Therapy with Lindsay
From your perspective, what is therapy?
Therapy is a safe and accepting space where a client can be vulnerable with an unbiased, trained professional about what struggles and successes they are experiencing in their lives. It is a useful place where people can be authentic and unapologetic about where they are at, without fear of being rejected. It is a way for people to talk through their thoughts and emotions and make progress by changing these thoughts, which can lead to healthier behaviors and, thus, more fulfilling lives.
Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room so that I can form a visual or narrative of what to expect.
-A single father and his 13 year old daughter who were in therapy together both shared that they had experienced sexual traumas.. I acknowledged and validated the strength it took to even share about what each of them had experienced and how that was one of the hardest things that they would have to do in our work together. I remained open and held space for each of them to share, when they were ready to, about what they had experienced, without trying to fix or change things. I listened and guided them to where they felt most comfortable to begin processing the hurt.
-A heterosexual couple came into treatment after a three years of marriage, stating that they had difficulty communicating and trusting one another. After a few sessions, I made some direct observations that it appeared as though each of them fell into the trap of mindreading and often assumed to know what the other was thinking/feeling. They were at first surprised by my comment, but eventually admitted that this was true and that it usually led to a lot of arguments and dismissed feelings. We were able to brainstorm ways in which they could be more communicative with one another and not jump to conclusions, or take the other’s actions personally.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I share certain aspects when it seems like it will be beneficial to the client and to fostering their growth and progress. I share these details on a case by case basis, and it depends on the relationship I have built with the client during our work together and on our mutual understanding and respect.
How participatory are you during sessions?
I gauge how much or how little the client wants to disclose during a particular session and then go from there to determine how much input I can provide. Some clients prefer to do more talking and other clients need a little more time for us to get to know each other before they feel comfortable sharing more. I am here to meet clients where they are at.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
I do suggest various homework or readings/podcasts for clients to do in between sessions so that we are maximizing our time together during treatment. If we meet for 45 minute sessions each week, I also want clients to have opportunities to learn more and practice new skills during the other thousands of minutes in between our sessions. They deserve to get the most out of their time and money!
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
I aim to provide a direct and transparent approach to changing your thoughts and behaviors. I am coming from an unbiased perspective and my honesty might not always be what you want to hear or what you hope for, like it could be with friends/loved ones. But my mission is to have these honest reflections lead to long term healing and progress within you, even if in the moment it might not feel like it.
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?
I would suggest it be an ongoing conversation between us and that no sudden changes have to be made. But nothing has to be permanent, so if after some time and various approaches, you decide that you’d like to pause or take a step back from therapy, I am here to honor your wishes. I would also be here if you decided to return after some time away from therapy.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I previously worked with severely mentally ill clients on a mobile treatment team at Goddard Riverside, where I collaborated with other clinicians to provide a comprehensive treatment approach for these clients.
I have also facilitated substance use groups in an alternative-to-incarceration program at Argus Community Center.
I am currently a lead Multi-Systemic (MST) family therapist working with parents and at-risk teens (12-17 years old) to help caregivers build skills to more effectively manage their child’s behaviors and empower them to feel more confident in their parenting abilities by utilizing the support of the loved ones in their lives.
I also provide teletherapy through phone and video chat to individuals and couples struggling with depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I received my master’s degree in mental health counseling at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I have also attended several workshops on eating disorders treatment, 12-step recovery approaches, cultural competency, mindfulness techniques, and Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral skills building.
Do you have experience (5-10 years+) working with any types of obstacles or people in particular?
I have extensive experience working with severe and persistent disorders like Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. I also have experience with clients who have experienced traumas and those struggling with addictions to alcohol, substances, and eating disorders.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
I have always had a fascination with people and hearing their stories and what makes each of them unique. I know how much seeing a therapist has helped me on my own journey during very stressful life transitions. So for me, it is a privilege and an honor to be able to be that person for my clients during their most vulnerable moments.
What is the best part of the work for you?
Some of the best parts are when clients come into session with excitement and are proud of themselves after they have made progress, taking challenging actions that we have worked on together. To see the changes in them, sometimes before they even recognize it in themselves, is what makes this work meaningful for me.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I always strive to be collaborative with my clients and tailor treatment to whatever best meets their needs. What works for one client might not work for another and vice versa. My approach is to help empower clients to feel that they have more autonomy in their lives and feel more confident in trusting themselves and their intuitions.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I would address it from the start of treatment and ask how their values will play into our work together. I always want to be culturally sensitive and continue checking in along the way that I am matching with what fits best into their backgrounds and not assume to know what walking in their shoes has been like.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
At times, the people we are closest to see the changes in us before we even do. You may be benefiting from our work together if you find yourself using the tools we discuss together and notice that you are responding differently in certain situations; that is definitely progress! Sometimes even the smallest changes are indicators that we are moving in the right direction.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
I would gently point this out in session and acknowledge your frustrations. I would assess what roadblocks we are hitting, how this can be a microcosm of what is going on in your life outside of session, and what we can do differently moving forward to get “unstuck.”.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
It really depends on what specific concerns or struggles you have and the goals you would like to accomplish during our time together. Some clients have specific and concrete things they would like to work on and are motivated to achieve them within a few months. Other clients may come in with an idea of their struggles but over time find that there are deeper things they would like to focus on that can take up to several months or years to work through. How long a client stays in therapy is based on what the client and I determine is the best fit for what they are currently experiencing.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
No preparation needed! Just an open mind and a willingness to share with me where you are at and what you are hoping to achieve by coming to therapy.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
“Lindsay maintains strong connections with her clients and has been able to have a nonjudgmental attitude, but also can handle high-stress situations with diplomacy in a realistic way. She is always looking for open and productive suggestions about where she can improve in her work with clients and grow professionally to continue helping those around her. Lindsay is always dependable and strives to be someone clients can rely on.”