So, I’ve got a list of potential therapists. How do I go about finding which one is right for me?
Look at any reddit, facebook, or google page about therapy, and you’ll find hundreds, maybe thousands of references to “Evidence” and “Evidence-Based Treatments”. These buzzwords have a nice ring to them, but the bottom line is that you are more likely to benefit from therapy if you feel a strong connection with the person you are working with --in psychological jargon, we call that “treatment alliance”, and the evidence has shown, time and time again that it is the strongest predictor of outcomes in psychotherapy. What does that mean for you as a client? Simply, it means that you need to talk to different therapists until you find one that feels right for you.
Ask yourself these questions: Did my talk with this therapist feel authentic? Did it feel awkward or forced? Do I just get a good “vibe” from them? If they were just a person I met outside of therapy, would I feel comfortable talking to them? Were they happy to answer all my questions? How did I feel after our first full session?
What is “relational therapy” and how does it work?
You’ll see plenty of therapists refer to themselves as “relational”, and truth be told, the word itself can mean different things to different people. For me, it refers to a perspective on human experiences that focuses first on the importance of relationships in determining how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. These relationships can be (and usually are) anything from our family and friendships, romantic relationships, to early childhood memories. The “therapeutic” part comes in the form of the relationship between you and your therapist. By discussing and thinking together about your feelings surrounding your personal relationships, often times it’s possible to learn about patterns of thinking and behaviors, and feelings that were difficult to see before.
How I work: You may have a number of reasons already in mind why you want to meet with a therapist. I often have people come to the office and say that they feel anxious about particular parts of their lives or that they have a history of feeling sad or nervous for reasons they can’t describe. Sometimes people want to figure out how to improve their personal relationships, and sometimes they have particular symptoms related to past traumatic experiences or difficult events. There is no one reason to enter therapy that is more meaningful or valid than any other. In my approach, all of your experiences matter and there are no wrong answers. I view each person as unique and multi-dimensional–not just a diagnosis or a set of symptoms. You and I will discuss and think together about your past, present, and future to gain a deeper understanding of how you experience the world. Through this process we can uncover thoughts and feelings you may not have realized you had, and help you to gain a new understanding of yourself and your relationships that improves your quality of life and sense of peace of mind.
Specialty Areas: Anxiety and Stress Trauma Depression and Bipolar
I also am experienced working with: Interpersonal / Relational Difficulties Career and Life Transitions LGBTQ+, kink, and poly-friendly therapy Gender and Identity Issues Personal Growth Drug and Alcohol Use / Harm Reduction Borderline and other Personality Disorders