Therapy with Robert
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.
I view therapy as a guided conversation, so I would say that is how it will look/feel in the room. I may ask questions, but also leave the direction of the session up to you. How it often plays out is with you sharing a thought/feeling/experience that is significant for you and then both of us collaboratively unpacking and exploring it further. We are looking for patterns. I then typically offer feedback and alternative perspective that I think can be helpful.
It always depends on the client and their specific process, but some sessions might feel like “venting,” while others might feel more action-oriented and problem solving.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I wouldn’t say I share a whole lot, but I am not entirely opposed to sharing. This is your work and your time, so I always want that to be the focus. However, therapy is a relationship and I think it works best when the dynamic between therapist and client is authentic and natural, which would be unlikely if I were just a “blank slate.”
How participatory are you during sessions?
This always depends on the client or particular session. Different people will need different things at different times. But generally speaking, I’m pretty participatory. I absolutely believe it can be helpful for clients to simply have a space to verbalize their thoughts and process their feelings, but I also think I would be doing you a disservice if I did not ask questions, provide feedback, and challenge with alternative perspective.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
Sometimes I will assign things to do outside of sessions if it’s relevant to our work. It will moreso be in the form of “continue to think about what we talked about today and notice thoughts/feelings/emotions that come up.” There are also many times that concepts discussed in session require action steps that have to be applied outside of our time together. Other than that, no “homework” - that’s for school!
If I have never been to therapy before, what should I expect? How do I know if I should go, and how do I start?
You can expect for it to maybe feel a little uncomfortable at first. You’re going to be talking about very personal things and exploring your inner world with a completely new person; it’s understandable! Give yourself some time to get comfortable and if it’s a good therapist fit, it won’t feel like that for long.
It’s hard for me to say when to know if you should go, because I think that looks different for everyone. I personally believe you can always use the space. Often people wait until things get “really bad” or super overwhelming before going to therapy, but I think working on your mental wellness is important at all stages.
For someone on the fence about going, I would say go for it! Worst case, you hate it and wind up not staying with it. If you’re on the fence, that means you’re considering it, which means you could benefit from it. In fact, if you’re a human being that is enough in my book to suggest you would benefit from therapy!
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
All relationships are two-way streets, this relationship is just a little less two-way than ones with your friends/loved ones. This relationship has different boundaries. It’s personal, but also professional. The relationship is goal-directed in the sense that we are working on YOUR wellness. The boundaries that make our relationship different than others in your life are there to protect that goal.
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, I might bring that up if I was getting the sense that the process was no longer best serving you. But in most cases, that is ultimately up to you. You know best if you are benefiting from the work. I also believe that we are constantly evolving and therefore always have something to work on if we are open to it!
Where did you work before going into private practice?
Before private practice I worked at a college counseling center.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I have completed extra training in Cognitive-behavioral therapy and Sand Tray therapy.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
Throughout my own process of self-discovery, I realized how important it is for people to have the space for that with nonjudgmental support. I thought if I could help create that for others I would be very happy in my work. That in junction with an interest in better understanding the human mind led me to my role as a mental health practitioner.
What is the best part of the work for you?
The best part of the work for me is seeing the profound impact it has when a client feels SEEN and HEARD. Getting to meet and work with amazing people every day doesn’t hurt either.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I take a relatable approach to therapy. So I try to infuse humor in the process when I can and view us as two people in the room, as opposed to “teacher and student.” My work is also unique in that I see human struggle through the lens of relationships (to ourselves, others, and the world), which I believe adds something rich to the work.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I approach diversity with an open mind and open heart. I respect and value diversity both in the therapy room and outside of it, which informs my work with a wide variety of clients. It is my belief that the intersection of our different identities play an integral part in our lives and how we show up to the world, and therefore will play a significant role in our work together.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
This is tricky, as I think it looks different for everyone depending on their specific goals and journey. But generally speaking, you can tell if you are benefiting from the work if there starts to be a positive shift in your mindset, feelings, behaviors, or connections (quite possibly all of the above). If you genuinely look forward to having that time each week, that’s also a pretty good sign you are benefiting.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
There is usually a sense of frustration or resistance that I can pick up on if that is the case. I also strongly encourage all of my clients at the beginning of the process to share with me when that is how they are feeling. Therapy works best when it is collaborative and there is honest feedback about your experience of it.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
I always recommend minimum of 8-12 sessions at first. Some therapy is more short-term and some is more long-term, but it is important to have enough at the beginning to build a therapeutic relationship, trust, and a fuller understanding of what is going on for you.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
I send a welcome email that includes some intake paperwork and other starting information. Other than that, no preparation necessary! Just bring yourself.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Only the paperwork that I send to have filled out by the initial session.
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
My office is on 6th ave and 31st street, but the entrance is on 31st past the corner Starbucks. It’s a bit confusing the first time.