The first session is first for going over all of the intake paperwork - general things to consider, policies and procedures, confidentiality (and limits of confidentiality), qualifications of the therapist, and answering questions you may have. Once all of those points have been reviewed and questions answered, then we shift to your particular goals for counseling and the symptoms you are experiencing. The first session is a part of the Assessment Phase which isn't the "doing" of therapy, but it is an important part of the "preparation" for therapy. The more thorough this first stage, the more efficient and targeted therapy will be overall.
A student intern has a Bachelor's Degree and is pursuing a Master's in counseling at an accredited university. A student intern at Easterly Counseling will have a strong passion and skill set in working with couples and families from an Attachment lens and has received advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy with on going supervision. Having completed the prerequisite classes set forth by ethics and licensing boards, a student intern reports to two supervisors, showing tapes and session notes, and has a small caseload. This means each client has the benefit of two to three additional therapists for their unique goals in therapy. Depending on the university, the student intern may have breaks between semesters where clients will pause during holidays or work on skills on their own for a few weeks before resuming therapy. To work with a student intern is to receive counseling from a skilled and passionate individual at a discounted rate.
Specific time frame will depend on what your particular goals are. In general, therapy has three phases: Assessment, Intervention and Processing, and Consolidation. The first stage generally lasts 3 sessions or so. The second stage is what people generally think of when they think of therapy. It is the working, changing part of therapy. The final stage is for evaluating the ways in which we have achieved your goals and if any new goals emerged on which you'd like to work. This is about grafting and implementing the new changes into your life in a way that is sustainable when therapy ends. It typically looks like spacing out appointments, mild troubleshooting and creating and implementing long term personal goals.
Sarah Easterly: Relationships have always been a thing beautiful to me. Add that to growing up seeing my mother model empathy and compassion for all those who would reach out to her and you have the spark that started me on my journey. As I grew older and entered college, I became increasingly aware of how families, marriages, and friendships impacted our overall wellness. Choosing more classes and deepening my study of attachment, trauma, anxiety and depression, led to pursing an advanced degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. For me, it is where a great passion of mine overlaps with a need in the world. I have seen it transform both personally and professionally and I am honored to be a part of the mental health community.
Sarah Easterly: One of my trainers used the phrase "corrective emotional experiences". These are my favorite moments: where either in a couple or individually, I am able to help clients revisit a point of pain, trauma, fear, or shame and shift that moment from when they were alone - overwhelmed and hopeless - to feeling seen and understood and cared for. We know we've done something big if the body is able to release and relax the tension. This is a sign of healing. Stringing enough of these moments together starts to significantly shift anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms.
Therapy is a place for someone to go where they can receive competent and skilled help from a professional. This professional holds that client's goals with honor working diligently in partnership with the client to reach the goals set. The relationship is one of genuine warmth, respect, and the therapist seeking to see and know the client. Clients should feel confident that they are able to meet the goals they have set for therapy. For some, it is navigating a life transition like choosing a career path, getting married, becoming a parent, or walking through grief. For others it is getting "unstuck" in whatever spot they find themselves - perhaps that is a painful relationship, struggling with anxiety, feeling overwhelmed by life, having lost the joy they hoped to have in life. It may be to heal from past pain, to enrich life and relationships. Whatever the goal, the client should feel cared for, respected, and partnered with the therapist in reaching their goals.
"Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a well-known humanistic approach to psychotherapy formulated in the 1980’s and developed in tandem with the science of adult attachment, a profound developmental theory of personality and intimate relationships. This science has expanded our understanding of individual dysfunction and health as well as the nature of love relationships and family bonds. Attachment views human beings as innately relational, social and wired for intimate bonding with others. The EFT model prioritizes emotion and emotional regulation as the key organizing agents in individual experience and key relationship interactions.
EFT is best known as a cutting edge, tested and proven couple intervention, but it is also used to address individual depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress (EFIT – Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy) and to repair family bonds (EFFT – Emotionally Focused Family Therapy). This model operationalizes the principles of attachment science using non-pathologizing experiential (paralleling Carl Rogers) and relational systems techniques (paralleling Salvador Minuchin) to focus on and change core organizing factors in both the self and key relationships.
Most EFT research to date has focused on outcome and process of change studies with couples, and EFT for couples is the gold standard for empirically validated intervention in this field. Future research will focus on EFIT and EFFT." Excerpt from ICEEFT website. Click to read more.
"EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms. Ongoing research supports positive clinical outcomes showing EMDR therapy as a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, and other distressing life experiences." Excerpt from EMDRIA website. Click to read more.
Description coming soon