Honestly, I love what I do. And, to add the cherry to the sundae, I love where and how I get to do it. But wait - I'm getting ahead of myself.
First off, this blog is for the individual (single or coupled, no difference) who is considering beginning a therapeutic relationship. There is something different about the one-on-one dynamic that is tricky to pinpoint. Even as I try to explain the "beginning-to-graduation" sequence of therapy to new clients, I find that it looks very different for my individual clients compared to my couples.
Goals. That's it. Individual clients do not always have specific goals.They have themes. Stages of life. General areas that they are curious about pursuing. (Note, this is not the same for individuals who are entering for sex therapy).
But goals aren't always the focal point of beginning therapy. At its core, this is a relationship. You are trusting me to be a channel through which you can explore yourself, ask hard questions, *celebrate* victories, and push towards the next level. Because of this, you may find it fitting to utilize our therapeutic space for months (or years!), adjusting as life takes its twists and turns.
Don't get me wrong, there may be times that our topic of conversation requires "emotional cardio" as we push through resistance or obstacles. But often, there is a spa-like, replenishing atmosphere to the therapeutic experience...
(1) The Environment
Remember when I said that I love "where" and "how" this job works? The group practice I am apart of (shout out to Building Intimate Marriages) is full of people who are passionate, loving, and gentle-hearted. They are also funny and a bit silly at times. It's impossible to not notice how all of that positive energy spills over into the literal feel of the space. You can be sure that the faces you're seeing on our team are people who genuinely care about you.
Sensory elements are a tangible means of fostering a welcoming environment. It's a small but meaningful detail that there's a cream, plushy rug in my therapeutic room (which, by the way, has a name. All of our rooms do). There is a wood wick candle crackling in the welcoming area (highly recommend, yum). There is soft music and soft colors.... everything meant to usher you into a world outside of your busy, hectic day. Isn't that what a spa is meant to feel like?
(2) The Conversation
One-on-one, our conversations vary like water (nerdy metaphor). Just as you change states emotionally, physically, professionally, relationally - so will our conversations. I enjoy hearing about your day and getting to follow up on details about last week, or your brother's girlfriend's uncle who dramatically quit work last week.
But can I spill a secret? My favorite part of our conversations is getting to tell you how far you have come. Over our time together, your language will change. Your perspective of the world. Your confidence. You may not notice it, but it will happen. That is what relationship does. It is impossible for it to not change you in some way.
(3) The Consistency
Commonly, individual clients will talk about how they don't want to overshare with friends or family. Perhaps they don't have a close-knit circle right now, or perhaps they just don't want to engage in certain conversations with the people around them. And that's okay! It is great to have one person, your therapist, that is there specifically to listen and encourage you further into the person you want to be.
At times, we grow fatigued of hearing everyone tell us what they believe we should do. Sometimes we just need a couch and a listening ear, even if it is the same story for the one billionth time. You get a reserved amount of time, once every week or two, to share and simply be. Guaranteed.
Can you see why I love this so much? You will grow. You will be challenged. You will learn important things about yourself that will prevent you from repeating past mistakes. And maybe, depending on your story, you'll get a chance to discover good parts of yourself that you didn't know were there.
Contact me and let's talk about a meet-and-greet appointment. It's your spa day!