Therapy with Shira
From your perspective, what is therapy?
From my perspective as a therapist, my approach is psychodynamic and multidisciplinary. I always tailor sessions to my individual client’s needs, using different theoretical perspectives to serve them in the most appropriate way.
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
My primary philosophy is to treat individuals by meeting them where they’re at, not enforcing rigid techniques, and follow their lead. Additionally, it is incredibly important to me to provide a holding and supportive environment, to help them gain perspective and learn more about their inner selves, desires, and goals.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I refrain from sharing about myself unless I truly believe it will benefit the therapeutic process. I will answer simple questions (such as, “Where are you going on vacation?”) rather than more personalized questions, as long as it wouldn’t hinder the therapeutic process or relationship.
How participatory are you during sessions?
My presence is dynamic. I like to give my clients the stage, but I’m always an active participant.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
Not as a rule. It truly depends on the case. At times, if I feel it would benefit the client or if it is asked of me, I will -- especially with clients seeking support with public speaking or social anxiety.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
I try to be a sounding board -- more objective. With friends, it’s more of a dual relationship, in which you give and accept advice, based on personal experiences. In therapy with me, you’ll never hear the words, “If I were you.” I am more of a lens, trying to understand your perspective and provide you with other perspectives. Additionally, in therapy you can talk about everything, even things you may feel uncomfortable sharing with friends or loved ones, with NO Judgment. I can help you process deeper issues with parents, friends, and romantic partners.
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?
Rather than encouraging termination, I would reflect on the progress you’ve made. However, I believe graduating therapy should only happen when the client is ready for it. If we do decide to part ways, I would suggest 2-3 sessions to process this closure.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
Before going into private practice, I worked at a clinic in a psychoanalytic institute, as well as within an inpatient unit in a psychiatric hospital.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I completed a Psychoanalytic Post Graduate degree at the Institute for Expressive Analysis.
Do you have experience (5-10 years+) working with any types of obstacles or people in particular?
I have over 10 years of work experience, specifically with young adults struggling with a number of mental health issues.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
As a child, I was always enamored by Alice in Wonderland -- that sense of discovering who in the world am I? This question always made me fascinated by human behavior and psychology. Additionally, pursuing Drama Therapy allowed me to integrate my background in the arts into my lifelong fascination with the human condition.
What is the best part of the work for you?
For me, the most rewarding part of the work is becoming a part of people’s narrative, and being a witness to their growth in their life’s journey.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
My approach of combining creativity, talk therapy, and different theoretical perspectives makes me very unique.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
First and foremost, with respect. Where there are cultural or religious differences that are of great importance to my clients, I encourage those differences, allow myself to be curious, and allow my clients to inform me as much as they can and see how it informs their therapeutic process.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
Mostly through behavior: attending sessions in a consistent and timely manner, through body language, movement, and a willingness to share and go deeper over time. Also through verbal communication; I will always ask my clients if they are finding the therapy helpful.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
Very similarly, through body language and behavior. Again, I’m never shy to ask my clients if they feel stuck or unseen, and if they do, find ways that work for them to amend that.
How long should I commit to being in coaching, at least in the beginning?
Usually, I would recommend at least six months.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
Simply come as you are.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
No, everything will be shared in the first session.