Having a therapist is great. Looking for a therapist sucks.
I get it. Deciding which stranger to confide in is no fun and reading someone's resume isn't going to help. So here's a little about what I’m like as a person, how that translates to what I'm like as a therapist, and what it would be like to do therapy with me - because that's what you really want to know.
Karissa the person
I talk fast, swear a moderate amount, and believe popcorn is acceptable for dinner. I do take my vitamins but I don't wash my face every night before bed. I have a husband, fur babies, real babies, and 47 house plants that I mostly remember to water.
I'm originally from Idaho and my eyes glaze over when people talk about where they went to high school here. I have lived some of my favorite parts of life in Denver & Nashville. As far as St. Louis goes, I love the Cardinals and have come to appreciate thin crust, square-cut pizza. Also, the lightning bugs can stay but the mosquitos and stink bugs have GOT to go.
Karissa the therapist
I'm great at working with women who are secretly miserable and confused about why because I get it and I won't therapist bullshit you. I have a unique ability to hold compassion for the parts of yourself that you're most frustrated by. Those frustrating parts usually begin to relax around me once they realize that I'm listening to understand and not looking to control them or impose my own agenda on you.
In our relationship, your job is just to be what you already are - the expert on yourself and your experiences. My job is to be a calm and confident guest in your internal system - a partner and outside observer who stays with you as you rework the relationship you have with yourself, and by extension, others.
How Do You Do Therapy?
I'm trained in Internal Family Systems, or IFS therapy (level 2) and that sets the foundation for how I understand people and the work I do with clients. If you're interested, you can watch this really helpful explanation or this one from the founder of IFS, Dick Schwarz. Otherwise, the best way to tell you what therapy will be like is to tell you what you're not going to get from me:
This is my office. It's basically a comfy living room (in case you were picturing a chaise lounge you'd have to lay on or something).
I'm won't be making any recommendations or suggestions for what you should do. Instead, I'll help you notice connections between past experiences and in-the-moment thoughts and feelings and get that shit ironed out once and for all.
QUICK FIXES? NOT HERE.
I believe depth-oriented therapy creates the most lasting change, and my work with clients reflects that. We won't be doing a bunch of worksheets or journaling prompts. Instead, most of my "homework" focuses on cultivating awareness about your thoughts and feelings and healing the relationship you have with them.
IMMEDIATE OR PERMANENT WARM FUZZIES? SORRY, CHARLIE.
Honestly, therapy is hard work and I'm not gonna lie to you - it's probably gonna make you uncomfortable by bringing up feelings you've spent a lot of time avoiding. However, uncomfortable feelings are survivable! I'll help you make the shift from turning away from difficult things to turning towards them. You already have within yourself whatever it takes to deal with whatever is going on in your life. I just help you find it.
ANSWERS? FRESH OUT.
I ask way more questions than I provide answers because honestly, it's better for you.
SOMEONE TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO OR MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOU? NUH-UH.
I just won't do it! I will, however, help you discover what YOU want or need in order to meet your goals for your life.
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