I have been in and out of therapy over the past 20 years for anxiety and depression. While I liked some of my other therapists, I would eventually quit after improvement stalled. I never felt I had truly gotten better or that I had been given tools and learned techniques to help myself. I began to see myself as hopelessly broken.
After experiencing a particularly scary black mood for over a month, I looked on the internet for a new therapist. I found Alison on Psychology Today and something about her resonated with me. The first appointment was very much a “get to know each other appointment” which was to be expected. She needed to learn what she was dealing with. From day one, I told her I was always going to be 100% honest and put it all out on the table every week, because I wanted to get well once and for all. On our second appointment, she already had an article for me to read that proved to me she had listened and already understood some of my main issues and was going to start giving me the tools I need to heal my pain. I have been seeing Alison for five months now, once a week. There have been a couple of times that I was panicky and she fit me in for extra sessions, so I trust her to be there when I need her.
Every week has been different, but each time I feel like we’ve deeply addressed the “next” step in my recovery. With Alison’s guidance, I am learning what my issues are, where they may have started, why I feel the way I do, the ways in which my behavior is damaging to myself and others, and how to make improvements and heal. I’m learning meditation techniques which have helped me immensely. She is teaching me how to feel safe and responsible for my own well-being which has been very empowering and is allowing me to become a more mature, secure, and better functioning adult. I am better able to cope with uncomfortable feelings without lashing out which has improved my relationships at work, with my family, and in my personal life.
Because I have been to several other therapists, I come from a place of experience in my evaluation of Alison’s quality as a therapist…She is very knowledgeable and is able to see a problem from a variety of different perspectives and offer an array of solutions. She has the common sense to tailor her therapeutic services to each individual’s needs or based on their “readiness” to address the problem in a given way. She does not just sit and listen and nod her head expecting me to figure it out on my own and collect payment. Alison contributes to the conversation, challenges me in new ways, and offers ideas when appropriate. She knows when to just sit and let me sob on her couch, which she encourages when that’s the work that needs to be done.
I feel very safe with and trust Alison which is one of the most important considerations when choosing a therapist. If you’re going to be honest, bare it all, and do the work…it can make you very vulnerable. I have never felt judged, criticized, pitied, or hopeless since being in Alison’s care. She has an admirably strong character and is a phenomenal listener. On a 5-star scale I give her a 5++!!
-LK, 50 year-old female