Amy's Approach to Counseling & Therapy
I approach therapy from the perspective that most of us are doing the best we can with the tools that we have available. Children and adults alike, we are all seeking to navigate through the many challenges of life to hopefully realize the best versions of ourselves. As a parent I know that raising children is a difficult job, requiring parents to face many challenges as we strive to equip our children with the tools they need to be physically and emotionally healthy. Childhood can also be incredibly difficult, and for many children and families, the pressures of school, work, and family life may lead to obstacles that we are unable to overcome on our own.
In therapy, I first work to establish a supportive and trusting relationship with my clients. My initial goal is to listen, assess, and truly understand the problems and strengths that each person possesses. I believe it is important to understand what is not working, but also to clearly understand the unique gifts and strengths of each individual in order to build on these strengths in our work together. I then work collaboratively with clients to identify patterns that are contributing to these challenges and explore possible tools, ideas, and solutions that may decrease distress and improve overall functioning. Through the support and accountability of the counseling relationship, I am able to assist clients in facing problems directly and to uncover their ability to navigate through life’s difficulties.
In my therapeutic tool box, I employ several strategies to bring about change. I find it is best to tailor my approach to the needs of each individual and family, and I believe strongly in using treatments that have been shown through research to produce positive outcomes. I often use Cognitive Behavioral strategies, which allow individuals to explore the connections between their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings to identify and change patterns that are causing them difficulties. I employ Motivational Interviewing and Solution Focused techniques, both of which highlight the individual’s perceptions of problems and rely on their own motivations to encourage change. I also use Play Therapy with younger children to allow them to explore issues through their natural medium of play. In all work with children and adolescents, I use honesty and humor to establish an authentic working relationship. I also enjoy partnering closely with families to involve them in the treatment process in order to strengthen the family as a whole.
The decision to seek therapy is a difficult one, and it is important to find a therapist whose personality and style “fits” the individual’s needs. If you choose to work with me, I hope you will find me to be warm and supportive but also willing to challenge to encourage positive change. I am passionate about my clinical work, and I am often in awe of the individual strength and abilities that are uncovered during the work of therapy. By offering support, clear guidance, and a healthy dose of understanding, I work to help children, adolescents and families achieve the balance and peace they seek.