As if there was a way to fix everything!
So many of my clients come to me telling me what they “should” do or what they “should” feel or what they “should” want.
All around us is this message that we should just decide to feel better or choose to have a better outlook…
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard of people being told that they just need to start a gratitude journal or meditate… and all that ails them will magically disappear.
But it’s not that easy, is it?
I’m sure you know you have a ton to be grateful for. But somehow it doesn’t make this nagging feeling go away.
Maybe you’ve tried to meditate… and sometimes it’s even nice. But it isn’t a panacea.
You just still feel anxious – like you haven’t quite gotten to the part where you can relax and enjoy the life that you’ve built.
It’s not as easy as writing a gratitude list. If it were, there’d be a lot more content and confident people walking around.
There’s always something in the way.
Quite apart from helping you feel better, these messages have probably just increased the guilt you feel for reaching out for support in the first place.
“Who am I to ask for support? There are people with real problems out there! I’d just be whining.”
Many of my clients tell me that they feel like it’s selfish for them to be spending so much time talking about themselves.
“The world doesn’t revolve around me!”
Or they’ll tell me that they really do understand the concepts of what will help and why; they just can’t seem to get themselves to the action part.
“I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m just not doing it because I’m lazy. How is talking about it more going to help?”
Here’s another one I’m sure you’ve heard before…
You’re not going to be able to give as much of yourself to the people and projects around you if you are not taking care of yourself.
Trite, but so true.
Your husband deserves to have a wife who feels whole, who can be playful, who has the bandwidth for compassion and warmth.
I know you are all of those things, but it’s really hard to access those parts of ourselves when we are beating ourselves up all the time – or we feel like we’re drowning and feel guilty every time we try to do any kind of self-care (guilt kind of ruins the self-care, if you haven’t noticed).
This isn’t about you being lazy. It’s about the difference between understanding something intellectually and actually feeling different. That’s how therapy helps.
One of the core tenets of the way I work (and think) …
… is that any and every feeling is valid, and that 99% of the time it’s trying to tell us something we need to hear.
Instead of trying to squash or transmute our feelings into something more palatable for everyone else (who cares about them anyway?!), what if we took the revolutionary position that you matter… and that your feelings do, too?
You’re deserving of the space you take up, and so are your feelings. I know, right?!
As a therapist, my number-one priority…
… is to make sure you feel seen and valued for who you are – not who you think you should be.
This isn’t just my goal as a therapist, but also as a mom, a wife, a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. We all have so many hats we’re wearing… is it any wonder we feel stretched so thin?
And then we don’t give ourselves permission to say no.
“I know I can do it. And if I can, why wouldn’t I?”
And we don’t let ourselves set any boundaries.
“This is just the way they are. They don’t mean anything by it! What would I even be accomplishing by talking about how I feel about it?”
We don’t take any time for ourselves.
“I was really looking forward to just going to the gym and then having a quiet evening, but I know they don’t get to see me often. It’s not like I’m doing anything big tonight.”
And one of the biggest issues with this, in my opinion, is that while we are trying so hard to protect and care for all the people around us, our resentment builds because we aren’t getting our own needs met.
And eventually this resentment is going to make itself known when we’re irritable, for seemingly no reason. This just feeds into the narrative that our feelings don’t make sense and that we should squash them – and the cycle continues.
… and you’re tired of repeating the same cycle.
It’s exhausting trying to please everyone all the time and always trying to do the right thing.
It’s not sustainable making sure we are doing everything we can to make everyone else comfortable and not making sure that we’re getting our own needs met.
Tired of always feeling like you’re failing or on the brink of everything falling apart? You don’t want to feel like you’re always having to hide or circumvent your own feelings so that everyone else can be okay or beating yourself up for having the feelings in the first place.
I decided I wanted to be a mother when I was introduced to the role of Aunt; I realized how powerful it is to be a safe, caring, and reliable adult in a child’s life.
I decided I wanted to be a therapist when I realized as a teen how much different my life would have been if I hadn’t had my own therapist.
I’ve always wanted to be a therapist.
A question I get asked a lot is if I go to therapy and when did I realize becoming a therapist was what I wanted to do.
I absolutely attend my own therapy sessions, and it was through seeing and feeling how profoundly helpful it has been in my own life that I realized this is something that I really value and believe in.
The idea of being a safe person when someone needs help and to make an actual impact on people’s lives… it still blows my mind that I get to do this work!
Some people think that a therapist should be a “blank slate” …
… who just reflects to you what you’re thinking and feeling. That may work for some people, but it’s definitely not how I practice.
My approach is very much based on the relationship between therapist and client, and creating change by utilizing the relationship. That means that we get to laugh! It means that we are two people having a real dialogue to support you in creating the change that you want in your life.
I’m animated and expressive, and it’s a good thing I don’t try to hide my feelings, because you’ll see them written all over my face, regardless (impassive is not a facial expression I have mastered).
I pride myself on being transparent and honest with my clients, even when what I have to say is not super fun to hear. I will almost definitely curse in front of you when I get excited about something.
At its core, being a therapist is about building a relationship with people.
I can’t think of anything else that would be more worth my time and attention.
I have extensive experience working with people who have learned to make themselves small in order to keep other people comfortable. Whether it’s manifesting as low self-esteem, difficulty saying “no,” drinking a little more wine than is ideal, or just not knowing how to stay present and connected in your relationships, I can help.
I’ve been practicing since 2012 in a variety of settings and have done trainings in mindfulness and trauma. I’ve never been one to latch onto one type of therapy and apply it to everyone, because I believe that we are all different enough to require a slightly different approach. Some of my favorite approaches are Internal Family Systems, Mindfulness, and Gestalt.
I have the tools to support you as you grow comfortable and confident enough to start taking up space and living your life for yourself instead of everyone else.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy…
But together, you and I will wade through the mess – and it will be worth it.
Are you ready to start allowing yourself to take up space? If you want to start taking your own feelings seriously and find the part of yourself that has been buried who knows how to be playful and excited, who feels rested and engaged, then I’m with you.
Call me today: (703) 972-5705, so we can make sure I’m the right therapist – and we’ll get started.