Katie’s Therapeutic Approach
I am a strengths-based, person-centered, and integrative therapist, but what does that really mean? Strengths-Based Therapy can be nerve-wrecking due to the fear that you may be seen as someone who needs to be “fixed.” As a strengths-based therapist, I work to emphasize your strengths and remind you of your talents, skills, and positive qualities. Before we begin to dive into what can be worked on or improved, I will always note what you are good at and what you continue to thrive in.
When acknowledging strengths throughout therapy, it is my hope that you can then identify your strengths on your own, eventually leading to an increase in your self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Being a person-centered therapist means that many of my decisions in therapy come from the following question: what is healing for this specific person sitting across from me? It is extremely important and necessary for me to work towards understanding your life from your point of view, and I therefore incorporate empathy, unconditional positive regard, and authenticity into each session so self-exploration feels safe. I am a therapist who recognizes that each individual is unique and comes from different life experiences, struggles, and realities. I also acknowledge that many may need help in moving towards openness, and self-direction. I believe you are the expert of your life and I work alongside you throughout the therapeutic process.
We all come from different backgrounds and places, which is why I identify myself as an integrative therapist, meaning I utilize different theories from psychology to find which ones best suite you and your process. With each client I see I draw from certain theoretical approaches I believe can best guide them to reaching their goals. The following are common therapies I use, and a short description of each therapy is included. (Please click below)
Narrative Therapy consists of creating a narrative of our lives, and creating meaning through our story. We can begin to point out themes in our stories, and work to discover unrecognized and/or hidden possibilities our story contains. Our identity is influenced by our story, and we have the ability to reinterpret the story if need be.
We must strive to be our authentic selves, while grappling with questions around the nature of the human condition such as beginning to search for meaning, accepting being alone, and deciding on our fate. Existential Therapy strives to teach people that they are free and to identify things that block their freedom, while also becoming more aware of the self and accepting responsibility for certain events in the past.
Psychoanalytic Therapy places an emphasis on our early experiences, and recognizes that our unconscious plays an important role in how we see our world and our present behavior. We must make the unconscious conscious as a way to reconstruct our personality, and work through repressed experiences that continue to impact us to this day.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy states that emotional and behavioral disturbances tend to stem from faulty thinking, and the way we think about our difficulties may reinforce misconceptions and assumptions we have about the world. Ultimately the goal is to confront our faulty beliefs and identify experiences that contradict them, eventually becoming more aware of automatic thoughts and how to change them.
Relational Cultural Therapy
Relational Cultural Theory is grounded in the belief that we are all naturally driven to seek connection and acceptance through relationships, and that our identity and self-concept is formed by the context of the relationships we are in. As we move through disconnections, connections, and transformative relationships, it is the goal in therapy to develop growth-fostering relationships which can then lead to a better sense of self-worth.
Structural Family Therapy
When using Structural Family Therapy, I look at interactional patterns, unspoken rules, and boundaries within the family unit as a way to determine the cause of each individual’s symptoms (i.e. anxiety, depression, isolation, etc.). The goal is to ultimately change the structure of the family and how each member interacts with others in order increase overall mental well-being within the family.