Taking care of your Self first.

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Care-taking often flies under the radar because it’s a thing that Good people do. It’s also a brilliant helper in that it allows us to keep a healthy distance from our own emotional experiences by remaining focused on the wants and needs of others. As long as someone needs something from us, we can keep our eyes on their inner stuff and off of ours. And BONUS! of bonuses – we are well-liked and well-respected because we are doing something Good for someone else, and no one is the wiser about the vat of volcanic emotional turmoil churning just below our surface.

A troubled childhood (sometimes) nurtures a Master care-taker. When a home/family/parent/sibling is unstable, children learn very quickly to put their own needs and wants behind those of others. They learn to meet the needs of those around them in order to survive, to stay emotionally and physically safe, and to be liked and valued within their home (Quiet and Helpful and Compliant tend to earn a lot of praise, regardless of the reasons behind them). These behaviors, reinforced, establish roots, and over time the children grow into adults who assume that they are just very Caring people (and they are), with little context as to how they got there and what Parts of them may have gotten lost in the process.

It’s a tricky business to un-care a care-taker.  Often they do not accept that they are worth the same attention and love as everybody else, and challenging this belief can produce Fear, as so much identity and self-worth has become tied up in the care-taking.  In this instance, it can be helpful for a therapist to ask that they visualize themselves when they were little, and to have them think about the needs and wants of that little person, and explore whether or not it might be true that their little self’s needs and wants are Important and Valuable. This can be an emotional process, but is also invaluable, as it helps unearth and reintroduce some of those lost Parts.

In this way, self-assertiveness can be practiced by the adult on behalf of their little self (ie, “Yes, my little self’s wants and needs are Important and Valuable, and deserve to be heard and met”). When this process begins, there is no need to insist upon a stop to the care-taking – eventually, there is just a gentle integration of caring for Self in addition to caring for others. Care-taking finds it’s own channel as Self-care takes priority, landing in volunteer service. Or being a great parent. Or becoming a therapist. Lots of avenues here.

Care-takers are among the most empathetic, emotionally intelligent, and sensitive souls among us. For those of us that are Masters, I posit that there is much more to us than our ability to care-take. I encourage a shift of focus inward… your little self will thank you.

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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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