Why did you become a therapist?
I have always had a sensitivity to how others are feeling. Even as a young child, I remember having this awareness and impulse to help. I remember seeing a shy child on the playground who always stood by herself close to the school wall. I wondered what her story was and so I started asking her questions. She opened up and I was really glad to know her. We all have stories that are largely unknown to others. The more we understand, the better we get along.
Also, throughout my life, I was often told that I was too sensitive and that my feelings were wrong and that I should feel something different. The education in counseling and therapy felt affirming —that my experience is valid and that my sensitivity is a gift to be proud of. From there, I learned how to fine-tune my strengths. I wanted to help others learn and heal in the same way.
How would you describe your style as a therapist?
Supportive, reflective, explorational, and creative.
Do you focus on the immediate problem or the deeper issues?
I like to use the immediate problems as diving boards that we can explore for awhile before we spring into the depths of deeper issues. The recent event can be a doorway through which to access possible deeper issues. Often, the deeper issues are being triggered by the immediate issue, which is like an invitation to grow. Sometimes, it really is the immediate issue that needs attention. And if so, we will pick that apart for better understanding.
Do you lead sessions or follow my lead?
I always take some time to prepare some ideas, thoughts or questions before meeting with you. However, it is more for the purpose of connecting with your energy. I use these ideas if needed, but often you may come in with things on your mind. If we seem to be traveling away from or avoiding something, I will be aware to direct or connect you back to important themes in our work together. However, I see all the things on your mind as purposeful and important, and like to reflect on the way it fits into your process.
What are your strengths as a therapist?
I am compassionate, understanding, non-judgmental, and I go at your pace in sessions.
How do you manage stress?
I dance, run, stretch, journal, meditate, and talk to friends.
Therapist Spotlight With Amy Goldbeck