To Counseling Therapy
So much of what informs my style as an addiction therapist comes directly out of what I know and like as a client. As a client, I always know that the session I am walking out of from either my own therapist or a clinical consultant was a good one if I have the strong experience that "work really got done". Because of that, I tend to be very proactive. If the situation is right, I tend not to be shy offering reflections, alternative perceptions or strategies for handling situations. Above all else, my goal is to make my clients their own best therapist and I like to tell them that the first day or therapy should be the beginning of the last day of therapy.
You will also see traces of the old High School teacher in my style. Since I know I only have a client for 55 minutes, every week or so, I like to send people away with behavioral homework assignments. This way we both get the maximum use out of the therapeutic process and hopefully my clients feel like that are getting maximum value for the time and money.
I use a variety of techniques depending on the moment and the content at hand. At times, gentle reflective coaching is most helpful if a client is able to access deeper emotional process around a particular issue. Other times, I can really push clients to try out experimental risks between the two of us as a way of prepping new behaviors in their larger life arenas of love, work and relationship. I am fond of quoting two old maxims from my first, graduate school: "Fire ready aim" and "It's not what I do; it's what I do next".
The more we practice psychological resiliency, reflection and innovation, the more we will become successfully self-assessing, self-correcting and self-initiating, which is the heart of psychological and emotional survival in 21st century America.