How do I know if therapy is a good fit for me?

Therapy is about working on small goals and steps that lead to a larger change. Often times clients will come in with the belief that within a few sessions they will feel different and things will be better in their life. This can be a possibility, but this is a myth. Therapy is long term, a slow process, and may take longer than you initially thought. For example, if you go to a doctor and you tell him your arm hurts and he responds without asking you any questions or for more information by saying “this is the problem, and this is how I can fix it”. Almost impossible right. In therapy it is important that the client and therapist can build a trusting relationship over time. Everyone is unique in their own way and it is important for the therapist to understand you as an individual. The more questions that are asked the better I can begin to understand who you are and what can be the most helpful for you. 

I strive to understand my clients and their experience to the best of my ability. Remember you are the expert of your life and I am here to help you reflect, challenge your thoughts, give you an insightful perspective, and provide you with healthier options to cope with your emotions. I do not believe people are broken or need to be fixed, I believe and aim to help you feel more connected to yourself. 

Remember, therapy is about you! Therapy is a safe and completely confidential space for you to share your deepest thoughts, your moments of pride, and even some of your fears. I believe in fostering a safe space, a place where you can grow as an individual or together as a couple, that is judgement free. At the end of the day, therapy is aimed to benefit you!

-Priscilla Jouvin, M.S 2019

Systemic Therapist

What is the difference between a systemic therapist and a conventionally trained mental health provider?

Conventionally trained therapist considers themselves as an expert on the client’s life, believing that objective truth and normality exist. Postmodern perspective makes a therapist to be non-hierarchical and non normative, this allows clients to create their own change of the problem. Conventionally trained therapists operate from a pathologizing medical model that focuses the clinical diagnosis of the client.

Systems-oriented therapist knows that in order to fully understand we must understand their context, we see clients as part of and embedded in a system.  A systemic therapist attempts to take into account as many variables as possible to understand individuals behavior. Thus when we see a client in therapy we know that they are part of a system and were only getting one view of that. The approach to therapy is also different, according to Nichols (2012) conventional therapists focus on root causes and look for the why as opposed to systems-oriented therapists that focus on the how.  We focus on how we can help our client improve, how their relationships can be fixed as opposed to focusing on why the relationship may be broken.  As system-oriented therapist we use circular causality versus linear causality because we know that everything is interconnected; people, relationship, histories, etc. Systems oriented therapist also work from a non-pathologizing standpoint because it is understood that behavior makes sense given context.

-Priscilla Jouvin, M.S 2019