The following is a brief interview with Melissa McLemore, Licensed Professional Counselor, regarding her views on therapy and what she wants her potential clients to know.
Q: Tell me a little about what you do as a therapist.
A: As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I help clients to facilitate positive change in their lives through exploring previous life experiences. I start by getting a brief history in order to begin understanding how past experiences may be causing serious issues for my clients today and then identifying treatment goals to recover from or cope with emotional suffering. As a therapist, I help clients gain a new perspective and awareness about their situation and give them tools they can use to increase their overall well-being.
Q: What are the benefits of psychotherapy?
A: So I've heard this one before..."why should I go to a therapist when I have plenty of friends"? One of the benefits of psychotherapy is accountability through goal setting. It's nice to have friends and loved ones to offer advice, but a therapist is trained to help you process and gain more insight and understanding about your emotions and behaviors. A therapist will help keep you on track and adjust your goals as necessary as well as offer consistent, unbiased, healthy emotional support throughout the therapeutic process.
Q: What does psychotherapy mean to you?
A: Psychotherapy means taking care of your overall mental well-being by addressing your emotional concerns or feelings. It means building a healthy therapeutic relationship with a client to support the client in making life changes that will increase overall life satisfaction and improving feelings of self-worth and self-esteem which often effect our relationships with others.
Q: Describe any creative or unique things you use in the therapeutic process.
A: One thing I use in the counseling process is appropriate self-disclosure. The attitude regarding the use of self-disclosure varies among therapists and I believe it's useful as long as the client doesn't feel the need to take care of the therapist. It is my personal and professional belief that some degree of self-disclosure can benefit certain clients and foster an authentic therapeutic relationship.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about therapy?
A: There are so many misconceptions about therapy. I've had many clients tell me that when they first sought my services they were nervous because they were worried that others might think they were CRAZY! I think this is one I hear quite often. We all have feelings and at some point in our lives we suffer with bad or negative feelings and choosing to get help working through times of depression or hurt doesn't indicate weakness.