Therapy with Arianna
From your perspective, what is therapy?
Therapy is a process through which we discover our true feelings about ourselves and those around us. It is a place to seek support and reassurance, as we explore the patterns that repeat in one’s life and how to slow undesirable patterns to a stop. At times, therapy can help us to shift our moods and help us lead more fulfilled lives.
Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room
Patients generally come in looking to resolve an issue and we work on skills together to address that issue. At times, people do not come in with an “issue” but come in feeling out of sorts; together we work to solve that feeling.
Another group of people may come in knowing therapy helps people and that’s it. It’s hard to say what may come up because therapy is patient driven. What are you looking to change?
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
There is never a moment when it is too late to change or “fix” something. All that is required is the desire to change. Additionally, I seek to help others feel more at home in our society, which at times leaves us feeling confused or disenfranchised. The values of inclusion and community are strong influences in my work.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I share some things about myself with patients, but I try not to overshare because we are here to discuss you- your needs, your struggles and not me. In order to keep focus on the patient and their emotions, I tend to share only when it’s necessary or appropriate.
How participatory are you during sessions?
Very participatory. I believe that best results come when the relationship between the therapist and the patient is strong. The more we know one another, the better I am able to tell how you typically react to situations. And this allows me to get a feel for how and why different things in life, outside of therapy, impact your behavior.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
If the patient is seeking homework, I will sometimes assign it. However, I tend to not assign homework often, as my work and philosophy of therapy is based in the relationship between us and what happens in the room. I feel that we can only know our own mind and our true feelings when we have to describe them to another person.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
There are more boundaries between us than there are likely to be in the relationships you have with loved ones. We are here to help you. Things about me wouldn’t always come into the room. We won’t follow one another on social media, and I will only know the things you tell me.
Also you’re paying me, and I hope you don’t have to pay your friends and family.
Is there ever a time when you would encourage me to leave or graduate? Or how do I know when it’s time to end or move on, or time to stay and explore more?
Yes, at times a patient has been encouraged to “graduate” from therapy, when the stated issue they came in with has been worked through.
I typically attempt to work with clients for 3-6 months after they have completed their initial goals, so that they can see and feel out if there are other issues they want help with. But yes, “graduation” has happened.
You will know how you feel. If you feel as if you are not getting anything from the sessions, I encourage you to explore that in session.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I worked as an artist, and then a teacher before returning to school to become a therapist. I worked in public clinics before moving into private practice.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
I lived overseas for a long time and the experience of being outside the “norm” led me to understand and empathize with all kinds of people.
What is the best part of the work for you?
The relationship between the patient and the therapist. The process of getting to know a person and having an impact on their lives is my favorite part. It’s a gift.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I have an extremely engaged and warm style. I find that my personality and personable style helps patients feel comfortable with me.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I think that the personal is political, and if we aren’t talking about politics or racial difference in therapy, where can we discuss them?
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
I can tell when a patient faces a challenge while engaged in therapy. The way they can manage things now, previous to how they would have managed it before is “proof” therapy is helping to make changes in their life.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
I can tell if a patient is stuck or feeling unseen or unheard based on the feeling in the room and what they are discussing. At times, a patient almost goes quiet- which can indicate they’re uncomfortable sharing or are worried it might not be accepted in the room. In this case I would approach it gently and with warmth but address it in the room.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
I would say, at a minimum, commit to 6 months to a year. Therapy can be a process of self-discovery where on the road you discover more obstacles in your way than previously anticipated.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
I would mentally prepare to talk about topics you maybe are not 100% comfortable talking about. I would also mentally prepare to discuss, “Why therapy now?”