Therapy involves exploration. The focus varies depending on the needs of each client, but exploration is always present in some form. In my work with clients, we sometimes explore their past to identify pivotal moments that shaped them, we sometimes explore the underlying beliefs that influence their perception of the world, and we sometimes explore their routines to identify those habits that are helpful and those that are not. Regardless of the direction and depth of our exploration, I am consistently honored when I am allowed to accompany someone on their journey.
There is no single type of therapy that can meet the needs of every client, couple, or family. My goal in the early stages of our work together is to provide information and options about what therapy can look like and what sorts of goals we can work on. We will then collaborate to determine where we should focus our attention, what the best way to work together might be, and how we will know we are making progress.
Though I adapt to the needs of each individual, couple, or family, there are some traits and techniques that form the basis of my work with all clients. First, I believe there is tremendous value in telling one’s story aloud and giving voice to thoughts, needs, and desires that are usually left unspoken. For many, a therapist’s office provides an excellent opportunity to do that without fear of judgment or external consequences. As a result, I will likely listen far more than I will talk, especially in our early sessions.
Next, I think the therapy relationship is an excellent opportunity to engage in a type of communication that rarely occurs in other settings. I find it very beneficial to discuss the ways that we communicate within the therapy room so that we can identify the unique nuances in your ways of communicating with others in your life and the potential impact of those nuances.
Third, I approach every new therapy relationship with the belief that you each person is the expert on their own life. Experts sometimes need to seek consultation to help face a new problem or obstacle. My role is primarily to serve as that consultant, to give you a new perspective, to help you identify what has been working and what hasn’t, and to help you consider things you may not have thought important.