What inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?
I initially wanted to be a school psychologist, but when I realized that school psychologists focus on testing and creating education plans, I lost interest. At the same time I had began working in an adolescent residential program and I enjoyed working with the clients on a one-on-one level and helping them tackle their issues across all environments. With that experience, I switched masters’ programs and decided to pursue clinical work with adolescents and their families.
What is your favorite thing about being a therapist?
My favorite thing about being a therapist is watching clients have their “light bulb moments.” These are the moments when they make connections between their behaviors or thoughts, behaviors and emotions or just have that moment where it all make sense. I also enjoy being with clients in their most vulnerable moments and their most successful moments, as well as everything in between. All moments are important in my mind.
What is a personal challenge you’ve overcome that makes you a better therapist?
I had academic difficulties in school. I was a late reader and struggled with math. I had to work harder and at times, even today, have to work harder in those areas. Having these issues has created my own self-doubt. I am able to funnel those personal experiences to my clients. They help me to provide genuine and sincere validation to clients who are struggling, while maintaining boundaries and helping them with their own problems.
As a therapist, what are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about giving kids a voice. I think adults sometimes overlook kids thoughts, opinions, and perspectives. Helping those kids find their voice and share it, is so powerful for them.
What are your specialties and what drew you to them?
I’m good with behavior. I can be stubborn and I think this helps me stick with a behavior and not let clients avoid their problem behaviors in sessions or creating interventions to manage unwanted behavior. In conjunction with this, I think my ability to be real with clients and address their problem behaviors in non-judgmental ways helps the clients want to change their behavior.
What makes you unique as a therapist?
I use a lot of coaching and sports references. I try to make my approach as a therapist a team approach—the team being the client and myself. I pull in a lot of sports references to help with this. With clients who are sports fans or understand references, I explain the references and use them to demonstrate how the intervention will support them.
How would you describe your therapeutic approach?
My therapeutic approach is built on the client-therapist relationship. Using a person-centered approach and humanistic approaches, allows for more trust to be fostered and in turn a more in-depth exploration of the clients thoughts and feelings. It also allows for more exploration and processing of what problems brought them into therapy.
Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care?
I play and watch sports, as well as spend time with my family. I also make time for the gym several times a week. During all of these its strictly no work – no emails, talking, or even thinking about work. I find that time extremely beneficial at helping me to reset.
What is your favorite… Quote, Movie, or Book
“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.” – Michael Jordan
Interested in scheduling an appointment with Laura? Call our intake coordinator at 717-462-7003 x1.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice in Salunga (East Hempfield), PA. She loves helping clients find practical solutions to improve their lives and her therapy is cooking. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.