis on Change/Movement
I've never met someone starting counseling who feels like  everything in their lives is rainbows and unicorns.  The very nature of counseling indicates that there are things that you are wanting to change, either within yourself, your perspective, or with your relationships with others.   It is my job to listen carefully to what your goals are and help you to achieve them.  Sometimes that can be hard work.  
Rarely does a really tough issue heal on its own. How fast the healing occurs and what the healing looks like is primarily dictated by the client.  I work collaboratively with clients to bring oxygen and nourishment to the areas in their lives that are wounded or needs some extra attention.  
Change is uncomfortable!  We'll lean into that discomfort together in a safe way.  
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Authenticity and Risk
 
Kids are "The Best" BS detectors, which works out well because I am not the best at being anything the feels false.  My approach in counseling is to own my flaws, demonstrate self-esteem, self-respect, and the embracing of challenges, change, mistakes, and risk.  
Counseling can be scary!  I incorporate playfulness, being genuine, and accessibility into my practice to alleviate the fear people might have while embarking on making change.  By being myself, kids are more at ease with themselves and are encouraged to accept themselves as they are.  
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Clinical Approaches
I emphasize a positive and supportive relationship as the primary method to change.   Research indicates that we are primarily changed by our interactions with others. 
Other approaches I rely on are:
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • DBT philosophies (wise mind, walking the middle path, using irreverence, chain analysis)
  • Narrative therapy
  • Culturally sensitive therapies
  • Solution focused
  • Adlerian principles
  • Strengths-based