Approach to Therapy: A Letter to Prospective Clients
In general, I believe that people seek therapy when they are feeling stuck in their lives. I work collaboratively with clients on overcoming the obstacles that have kept them in this state. When clients have asked me what they can expect from our counselling relationship, I ask them to imagine we are taking a drive together.
On our journey, you will be in the driver's seat. As the passenger, it is my job to ensure we stay en route, to point out what I see along the way, and to be there to help you navigate if needed. At times, clients may feel particularly overwhelmed by difficult emotions connected to a traumatic event or anxiety provoking situation. These are the times when I may take over the wheel - to support you in regulating this experience, and to help you develop the capacity to do the same outside of our sessions. Indeed, I am committed to a client-centered practice and your inherent strengths are of the utmost importance to meeting our goals in therapy. While you are the expert in your own life, I can offer expertise from my vantage point as an experienced Therapist.
In session, I rely on the principles from a number of complementary therapeutic modalities including family systems, narrative, cognitive-behavioural and emotion-focused therapies. Counsellors can all approach therapy quite differently, so I will discuss how I might use these specific approaches whether you are seeking Individual Therapy, Relationship Therapy or Child and Family Counselling.
Yet regardless of approach, I have found that successful therapy is contingent on three necessary ingredients: fit, safety, and trust. When we first talk, it is important to consider if my approach to therapy and style is a good fit for you; that is, are you comfortable talking with me? As we begin to work together, my goal is to create a safe space where you will feel heard and acknowledged. Only then can I invite you to consider alternatives that will stretch you to make changes to better your life.
I look forward to working with you.
Michelle Srdanovic, M.A., R.C.C.