“Because I’ve received training in many different types of therapy, I work flexibly to best fit what people need at the time.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’ve always enjoyed helping other people overcome their challenges. Many people feel stuck, lost, confused, and unsure how to find relief. Therapy can help them understand their problems and process them in a way that can lead to richer, more satisfying lives. This experience can transform a person’s entire life, not just reduce symptoms. Good therapy can create improvements in work and relationships, and it can lead to an overall sense of vitality, calm, and authenticity. I was drawn to this profession to help people achieve this kind of change.
What should someone know about working with you?
I try to help clients with the approach that best fits where they are. Some people need concrete coping skills for short-term stress or advice about healthy sleep practices. Others benefit more from reflecting on and expressing feelings that seem confusing, irrational, strange, contradictory, or excessive. Some people want to explore how to develop a more robust sense of well-being by connecting to deeper truths. Because I’ve received training in many different types of therapy, I work flexibly to best fit what people need at the time. In the first sessions, we typically focus on getting to know each other and develop a framework for our work going forward.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
It can be hard to start therapy. It takes courage to try to address problems and work toward growth. Many people worry that a therapist won’t be able to help them. Some worry that the therapist will judge them or won’t be able to understand their difficulties. Despite these doubts and fears, clients are often surprised at how much their quality of life can improve over a relatively short period of time. Therapy actually does work, and there’s scientific research to support it. Effective therapy can help people feel better, especially if the therapist is supportive, collaborative, and focused on the patient’s personal goals. This is your only life. Why not try to live in the most fulfilling way possible?
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
In past decades therapists were often dogmatically wedded to a specific theory, often missing important aspects of the therapeutic process. Now therapists are increasingly able to use many different modalities to best help their clients. This is a welcome change. Therapy should ideally focus on emotional dynamics, interpersonal patterns, thoughts, desires, bodily experiences, and aspects of our identity. Effective treatment often requires attention to all of these factors. My hope is that therapy will continue to become less polarized and therapists will become more able to offer a variety of tools and approaches that clients need. This is especially important when clients have complex or long-standing symptoms that haven’t responded to other methods.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
Some of my research explores how therapy is changing in response to technology. Technology can connect people to each other, but many feel that this leaves something missing. What exactly are those subtle qualities and experiences that are left out and how can people stay connected to them? Eye contact, body language attunement, facial expressions, and shared attention all matter, but there are other features that are harder to articulate. I’ve provided teletherapy for years and have written about how we all can try to retain our connection to these essential human experiences.
“This is your only life. Why not try to live in the most fulfilling way possible?”
Interested in speaking with Andrew?