Deciding which stranger to confide in is no fun and reading someone’s resume isn’t going to help. So, I’ll get right to it – here’s a little about what I’m like as a person and how that translates to what I’m like as a therapist – because that’s what you really want to know.
Karissa the person
In our sessions, we’ll be focusing on you and not me, but I will tell you that in my personal life, I’ve been where you are (which could explain why after reading my homepage, you might be feeling like someone gave me a copy of your diary). If I can describe what you’re experiencing with freakish accuracy, it’s because I’ve experienced it too. Your path to clarity through the fog of dissatisfaction will be different than mine, and I can’t do your work for you, but I’m a solid companion to have along the way because I get it.
Karissa the therapist
As far as what it’s like to spend an hour a week with me as your therapist, you should know that I do three things really well: listen calmly, explore curiously and respond compassionately. Below is a little bit about how I bring these things into our sessions. (P.S. if you’re interested in my resume – it’s at the bottom of the page.)
Most people have to be in the right space, literally and figuratively, to talk about hard stuff. I provide a calm, soothing environment for my clients to sink into each week. On the literal end of things, I’ve thoughtfully arranged my physical space to be comforting and aesthetically pleasing. In the more figurative sense, I practice what I preach by prioritizing my own therapy (yes, the therapist goes to therapy) and self-care so that I’m able to be a calm, safe, and steady companion as we weather your storm together.
Curiosity might kill cats, but it can heal the human soul in the hands of someone with a beginner’s mind, free from pre-judgments. Respectfully exploring what my clients bring to our sessions with this type of curiosity allows them to experience the deep healing that comes from being wholly seen and fully understood as they do the work.
When you’re struggling, you probably can’t see the forest for the trees. The beauty of compassion is that it allows me to enter into the forest with you and feel what you feel while still remaining separate enough to keep my bearings and help you find your footing again.
Now that you know a little about me, I also think it’s helpful to know what you can expect. First – here’s what you’re not going to get:
…immediate or permanent warm fuzzies
…someone to tell you what to do or make decisions for you.
Instead, after seeing me for a while, my clients begin to feel more calm, curious and compassionate towards themselves and then also begin to experience the following:
Regularly coming to therapy helps my clients realize they have the courage they need to face hard things. And I don’t know anyone who says “More courage? Nah, think I’m all set in that department.”
Courageously facing the hard things in life often brings much-needed clarity. Being able to accurately identify feelings, interpret experiences and navigate their lives releases my clients from the paralyzing indecision about what to do next.
When you’re clear, you can be confident. The confidence my clients find manifests as a quiet steadiness; an inner reassurance in their feelings, decisions, abilities, and accomplishments. Even better – they own the fact that they’re capable as hell and they’re #sorrynotsorry about celebrating it.
Ahhh – the all-evasive sense of connectedness. Because that’s the issue, isn’t it? You have a good life on paper but you don’t feel connected to it – and often by extension, others. My client’s sense of connectedness only grows as they begin to live with more courage, clarity and confidence.
In many ways, creativity is the crowning jewel. Without any one of these qualities, creativity is stifled. But when you’re in this space, man, can you be creative. You can see opportunities for change and ways through hard situations where before you only saw obstacles. You learn that gratitude doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with ambition. You can feel the joy in your life.
Master’s in Mental Health Counseling | Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor in MO | Executive Director of Creve Coeur Counseling Associates