It starts with relationship. First, I like to make sure we're a good fit. That we connect. That we 'vibe.' That we can build a good therapeutic connection. It might not happen in session one, but give it a few times and let's see if we get a good thing going. Everything we do in counseling will be built off the relationship that we share. I aim to provide safety, trust, respect, cultural sensitivity, and a sense of being known. If at any point it feels like we're not a good fit, let's talk about it and I'll be delighted to provide other people who are.
Collaboration. Let's work together. I can't do it without you and your willingness to participate. Telling you what to do won't work. You have lived with you way longer than I have even known you. You have valuable information that I don't have about you. I will bring my knowledge, training, and experiences and you bring everything you know about you. Together, we'll identify changes you desire for your life and work toward these using a focused but flexible approach.
Curiosity, empathy, and conversation. I'm a questioner. I love the act of asking. So I'm going to come with curiosity about your life, your behaviors, your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs ... really, anything about YOU. But don't worry, we'll go at a comfortable pace that's right for you. I ask questions because I want to "get" you: enter empathy. It's important to me that you feel known, understood, and heard. This happens through conversation. I like to listen and will give space for that, but I also like to give feedback or propose different ways of viewing things.
Tools. We may use some tools and skills that can help us wade through life's rough waters. Some of these include techniques from Trauma-Focused therapy (such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Motivational Interviewing, Person-Centered therapy, and Christian counseling if desired. For body image work, I operate from the frameworks of Health at Every Size (HAES) and Intuitive Eating.