Intro to Anna Jolliff, BA, MS Candidate, Counseling Intern
Clients often have a hard time figuring out how much to share with their therapist. Believe it or not, therapists run into the same issue! On one hand, as a therapist, I want to remind you - the client - that I’m a human. Indeed, one of the most important parts of therapy is the opportunity to build a deep, genuine, and secure relationship with another human. So while it’s good that I show up as myself, if I’m not careful, it can be distracting! We’ve all had that moment when a teacher, boss, or yes, even therapist, said a little too much, and suddenly we couldn’t see them in the same light. All that being said, introducing myself is tricky business.
Given that I specialize in subclinical disordered eating and body image concerns, I’d like to tell you a bit about myself in that regard. Like many therapists who deal in these areas, I’ve had personal experience. I used to have a pretty distorted relationship with food, exercise, calories, macronutrients, and the (very real, very natural) presence of fat on my body. Changing this relationship was a process of accepting myself in my current state (and current weight); accepting that diets don’t work; educating myself on the Health at Every Size literature; trusting my ability to eat intuitively; and finding ways of moving my body that felt warm, loving, and celebratory. It also meant that I gained a new relationship to popular culture, and became newly picky about the images and ideas that deserve real estate in my brain. In my work with you, the client, we traverse an exciting path of recovery.
My clinical interests certainly are not limited to disordered eating and body image. I love to work with clients on issues related to anxiety, relationship concerns, and addiction. I’m a big believer in the self-actualizing tendency, as well - the idea that when people feel truly free to move in any direction, they tend to move in a direction that is good. Thus, my hope and joy for us in therapy is to create space for the process of setting yourself free.
Next week, we will begin our 3-part series exploring the fundamentals of therapy. There are so many barriers to accessing mental health treatment in our country, and many of you have experienced those barriers personally. We hope to answer the most common questions and clarify the most common terms so that you can feel empowered moving forward.
"The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have." - Jane Travis
MANTRA: "I am ALREADY enough."
[This article does not create a client-counselor relationship. This article is general counseling information and is not to be considered legal or medical advice. Please consult with your mental health professional before you rely on this information.]