Making the decision to begin counseling can be difficult. Some may have a negative view due to having had a bad experience, some may not see the value in it while others may have a skewed perception of what counseling is all about or who it's intended for. Counseling is for everyone and it has the potential to be life changing! Many clients actually report feeling a sense of relief even by the end of their first session. It's okay to interview counselors before making a decision. In fact, it's encouraged. Give it a few visits before deciding if the therapist is right for you. Keep in mind, the first session will be primarily focused on gathering information and history. Therapy shouldn't feel forced or unnatural. Just like you would a friend, teacher or co-worker, you'll know soon after meeting, that you've made a good connection.
If your looking for a direct but down-to-earth, flexible, knowledgeable, animated, sensitive, engaging, and passionate therapist, you've come to the right place. Often clients worry about sharing stories that other's might find shocking or troublesome. Clients often want to share symptoms they have been experiencing for a long time and find disturbing but they worry they will be perceived as "crazy". Not only are these feelings common, so are these scary symptoms, all of which have an understandable explanation and treatment course that will finally allow your symptoms to subside and even extinguish. You will never be forced to share anything your not ready for. Lisa provides a non-judgemental atmosphere that allows you to know and sense what to share at any given time. There is nothing that feels better then to finally let go and lift that weight off your shoulders. There is never a need to stress over what to discuss in therapy. The great thing about counseling is things will naturally flow. Lisa is very well trained to support you in this process.Your only job is to be curious and trust the process of exploration.
THE OFFICE SPACE:
Not only is the counseling relationship important, its equally important that a client feels comfortable and safe in their environment. That's why Lisa's therapy room feels welcoming and inviting. Clients report feeling relaxed and at ease in no time. Some people enjoy keeping their hands busy while they chat. Fun fidgets or doodling materials are always available on the coffee table for your comfort and convenience. If there's something you need, just ask!
Lisa is a Trauma-Informed, eclectic counselor who's approach is based on Attachment Theory and neuroscience research. Instead of adhering to one particular approach or school of thought, she employs elements from a range of therapeutic techniques, psychological principles and approaches depending on the individual situation. It is important that you know there are certain therapy methods that are proven to be most effective than others, depending on the problem and/or mental health issue. For example, if a client is struggling with anxiety, Lisa will incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques. If a client struggles with unstable relationships and one crisis after another, Lisa would likely incorporate Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) into treatment to help the client manage his mood and find balance in his life. Lisa will always explain these options and encourage your input. Evidenced-based models and techniques focus on symptoms whereas attachment methods focus on the whole person, how they relate, connect, bond, trust and how they perceive their sense of safety. Though it is very important to manage your symptoms, we want to ensure symptoms do not re-occur in the future. This is done by further examining your patterns. Through curiosity, exploration and the support of your therapist, clients will gain deeper insight and start to put the pieces of the puzzle together. This starts with Attachment theory.
The internet provides a wealth of information but it can easily get confusing. Lisa encourages her clients to practice self-help and bring questions to session to avoid unnecessary anxiety. Worksheets, reading materials and other resources may be incorporated into sessions because it can help make better sense of what’s going on. Lisa recognizes that each individual has their own style of communicating and way of processing information through each of their senses. Not everyone understands information in the same way and many do not realize how much these differences interfere with day to day living. This is one of the reasons Lisa has a special interest in Learning Styles and Career Counseling. Have you ever put together a piece of furniture with someone and before you know it, your in a big fight? When something is explained to you, do you need to write it down or need someone to show you an example of what they are talking about? Do you often find yourself saying, "people just don't listen!"? The more a person understands their own learning style and the style of others, the more improved and effective communication will be.
“Art therapy is an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight” (www.arttherapy.org).
*Lisa is qualified as both a traditional Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Clinical Art Therapist. This dual training sets her apart from various other therapists.
*Clinical Art Therapists are trained in the same counseling principles as other licensed therapists. The difference is, Art Therapists have additional training in alternative principles, interpretation and extensive understanding on the qualities and specific use of art materials.
*Though Art Therapy uses many other modalities, Art Therapy is grounded in psychoanalysis and utilizes symbols, metaphors, projectives and art materials to gain deeper meaning.
*Art Therapists use expressive means, the process of making art, verbal discussion and art materials to help clients gain insight into unconscious behaviors, destructive patterns, motives, defenses, memories and underlying issues that could be hindering personal growth and development.
*Art Therapists are specially trained to guide clients through visual exercises, also called directives, allowing the client to "see" and bring information to the surface. The information provides the client with new options and new possibilities they did not know they had before.
*Art as Therapy provides the client the opportunity to let go of having to be "perfect", express oneself authentically and spontaneously and just enjoy the process of creating.
*Making art has proven to be a powerful tool. Art Therapists have Master's degrees in Art Therapy. They are extensively trained to understanding the effects of art materials and creative interventions so as to avoid regressive or harmful effects to the individuals’ personal growth and well-being. For more information about the ethical practice of Art Therapy, visit: http://www.atcb.org/
*On November 29, 2001, following the terrible tragedies of September 11th, Hillary Clinton’s Congressional Record Statement in support of art therapy states, “And that is why I rise today to encourage my colleagues in Congress to support the field of art therapy and expand awareness about this creative form of treatment. At this time of heightened awareness about the importance of maintaining mental health, we should recognize art therapy as a way to treat those among us who have experienced trauma.” (Congressional Record – Senate. S12154, November 29, 2001) This statement helped launch a new level of awareness and job growth for art therapists in the United States.
*Art Therapists are specially trained to conduct Art Therapy Evaluations and Assessments.
*Clients DO NOT need to be artists. Clients DO NOT have to have an interest in art. Clients DO NOT have to know how to draw. The only thing required in the willingness to try and enjoy the process!
*Art Therapy is NOT mandatory. It is an option available to you during counseling treatment and is not required. It's important that you feel comfortable and use methods that make sense to you. One of the neat things clients like to do is see evidence of their growth by comparing one visual assignment created in the past to a more recent art assignment. Clients are amazed when they see change. This motivates clients and builds confidence. To learn more about Art Therapy, visit: http://www.arttherapy.org/.