A Therapeutic Definition

“Well, you just need to get therapy.”
For most, the idea that they might need professional help is an insult. Other people can make the unfair judgment that you cannot handle your own problems, and so you need somebody to fix you. At times, it can actually feel like those around you are saying, “I cannot handle you, so go to someone else and give me a break.” With this kind of distorted view, who in the world would want to get therapy?
The first step to true help is realizing that all of these negative and shameful misconceptions are false. I think it is insulting to tell someone they need another person to "fix" them. The only way that anyone will be able to achieve a fundamental and life-altering change is if they choose to do it themselves. My job as a professional counseling intern, temporarily licensed by the state of Texas until I complete the required term of supervised practice, is to help and guide them in changing themselves. I do not believe that any one person or group is capable of changing somebody else. Anyone who has ever witnessed two fully capable, intelligent people brought to tears by a toddler’s refusal to consume something green can agree with me.
People go to a car mechanic when they know something is wrong with their vehicle, but are unable to fix it. Likewise, when people come to see me, they know that things in their life need to be different or better, but they do not know where to start. Just like the car mechanic, I am only a resource. Would you feel shameful in consulting your doctor about a broken arm, or using a cookbook to find the right ingredients to make the perfect cheesecake? Why then, should there be any shame in consulting a person who has education, training, and licensure in helping people work through their personal problems?
What a counselor can provide for you is the benefit of their training, which is then tailored to your specific needs and personality. By not being a part of your inner circle of friends and family, I am able to solely focus on you, the client. Because I am separate from your life, I bring in no pre-existing assumptions. At times, people may think that their best friends or spouse can help listen and work out their problems, but this is not always the case. People we are close to are unable to be objective about what we are going through. I can hear what you are saying without a sense of lifelong pessimism or extreme devotion of a best friend or spouse. By having this objectivity, I can see things in your life that you are unable to, just as you could if I, as a stranger, was telling you about mine.
Therapy is about being there for you. It is about listening first, then supporting and guiding you as you undergo difficult changes in your life. What I want most, the very reason I choose to be a therapist, is to be there with you as you shape yourself into the person you always wanted to be. Later on, after you have reached that place you hoped for, we will part and you will go on to live your newly changed life. If that is what you want for yourself, come on in to see me. I will meet you there.

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About Me

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Stephanie Ann Adams performs her unique and practical brand of therapy online at Beginnings Counseling & Consulting. (www.stephanieadamslpc.com) She is licensed as a professional counselor. She knew she was meant to be a therapist (whether she was willing or not!) when her fellow freshman started showing up at her dorm room at random times to talk about their problems. Since her practicum through Dallas Baptist University, when she was first able to start seeing clients, she knew she made the right career choice. She considers anytime she is able to provide others with something that helps them the best reward for the work she does. Before she was married, Stephanie Ann Adams had a last name that began with "S", and initials S.A.S. – thus, many of her friends gave her the nickname “Sassy.” Stephanie married Tim in May 2009. She would go on here about how wonderful he is, but he would be embarrassed about it. Outside of time spent in “psych nerd” pursuits, she enjoys reality tv drama and reading obsessively. Some of her favorite things are rainy days, Butterfingers and her old, scratched-up ’95 Camry.

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