When I first began the Master of Arts program in Counseling at West Virginia University in the fall of 2002, I honestly never knew just how much I’d grow to love this field of work. Sure, I was interested in psychology and the workings of the human mind and behavior, but I never expected that being a therapist could ever become so intertwined in my heart and affect my very soul and being.
From the very first time that I sat in a small room with a grieving young woman as she expressed raw emotion to me, a student intern at the time, I learned that just being there to listen as she cried meant more to her than I could have ever imagined. It was then that I learned that people often just want to be heard, to be listened to. On that day, I learned that there was no way I could be in this field of work and not be deeply affected. I felt the young woman’s pain, the hurt swelling up inside of her, and with that, I couldn’t help but want to try to help her somehow. The training I received had prepared me with a number of ways I could try to help, but it was my heart that showed me the way.
I’ve learned quite a bit since I saw my first client nearly 14 years ago, but what I realized – what I never could have predicted – was just how much I would truly love being a therapist. It takes enormous strength for a person to undergo therapy, and I am humbled and honored that someone could put the kind of trust in me that they need to have in order to dig deep within themselves and show me who they really are, to trust me to help them in the way I am trained to do. There are so many reasons why I love being a therapist, but if I could only choose five, this is what I would tell you…
5 Reasons Why I Love Being a Therapist
I’ve had one too many of my own experiences where I needed help – like, really needed help – and I thought no one was there. In some instances, I had to learn to help myself and be my own advocate, if you will. Those rough times may have made me stronger, but how nice it would have been if someone had been there to guide me. That’s the job of a therapist. Not someone to coddle you or do the work for you, but someone to provide a listening ear, unconditional positive regard, guidance, and helpful tools to help pull you out of your rough patches in life. I like sharing my tools and techniques that I’ve learned through years of training and experience to help others. I like that I can offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, should someone need one. If I can make someone feel even just a little bit better about themselves or their circumstances, then that is my reward for helping.
2. I love to learn.
I admit it, I love learning new things. I’m fascinated with all there is to learn out there. I suppose it’s a good thing, then, that counselors are required to continue their education though hours of training even after they graduate. Yes, I’m that person who actually enjoys going to trainings. There are so many amazing things to learn: new techniques and interventions, new theories, what works and what doesn’t, etc. Besides formal trainings, though, being a therapist often means that one has to do their own research to continue learning about various mental disorders and treatments. Even those who aren’t born researchers sometimes have to rely on educating themselves in order to be able to best serve their clients. What am I currently researching? Asperger’s Syndrome and the best evidence-based treatments.
3. I learn so many new things from my clients.
Regardless of who I’m currently working with, whether it’s a hyperactive child, a defiant teen, or an anxious adult, each and every client teaches me something, and I think that’s awesome. There are no two clients alike; everyone is so uniquely different. Each client teaches me just how extraordinary we, as humans, really are: we each find a way to cope with whatever life throws at us. All in all, we’re all really just doing the best we can.
4. Therapy can be fun!
There’s a time for seriousness, and there’s a time for fun. Even with my adult clients, I often get the opportunity to employ some different creative techniques in our sessions. My office is stocked with games, crafts, and other art materials, as I believe that creative expression can help alleviate so many symptoms that clients present with. I also use humor in therapy, with kids and adults. I think it’s important for us all to sometimes take a step back from where we are in life and just laugh at something.
5. I get to witness hope and inner strength.
We all need hope, something that makes everything we’re going through somehow worth it in the end. When a client sees me and describes feelings of hopelessness, one of the first things I try to do is instill a sense of hope. In this job, I get the opportunity to witness the human condition every single day, and with that, I get a firsthand glimpse into each client’s hope that everything will somehow be okay. I’ve seen clients who have endured horrific trauma and those who have lived through so much pain and hurt that are so incredibly strong, and I admire that inner strength. Despite the stigma that is often attached with seeing a therapist or doing therapy, it actually takes an amazingly courageous person to seek out and undergo counseling. Therapy requires one to search within himself and expose all his vulnerabilities to a virtual stranger. That’s bravery. That’s strength. And I get the privilege of being a part of that, and I am truly humbled.
If you’re seeking a qualified mental health provider and live in the Morgantown, West Virginia area, Creative Resilience Counseling, LLC can help! Following are just ten incredible reasons to choose us for your mental health needs. To set up an appointment with a Licensed Professional Counselor, contact us today at 304-292-4050; we can help you address any concerns you may have or issues you may be experiencing.
1. EVENING AND WEEKEND HOURS AVAILABLE!
Creative Resilience Counseling offers nontraditional office hours for those who just can’t make it in for an appointment between the normal business hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Office hours include Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 8:00 pm; and Saturdays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
2. Affordable Payment Plans
Creative Resilience Counseling will work with you in any way we can to arrange an affordable payment plan that works for you, should you need one. We also accept and bill insurance companies.
3. Easily Accessible Location
Creative Resilience Counseling’s office is located in downtown Morgantown. It’s easy to find and easily accessible by bus, car, or bike. You can also easily walk to our office, as it’s within walking distance of West Virginia University’s downtown campus.
4. Professional and Confidential Care
Creative Resilience Counseling’s therapist, Stacy L. Garcia, is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has a LOT of experience working with people facing various issues and challenges, including children as young as four years old, teenagers, and their families.
5. Sensitivity and Compassion
Therapy is conducted in a comfortable, caring atmosphere by a therapist with genuine sensitivity and compassion.
6. Evidence-Based Counseling Techniques
All techniques and interventions used in therapy are evidence-based and proven effective by research.
7. Continued Education & Training
Stacy maintains up-to-date training in a variety of subject areas directly related to therapy and treatment. She is also a born researcher. She is able to provide you the latest information and interventions for whatever concerns or challenges you may be facing.
8. Individualized Treatment
Each client’s therapy is specifically tailored and individualized to his or her strengths and needs. You’re not like everyone else, so why should your treatment be just like everyone else’s?
9. LOTS OF TOYS, GAMES, & ART SUPPLIES!
Stacy utilizes a variety of toys, games, and art supplies in conducting therapy with children, adolescents, and families, as well as with adults who wish to explore their creativity! Stacy is currently working toward her Registered Play Therapist certification, so play and creative techniques are one of the things she does best!
10. No Judgment Zone
Creative Resilience Counseling is a no judgment zone. NO ONE is judged for any reason, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, appearance, gender preferences, past decisions and history, etc. You will be welcomed with open arms and a genuinely caring heart.