What Happens in Therapy?
People often wonder what therapy is like. Here's what you can expect with me, if we work together...
In the beginning, I will carefully build trust between us. I do this through warm, authentic interactions and gentle exploration of both (1) the issues you want to address and (2) your history.
Sometimes, you might not know what you want to address first. In that case, we'll start with exploring your history, by talking about what life has been like for you so far. After all, I believe you are the way you are because of everything you've experienced up until this very moment. So, I'll ask you to share what you feel comfortable sharing with me, in a "give-me-the-chapter-titles-and-highlights-of-your-biography" kind of way. When we're done with that, I'll point out themes and patterns I've noticed so far. My observations will help us decide what to address first.
Also from the start, I'll teach you about the mind-body connection and "grounding" techniques. This information serves to empower you. Knowing how your mind and body work together is valuable, especially if you've been in stressful situations where you lacked control over either of them. Grounding techniques are tools that help you to feel calm (or "grounded") in the present moment, and they tap into the mind-body connection. After you learn how to "ground" yourself, you'll be able to do so inside and outside of therapy. In this way, you can learn to be your own healer.
Over time, we'll get to know (and work with) your physical and emotional patterns through a blend of talk therapy and mind-body techniques. How long will it take? Well, my style makes room for us to address your short-term and long-term goals, and people typically stay with me for several years. Throughout the process, you'll be in control of the pace and direction of your therapy, and you can end our work at any time. To use a car metaphor, you are in the driver's seat, and I am the GPS, guiding you wherever you wish to go.
On a final note, I'd like you to know that I approach my work through the lens of complex (aka "relational") trauma. This means that I pay close attention to how your past interactions with others impact your life today. It also means I understand that trust takes time.
Learn more about my specific techniques and frameworks:
"Joelle is deeply passionate about the work she does with clients and it's always a privilege to consult with her. She is warm, knowledgeable, and an expert on working with trauma's impact on the body."
- Samira Dewidar, LCSW
"Joelle is a sensitive and attuned clinician who elegantly applies trauma theory to embodied practice."
- Rachel Easterly, LCSW
"Joelle is one of the most empathetic, insightful and skilled trauma-informed therapists that I have worked with. She is a wonderful colleague from whom I learn a lot. I highly recommend her."
- Kaoru Oguro, LCSW