19 Jul

Hey-hey, and welcome to Choices Therapy! My name is Amylia and I've been a therapist on the Gold Coast for almost five years. 

I'm 32, married, and I have an eleven and a half year old daughter. I did my bachelors degree in psychology (no, 'm not a psychologist) and my masters degree in counselling (yes, I am a counsellor). I swear, I make mistakes, I am constantly asking myself if I am doing a good job as a mother, and I worry that I am not doing enough as a wife. I have anxiety and depression, a crazy case of imposter syndrome, and sometimes it feels like my ducks are squirrels and they aren't in a row, but running around like Hemmy from Over the Hedge - with less direction. 

Why is this important? Because I am human, I am flawed, and it's okay. 

Not every therapist is for everyone, and I may not be for you; and that's okay. Having said that, I have worked with a lot of clients over the years, and I know that my approach to therapy is a great fit for a lot of people. I am real, authentic, and I have first-hand experience with a lot of topics that my clients are seeking help for. 

I pride myself on my professionalism and client care, and my passion for my job is second to none. I combine academic education, life experience, and client observation to provide my client's with the most comprehensive and personalised treatment that I can. 

Some of my clients have seen therapists in the past (psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists), and some are trying therapy for the first time. Irrespective of experience, my aim is to make the consultation times with me as personalised as possible. We are all different,  and regardless of common themes - anxiety, stress, abuse, relationship breakdown - individual circumstances and their impact are completely unique. 

You have reached out for help, guidance, and support, and you deserve to be treated as the individual you are.

My approach

The way I see it, therapy can be a confronting process. The simple act of making the appointment is disconcerting enough for a lot of people, and understandably so. 

I want to make it as pain-free as possible. I do this by treating sessions more as 'constructive conversations'. This removes the stigma associated with therapy and allows for the development of a rapport that cultivates a non-judgemental environment to discuss concerns without filters or bias. 

The professional & the expert

I am the professional, but you are the expert. An area that clients tend to struggle with in therapy is feeling like they are being analysed and treated as a case study. Like they are being scanned and assessed for the boxes that fit their problems. 

I think that the individuality of the client requires individualised treatment. Sure, there are benefits to standardised descriptions and treatments for common concerns; they provide a set of guidelines. Unfortunately for some, these guidelines are relied upon to the exclusion of the person actually sitting in front of them. 

This limits the benefits that come from therapy and alienates the client from reaching out for help again in the future, because, "What's the point in paying for therapy when I could get the same outcome by reading a textbook." Honestly, I couldn't agree more.

Commitment & requirement

When we work well together, we can achieve great things. However, as is the case with any pairing, if only one of us is engaging in the process the results are unpredictable, and often times disappointing.

As the professional, my commitment to you is that I give you my all. Every piece of experience, knowledge, professional observation, and personal point of reference will be used to ensure you have the most productive and rewarding therapeutic experience I can offer.

This leads me to my requirement, which is that you commit the same amount of energy and passion to your own growth, healing, and recovery as I do to facilitating it. Ultimately, we spend an hour together a week, maybe a fortnight, and eventually it will be spaced out even further. If you want the results, you must do the work in and out of our consultations.

I am big on personal accountability. If I require you to do something between sessions, trust that it's for both a reason and your benefit. If the exercise doesn't work, the worst thing that can happen is that we learned something that doesn't work for you. 

In closing...

You remember the old Nutri-Grain ad, "You only get out what you put in," the same rule applies to therapy. We all move through various stages of change, including the stages associated with preparedness to act on the desire to change. 

Sometimes the best start is making contact. If you find that actioning the change is too much for where you are, tell me. There is no pressure, and rushing or forcing change can have the opposite effect. Pressing pause on the therapeutic process means the connection and rapport have been established, and you can return to it when you're ready. 

What we know is that what you are currently doing isn't working for you. You've come to me because you believe that I can help. 

- Be kind & stay well. Until next time, Amylia.

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