It Takes A Long Time

“It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.” 

The Velveteen Rabbit

I started going to the therapy as a teenager, for issues with Anxiety and Panic. I was terrified of being trapped places, and I feared my own body, which sometimes had unpredictable physical symptoms so severe that I was doubled over in pain. It was such a scary time, and it’s why I have such a soft spot for teenagers experiencing anxiety – it feels so overwhelming, and the adults don’t often seem to know how to fix it.

Such was the case with my first therapist, who (from a well-intentioned place, I’m guessing), placed a straw in my mouth, spun me around in an offie chair, and asked me to “induce a panic attack” for the time I was there. The problem was, I wasn’t afraid of straws or office chairs. I humored him; I felt bad because he seemed to be trying so hard. 

My second therapist tried to hypnotize me into physical relaxation, which also failed. I believe hypnotism works for some, but I’m certainly far too Type A to give someone else that (any) amount of control over my body. Strike two. Things were looking grim. 

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began working with a therapist who made any dent at all in my experience of anxiety, simply by asking me some questions about myself and my history, and giving me room to share some feelings and stories I hadn’t shared before. This therapist was unconventional, sharing personal stories from time to time, and allowing himself to also present as an imperfect, not-fully-baked human. I appreciated this immensely, and that relationship informed how I practice therapy today.

Being granted the permission to be flawed and angry within the space of his therapy room felt so liberating that it carried me for a decade. Such a small thing was profoundly helpful; and led to all sorts of interesting inroads in self-understanding and self-acceptance.

I also had mentors along the way; usually eccentric characters that allowed themselves to be openly weird, or vulnerable, or emotional. These people were always generous, endlessly patient, and kind. Role models, all of them. 

Throughout my thirties I discovered the healing power of Internal Family Systems, the therapeutic modality that informs most of my practice today. Doing work with an IFS therapist and training with numerous IFS experts (including workshopping with Dick Schwartz himself) felt like I opened the magical prize-box of therapeutic work on myself – a gradual experience of healing and better-ness where it hadn’t previously existed; a growing sense of Calm and Confidence that I hadn’t been in touch with previously. Rather than self-management, things felt much more like an unconscious flow – a quiet and sweet kind of nurturance. 

At forty, I am so excited to see who and what else there is to discover out there, to take good care of my Self and my current experience of Anxiety, Panic, and all the other things (they still make appearances). There is more work to be done.

There is always more work to be done. 

We live in a country obsessed with Quick Fixes, so I think it’s crucial to share that Therapy, Healing, and Self-work is a lifelong endeavor. In my experience, it arrives in different shapes and packages at different times, over and over, all throughout life. Sometimes you have to try some things that don’t work to find out what does. All of that is Okay, and I would encourage everyone not to get frustrated with the process (or get frustrated, and then carry on). 

It takes a long time – and by that I mean it kind of never ends – but the journey is important and the gains are invaluable. 

Stay hopeful. Keep going. 


Useful Information

Some frequently asked questions and useful answers.

Online therapy works in the same way as in-office therapy, but is done online, similar to a Skype or FaceTime conversation. Clients are able to have sessions from home, work, or any other convenient location. We meet with clients using a HIPAA-compliant secure platform.

Online therapy allows you to work with us from the comfort of home, or any private location of your choosing. For some, the screen provides an added layer of comfort that makes the challenging work of being vulnerable in therapy a little easier.

Online therapy also creates the unique opportunity for you to work with us without the constraints of proximity! The practice was born in Keene, New Hampshire, but has since grown to service clients anywhere in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Florida, and New Hampshire.

Online therapy is a great option for clients that travel for work, for college students that go home during the summertime and do not want a break in their sessions, and for anyone with a challenging or inconsistent day-to-day schedule. It is an excellent choice for clients seeking a therapist with a particular specialty that they are unable to find support for locally. Some of our clients report that online therapy makes the vulnerability element of therapy a bit less intimidating.

No. For some clients with more complex symptoms or safety concerns, having a local therapist that is readily available is important in case of crisis or the need for a higher level of care. Online therapy is also a challenge for clients that do not have access to a private, quiet space to be “in session” for the hour, or for those that do not have adequate internet connectivity.

There are several reasons why we don’t accept insurance. The most important are:

Confidentiality. Insurance companies require that your information be shared with them in order to pay for services. We prefer that clients’ information is kept as confidential as possible.

The pressure to diagnose. Insurance companies require that clients are given a mental health diagnosis in order to pay for therapy. We have found that many clients benefit from therapy, but do not meet criteria for a diagnosis. Not using insurance allows clients to access therapy without being given a mental health diagnosis.

Flexibility and freedom. Insurance companies dictate the length and number of sessions they will authorize, as well as when a client is no longer eligible for the benefits of therapy. Because we do not work with insurance panels, you and we can collaborate to determine your individual needs regarding session length, frequency of sessions, and when to terminate therapy.

While we do not accept insurance, many clients choose to submit receipts to their insurance companies to receive reimbursement via out-of-network benefits. We are happy to provide these receipts for you! Please check with your insurance company for details on your benefits.



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