People often decide to pursue therapy when things stop working "as usual": small problems have turned into bigger ones, past methods of coping no longer work, a crisis is at hand. Otherwise, many people question the value of therapy, doubting its efficacy and worth. Some say quite simply "I don't believe in therapy." For those wary of "professional helpers," options are available: the advice of friends and family members, spiritual direction and pastoral care from clergy, peer support groups, self-help. Your choice will be shaped by your personal inclinations, feedback from others, the level of distress you experience, available alternatives, and your willingness explore a therapeutic relationship. You may want to consider working with a therapist if other approaches have been unsuccessful, or to complement existing supports. Therapy can provide a dedicated space for navigating a crisis and learning new ways to relate to ourselves and others.
Why are there so many different kinds of therapists?
Today, therapists and counselors come from a broad range of training backgrounds, each with its own theoretical orientation, educational requirements, history, and methods: psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, marriage and family therapists, counselors, clinical social workers, PhDs, MDs, LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCs. This variety reflects the diversity of the "helping professions," which have grown over time to address changing social and economic realities. As a result, choosing someone to work with can be confusing.
What are you?
I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Social work has a unique orientation and history as a professional helping practice that considers the fit between person and place as the locus of treatment. It recognizes that access to practical resources and social support impacts a person's ability to thrive. Social workers help to improve the fit between person and place - between the unique individual and the social world in which that person lives. Clinical social workers are trained in the psycho-social dimensions of behavior and mental health, framing treatment in accord with the values of social work practice. These values affirm service, the dignity and worth of each individual, the importance of relationships, and social justice.
What is your specific background and training?
I received my MSW from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, concentrating in mental health and substance abuse, along with issues specific to aging. I've completed the coaching foundations program at MentorCoach, and I'm a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). Somatic Experiencing is a body-based modality for treating trauma and other anxiety and mood disorders by working directly with felt sensations. I am licensed by the State of CT to practice clinical social work. My clinical experience includes work with adolescents, adults, and families, delivering services within hospital, home-based, and community mental health settings, including the Greater Waterbury Mental Health Authority, the Institute of Living (Hartford Hospital), Wheeler Clinic, StayWell Health Care, and Rushford. I am a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and abide by its Code of Ethics. Prior to social work, I enjoyed a long professional career in design, technology, and education, fields of practice that nurture skills in creativity, innovation, collaboration, and learning. I bring these skills to my clinical practice.
What can I expect from you?
My orientation as a therapist is toward deepening ones inherent strengths and capacity to cope with life's challenges. Through compassionate dialog, creative exploration, and practical problem-solving, I help clients work through obstacles. I enter the therapeutic relationship with optimism, trust, and humility, sincere in my concern for your well-being. I offer prospective clients an initial 30-minute consultation at no cost to see if working together could be helpful.
©2011-2017 Loretta Staples