Therapy Approach: Rebecca Eldredge, PhD

I am trained as a generalist; this means I am qualified and comfortable providing therapy to people experiencing a wide range of presenting issues and life concerns.  I am also trained as a counseling psychologist; this means my approach focuses on people's inherent strengths and resilience rather than on pathologizing people for their challenges. 

I tend to work well with clients who have reservations about therapy or are trying therapy for the first-time as well as those who are highly motivated for personal growth and change towards more fulfilling lives.  A few of my strengths as a therapist include my respect and incorporation of a person's unique identity into the therapy process, multicultural awareness and sensitivity, honest interpersonal feedback, balance of support and challenge, and tailored approach to each person with whom I work. 

In addition, I developed specializations in multicultural/diversity trainings, religious/spiritual diversity, and supervision/training.

 

Examples of issues appropriate for therapy:

Identity Issues
Difficulty Managing Emotions (e.g. sadness, anger, fear/anxiety, etc.)
Low Self-Worth
Unresolved experiences (e.g. trauma, abuse, previous relationships, etc.)
Transitional Life Problems
Depression
Anxiety

Grief/Loss
Relationship/Interpersonal Difficulties (e.g. family, friends, coworkers, significant others)
LGBT Concerns
Experiences of Oppression
Compassion Fatigue (e.g. therapists, ministers/religious leaders, doctors, teachers, etc. who expend a large amount of energy caring for others)
Eating Problems
Career Concerns/Career Counseling

How does therapy work?

In addition to the collaboration between yourself and your therapist, I believe the most essential ingredients for therapy to be successful are:

Safety/Confidentiality
Trust
Nonjudgmental acceptance
Warmth/Empathy
Genuineness/Honesty
Your Hopefulness/Motivation

This environment of safety and trust allows you to disclose personal information and invest in the process of change while feeling cared about, valued, and respected.  Within this context, you can explore difficult material, increase your awareness into ways in which your current choices and behaviors may be causing you stress, and make changes as you deem appropriate.  As a therapist, I can help facilitate this exploration, support you in your process, and lend my professional training to helping you identify and choose means of change that will improve your life satisfaction and confidence in yourself. 

Rebecca's "Technical" Approach to Therapy

Technically, my approach to therapy is “Integrative” combining elements from multiple psychological perspectives to get to know the person and develop understanding of their unique background, experiences, and presenting concerns.  From this framework, I frequently integrate techniques from several modalities (e.g. Interpersonal Process, Experiential/Gestalt, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) as appropriate to the individual client, client’s culture and values, and presenting concerns.  In this way, I adjust and modify my approach to tailor it specifically to you and to our work together.  I am willing to discuss my approach at any time, including both before and during the course of therapy.

What does all this actually mean??? 

Basically, I tailor what I do to each individual taking into account your unique cultural background, values, beliefs, and experiences.  We will work together on the challenges you present.  I welcome your input and expertise on yourself as we develop means of change that will be congruent with who you are as a person and the life you wish to lead.  I view therapy as a collaborative relationship in which you can become empowered to pursue the changes that will bring you greater peace and contentment in your life.  To meet these goals, I will contribute my training and expertise as well as sharing my honest interpersonal feedback.  You always have the power to choose and direct what feels most helpful for you in our sessions and I welcome and incorporate discussions of our therapeutic work together so that I may better tailor my approach to fit your needs.

As a therapist, I am not here to tell you what you have to do, but to help you explore options for what you want to do to create the life changes that will work best for you.  People often learn things through early experiences and relationships that continue to influence their current patterns.  My focus in therapy is to explore your present life, relationships, and circumstances in a manner that can bring these patterns into awareness so that you may intentionally choose which aspects to maintain and which aspects to change. My underlying framework for change is the belief that through increasing your awareness of yourself, you will be empowered to live a life more consistent with your values and ideals and therefore experience increased satisfaction, peace, and fulfillment with yourself, your relationships, and your life circumstances.  From this perspective, we can then work together to implement any changes you choose, develop additional skills when necessary, and support you during times of stress and sadness.  The things you can learn about yourself in therapy are likely to benefit you both now and when you face life's hurdles in the future.

Please note:  Therapy is an important investment in yourself.  Aspects of therapy can be challenging and intimidating, especially when approaching difficult issues for the first time.  However, research has consistently shown that people who engage in therapy are likely to experience benefits beyond those that time alone can create.  If you have any questions or concerns about how therapy might be helpful for you, please contact me to discuss them further (rebecca@rebeccaephd.com or 231.714.4840).
  I look forward to hearing from you.

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