Interview Your Therapist

The therapist-client relationship is a unique bond based on trust, safety, collaboration, and communication. It’s okay to ask your therapist questions beyond the logistics of fees and scheduling. Here are some “interview” questions to consider when you attend your first session. 1. What is your philosophy? Because of training, education background, and personality, therapists often connect with a particular theory (or multiple) to help inform their work. You could ask, “what’s your theory?” but asking about a philosophy will give you a much richer response. For instance, some therapists will … Read More

Picking Up The Pieces – Post Election

Being an actual person this week has been a challenge, let alone a therapist who is supposed to help others process their feelings. I promised myself that I would be strong no matter what the election outcome was. I told myself that I needed to get up, get dressed, go to work, and go about my business as usual. A different feeling crept over me on Wednesday, though. It is one I am all too familiar with—fear. Before I am a student, therapist, friend, partner, or daughter, I am a … Read More

Deserving Therapy

Do you need a specific reason to go to therapy? The answer might surprise you. We all have those wonderful friends. You know, the ones you won’t see for weeks or months but still make you feel like not a day has passed since your last reunion? Several months ago, a college friend and I finally nailed down a specific date and time to meet. It was a miracle with our hectic lives. As if on the brink of bursting, we collapsed in our café chairs and immediately fell into … Read More

Resistance

As a doctoral student and therapist, I constantly come across challenging material. I have learned that my coursework is far more than a checklist of assignments, papers, and projects. It enhances my practice by exposing me to new ideas. It keeps me inquisitive, and it fosters a thirst for knowledge that can never quite be satisfied. A professor recently assigned a project that completely changed my perspective on cultural competency and professional responsibility. My cohort was asked to write an in-depth paper about a group we felt resistant toward. For … Read More

The First Session: An Interview with a Male Client

I can speak to therapy as a professional (and I often do, as my friends, family, and partner will probably roll their eyes and tell you), but sometimes the most interesting perspective on the process can be offered by clients. Therapy can indeed be an intimidating endeavor. Many clients have expressed that just the thought of opening up to someone unfamiliar prevented them from coming in sooner. I decided to dig deeper into this perspective, and I was especially curious about what male clients experience. After all, we do live … Read More

Pressing Pause

It was a mundane Monday evening. My hair was in a messy bun atop my head. My arms were elbow deep in dishes. It was a night like so many others. Every hour was occupied, every moment planned. In that quiet moment my mind began to drift. I wondered what was happening to us. In our brief serene moments, we made big plans that we would promptly cancel when the pace picked up again. We broke our own rules. We made exceptions. “No phones at dinner” became “No phones, unless … Read More

Roller Coasters and Concrete

The Texas Giant. What a roller coaster. The new one is simply my favorite. You know that moment before you get on when you debate the risk and excitement? You get on next to some stranger and watch them buckle in. You look at the cement next to you and think, “I could just get off now if I wanted. Maybe I’ll ask this guy to let me squeeze by him and just exit for now. I’m not ready. That hill looks awfully steep. Wonder if anyone has ever died … Read More

Let’s Make A Deal

Growing up, I loved this show. I remember getting anxious for the contestants as they squeamishly chose a door to open. Would it be the best one? Would they regret their decision? There are many times I have regretted the choices I have made. These regrets range from eating a calorie loaded cheeseburger..to being in a bad relationship..to being in a job I hated. I started thinking this morning about those choices. You know, at the time I was making those decisions, I felt pretty darn certain I was doing … Read More