What to Expect from Therapy
Initiating counseling can be an anxiety provoking experience. By sharing my approach to therapy, it is my hope that any concerns you may have about initiating therapy will be put to rest. My practice focus is on anxiety, with a specialty in addressing social anxiety, panic disorders, and phobias, in adolescents and adults. I also do some work with those suffering from depression and bipolar disorders. Although my practice is not limited to only those who identify with Christianity, I practice Christian Counseling for those who prefer faith-based counseling. I am also open to incorporating your faith into the plans for change that we develop together during therapy sessions.
Above all, you can expect to be treated with respect, warmth, compassion, and a non-judgmental approach. Your confidentiality is of utmost importance to me. I consider it a sacred privilege to work alongside my clients to help them reach their highest potential in order to become their best selves and achieve real change.
What Therapy with Me Is NOT
Most people seek out counseling to change something in their lives or about themselves or to learn how to cope with situations they cannot change. They think therapy will help them to change, but instead, they end up talking and venting while a counselor nods their head and just quietly listens. Another common misconception about the role of a therapist is that we are here to dispense advice or tell you how to fix a problem. Either of these two therapy approaches would not be helpful in achieving long term change.
Talking and venting about problems doesn’t change anything. It may feel better temporarily and can produce short-term results. However, I am more interested in helping you get better and stay better, not just feel better temporarily. I want you to experience lasting results and gain new skills, so when you encounter other challenges in 6 months or 5 years, you will be well equipped to manage them.
Likewise, giving advice doesn’t help you to develop your own problem solving skills that can be applied to each unique situation you’ll face in the future. Are you familiar with the adage: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime?” That is the nature of therapy work with me. I give you tools and strategies that you can implement once you walk out of my office that will remain relevant and benefit you for a lifetime.
What Therapy with Me IS
Your therapy experience with me will be collaborative. You and I will work as a team to achieve lasting results. To help my clients achieve real change, I utilize a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) approach. This therapy style incorporates aspects of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
The traditional CBT approach looks at how underlying beliefs drive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Increased awareness and insight are critical to change, but this knowledge is not sufficient to drive the lasting, transformative shifts that people seek. Instead, I help you tap into your strengths to develop strategies and solutions for managing challenging emotions and patterns of thought and behavior. These strategies can be implemented as soon as your session ends, so our therapeutic relationship is really a conduit through which meaningful change can occur.
In addition to our work in the office, you’ll get homework at the end of each session, but don’t worry, I won’t judge or grade you! If you’re only making changes one hour a week during our visits, you probably aren’t feeling much better in your real life. That’s why, between our visits, I’ll give you homework assignments, so you can try out new skills, rewrite those stories you’re telling yourself, or make changes to disordered thinking patterns. The biggest transformations aren’t completed here in the office but outside in your real life. At your next visit, I’ll ask for feedback about how your homework went. You’re not going to pass or fail these assignments. Instead, they help us assess your progress, adjust your plans, and take the right steps to help you meet your goals.
Although I work with people who are ready to make changes in their experience with anxiety, therapy is always designed to go at your pace because I value your comfort and personal time frame. Developing a sense of rapport and trust with me is important and will take time, and I understand it can be hard to try something new based on a recommendation from someone you don’t know well. I am never here to judge you about how long it takes you to feel ready to move forward. I may challenge and encourage you to take steps, but self-compassion is also an important skill we’ll develop together.
Let’s Get Started
You don’t have to do this alone! If you’re ready to start living a more satisfying life, let’s work together toward real, positive change.
Call or Text Message Hilary at: (954) 610 3861