that impact Therapy
I disagree with the notion that therapists are an unbiased "blank slate." I am a human guided by my values, and some of those dramatically impact therapy. A therapeutic relationship is based on deep trust, and I want that trust to begin with my own transparency.
I structure my business so my clients thrive
I want every client to experience expansive growth and lasting change. I design my therapeutic practices, physical environment, and business policies to ensure my clients thrive:
I see an intentionally small caseload of clients so that I can
Prepare for each client session through grounding, prepping art materials, and reviewing notes
Reflect deeply after each session and make detailed plans for future sessions
Process my observations, thoughts and emotions of each session through my own personal art
Write detailed, accurate case notes
Research and study topics related to each client
Seek weekly consultation and supervision for every client
I meet with clients weekly at a minimum (sometimes twice a week if needed)
I meet with clients for 80 min sessions
I maintain a commitment policy that ensures all clients meet weekly and have the necessary consistency for therapy to be successful
I provide a physically nurturing and engaging environment that is safe and appropriate for neurodiverse and neurotypical individuals
I only see individuals within my areas of expertise
I structure my business so I thrive
I want to show up for every client powerfully - which means ensuring I am well-rested, prepared, focused, and present. I design my schedule, fees, and business practices so that I can thrive as a therapist AND human
I have an intentionally small caseload of clients
I see clients Monday-Thursday
I spread out appointments so I have time to prepare for each client, ground myself, and reflect after each meeting
I am aware of my own emotional and mental needs and provide time for me to meet those
I encourage feelings
I believe that feelings are based on human needs within us. For example, you may feel angry after a fight with your partner because you were needing to be heard and understood, but weren't. In therapy, I encourage the expression and exploration of all the emotions. Once we show our body we listen and respond to it's messages (our emotions), the frequency of negative emotions decreases
I value and use art
Obvious, right? I chose to be an art therapist for a reason. Art connects us to our intuition and subconscious. It also helps us to access our emotions quickly ... I could go on forever. If you want to know more, check out my "What is art therapy page."
I am body neutral
I believe that the size of a person's body (including fat and weight) do not correlate to "health." I advocate for intuitive eating, anti-diet, body neutrality, and fat neutrality. I encourage movement for the sake of enjoyment (not to shape the body into a societal standard of beauty). I help clients learn to accept and appreciate their body as it is ... which feels so much better.
I see the world through a neurodiverse lens
I am a neurodivergent individual who is autistic. I believe neurodivergence is a strength (you can read more about that here) that enhances an individual's life. While neurodivergence may present some challenges (such as sensory overwhelm), it does not mean there is anything wrong or broken about us. You can read more in my essay, "I Stopped Seeing Myself as Broken When I Learned I'm Autistic."
I am a safe space for queer folx
I accept folx however they choose to define (or not!) and express their sexuality and gender. I also identify as queer, and I embrace people showing up as they are. When I say I work with women, that automatically includes trans women, folx who were raised as women, and cis women.
I provide anti-oppressive, feminist, social justice therapy
Our world has dramatic impacts on our mental well-being. Racism, sexism, systemic oppression, and all the other bullshit of the world shapes our experiences, thoughts, safety, emotions, beliefs, and more. How could it not impact our mental health? I do not pathologize people and see them as at fault for their mental states.
I help folx recognize and identify what impacts them and learn how to liberate themselves.
I am informed by my education AND life experience
While my formal education provided me with appropriate knowledge and skills to be an art therapist, my life experiences and who I am greatly shape how I relate and connect with my clients. For example, my experiences with taking care of my mother as she died greatly informs my therapeutic work in grief. While therapy stays focused on my clients and the growth they're seeking, I'm not a blank slate in the process. I am a complex, loving human connecting with another complex, loving human.