When I was younger, I would always say if I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to switch lives with others so I could understand what was going on in their world and how they were feeling in that moment. I’ve always been an outgoing individual who loves to learn about the experiences and stories of others in order to help them live a more intentional and joyful life. The constant curiosity about others' journeys combined with wanting to help people led me to a career as a psychotherapist.
Along with this "empathic helper" mindset I had since I was younger, pursuing psychotherapy for myself and seeing the impact it created in my life solidified my career decision. Going through my own therapy journey brought me clarity, calmness, and even a sense of relief. It bettered my understanding of why I am the way I am and how I could start to move forward to make the changes I wanted to see in my life. My experience in psychotherapy was validating and empowering, and I chose to become a psychotherapist to help others feel that way as well in both therapy and in their day to day lives.
1. What attracted you to being a psychotherapist?
I believe that transformation occurs when insight and understanding of your past meet action oriented steps in the present moment. Initially, I work with clients to better understand that who they are today is informed by their past experiences and relationships. If you can start to see the patterns of how you interact with the world and people around you, which are often informed by your past, you can start to do something different. After we have built insight, clients can then start to work on the changes that they want to make in their everyday lives, whether that be related to their romantic relationships, their careers, their home life, their family, or their physical health. By having a better understanding of why you are the way you are, you are more readily prepared to make the changes you want to see in your future.
2. How would you describe your approach with your clients?
In her TED talk "The Voices In My Head" speaker Eleanor Longden talks about her journey with mental health and says, "The question isn't 'What's wrong with you?' but 'What happened to you?'". We as people are a culmination of our experiences, and those experiences inform who we are; it doesn't mean anything is "wrong" with someone because they struggle with their mental health. I also love this quote because it takes the stigma and the idea of blame off of the individual.
3. What's your favorite quote about mental health?
How much joy I get from it! Being a psychotherapist is difficult at times because you sit with people while they talk through some of their most difficult experiences and emotions, but the privilege I get to be able to hear their stories and be right there next to them as they make changes and grow is pure magic. I never thought that I would have a job that brings me so much joy.
4. What has surprised you the most about being a psychotherapist?