What Will it be Like Working With Me?
I am pretty easy going and down-to-earth. I am not going to be wearing high-power suits. I wear little to no make-up. I dress casual, but professional. You, however, get to wear whatever you normally wear. I want you to feel like yourself – no pretense. My office is a place where you can feel comfortable, kick off your shoes, and relax. It’s a place where you can breathe deeply and take a long exhale – maybe for the first time that day. A place where you feel heard, seen, accepted.
I provide an empathetic, compassionate, and nonjudgmental sacred space. You get to talk about anything that troubles you. No topic is off limits. There is nothing that will scare me off or make me feel differently about you. I am here to support you and help you find insight, clarity, and healing.
This is your journey. It’s important to me that you are in control. You get to set the type of therapy you want. Even though I offer a number of different modalities, if we try one and you don’t like it, or you feel it isn’t supporting you, that’s okay. We can try something else. I have a number of tools up my sleeve. However, if you say: “Vicky, I really want to do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” Then I’ll say: “Okay, I don’t really do that, but I know some great therapists who do.”
What Can I Express?
This is a place where you get to express whatever needs to be expressed. All of your emotions are welcome. Tears, sadness, anger, fear, uncertainty, confusion, hopelessness, desperation. We may share some tears together. There will also be hope, joy, and laughter. We will definitely laugh together. I want to share not only in your struggles and sorrows, but in your victories. When you have done something you’ve never done before. When you’ve taken one small step, made one small change. Those are all gains. Those are things worth celebrating. We need to take those moments and really truly celebrate your accomplishments.
I am no saint. I can cuss with the best of them, so feel free to swear in session. Sometimes there is no other word best to expression how you feel than “fuck”. If that is not okay with you, than please let me know.
Silence Has Its Place
I use Embodied Awareness, EMDR, Hakomi, and other mindfulness practices. I may have you connect with your body mindfully to access your higher self and intuitive knowing about what you are experiencing and what can support you. This means there are times when there will be silence as you turn inward. When we aren’t engaging in a mindful practice, I will be an active participant in your therapy and we will talk openly about ways to support you.
I have been trained in a number of body-centered approaches, including Embodied-Awareness, EMDR, Hakomi, and Reiki. They all make use of body awareness and offer touch as a part of the work. The type of touch all of these modalities use is very respectful. It is only used at specific times during therapy to either support the body and/or to facilitate a deepening of experience. It is not massage nor does it involve any removal of clothing. It is always done only with your permission and cooperation. If you are interested, we can incorporate these particular forms of touch into your therapy. It is, however, an option, and your therapy can proceed effectively without it.
I was raised a Greek Orthodox Christian. I believe in God, Jesus, Mother Mary, and the Holy Spirit. I do not push religion. You do not need to believe in God, nor do you need to be religious to work with me. I respect your beliefs and your wishes. I have always challenged doctrine in any religion that calls for us to be separate from God. God is within us. We are all divine beings.
I consider myself to be more spiritual. I have had amazing opportunities to engage in a number of different teachings, including: Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies, Reiki and other energetic teachings, and Peruvian shamanism and other indigenous teachings. If these resonate with you, I may talk about them in session or suggest rituals or ceremonies that you can participate in outside of session. These may include: prayer, meditation, sending out your intentions to the universe, engaging in healing energy work, creating altars, releasing past life/karmic contracts, using crystals, using spiritual card decks, or using essential oils to name but a few.
I have crystals and rocks in a number of different places in my office. If you feel so inclined, please feel free to choose one to hold throughout session to support you. You may even find it wants to go home with you. I also have spiritual card decks on my bookshelf. You may decide to choose a card, or two, or three as a starting point for the therapy session, for inspiration, for insight, or for your intention for the week ahead.
Oops, Did I Do That?
I am definitely not perfect. Sometimes I can’t find the exact words I am looking for. I may say some things that don’t resonate with you or express what you are truly feeling. This is an opportunity to speak up and let me know what you are experiencing. Therapy is about you, not me, and I don’t take anything personally. This is a place where you can say: “This isn’t working. This isn’t helpful. I don’t like this therapy. Can we try something else?” This is a place where we discuss how therapy is going for you. I am open to hearing if something needs to be changed to make it better for you.
Your time is important to me. However, there may be times when I go past the hour. Sometimes we may be in the middle of something quite intense and it doesn’t feel appropriate to end abruptly. If you do need to leave exactly on the hour, just let me know at the beginning of session, so I can keep you on schedule. You will never be charged extra if I choose to go over session.
As my memory, isn’t what it used to be, I will more than likely be taking notes in session. I try not to write too much and often set down my pad, so I can be fully present with what you are experiencing. If it is too distracting, or makes you feel uncomfortable, please let me know.
What’s Your Responsibility?
What I ask from you is to be as present as possible and engage in the process. Sometimes you think you are ready to make changes and look at some difficult aspects of your life, but you aren’t quite there yet. That’s okay. We can have a discussion about what’s stopping you from moving forward.
I may give you some suggestions about skills or activities to do outside of therapy. You may not want to or are not ready to complete these tasks. You always have choice. You get to choose if you want to or not. I am not your teacher or your parent and you will not be reprimanded for not doing it. However, if you want me to be the person who keeps you accountable, then let me know and I will ask you about it. The reason I give out tasks is to support you to find ways to practice the things we are talking about in session. To help you make healthier choices, to practice new skills, or to engage in different behaviors.
I may challenge you. Even though you have choice about the way you live your life and what is right for you, my job as a therapist is to make sure you are not harming yourself. It is to help you see a different perspective about some of the choices you are making and whether those choices are supportive or harmful. My hope is that this will be a gentle push, but if it feels it is too much, or too soon, then let me know what feels okay and what doesn’t.
I hope this gives you some insight into what it would be like to work with me and if I am the right fit for you. I want you to find the right therapist that you feel connected with, that gets you, that sees you, that provides you with what you need.
I look forward to hearing from you. I look forward to working with you. I look forward to supporting you.
Think we might be a good fit? Contact me to set up an appointment. Have more questions? Call me at 403-891-1384 to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation.