Therapy with Sherry
From your perspective, what is therapy?
In a nutshell, I view therapy as both an opportunity to learn how to help yourself better negative impulses and feelings that hamper you, and explore - well, your depths! - and find more fulfillment and meaning. You are only limited by the psychological restraints you put on yourself. I want to help you be ‘free’ to be the self you were meant to be.
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.
For example, Ann was extremely self-denigrating - “I’m so stupid,” “of course no one loves me.” I told her that this was like eating too much junk food - it negatively impacts your body. If you keep feeding your brain empty calories, it too will be affected. I gave her a homework assignment - for one day, keep track of how often she put herself down. It turned out to be over 70 times! This realization of how she was starving herself of positivity allowed her to start moving forward.
I work with couples as well as individuals. When they start blaming one another for the umpteenth time (i.e.: “He constantly picks fights,” “She never, ever says anything nice to me.”) I ask each in turn to instead look at what he or she is doing to contribute to the problems. (“Well, I know I hold grudges.”)
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
My values don’t need to be your values. You are a unique individual and I will work to not have an ‘agenda’ or plan to get you to believe what I believe.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I will share things I have gone through that will help a patient realize I do understand what he or she is going through.
How participatory are you during sessions?
I am quite active in the room :)
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
I frequently assign homework assignments because it’s hard to change negative habits and develop positive ones if work done in session isn’t continued during the week.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
We are both focused on you. It’s not about ranting, but about learning.
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?
Therapy should be about constantly working to be in touch with yourself and keep growing. If we reach a point where you are treading water, I will bring it up if you don’t. It may be time to stop therapy or start in a new direction, either with myself or someone who brings a different perspective.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
Initially I saw patients at a state-run clinic; I still work there twice a week! My caseload includes clients who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and who are dealing with substance abuse issues, bipolar disorders, panic attacks, homelessness, etc. Most of these patients are also on psych meds.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I have a Masters degree and recently underwent training in EMDR.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
It was always a goal. My family members were holocaust survivors and I always felt driven to give back.
What is the best part of the work for you?
To know I have had a positive impact in people’s lives.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
My humor often sets me apart.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I welcome it! We all share common desires and fears, but I cannot know what it feels like to be in your skin unless you tell me.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
If you start understanding when you are caught up in ‘same old, same old’ without my having to point it out. If you start making concrete changes in your life.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
If every week you are talking about the same exact thing.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
Coming once a week is helpful in the beginning to develop trust and a rhythm. But I can’t say: “Three sessions and you’re cured!” We have to see how things go.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
Think about what goals you are hoping to accomplish.
Do I need to bring anything with me?