We are excited to welcome this year’s counseling intern, Isabella, to the Embrace Strength team! Isabella is currently getting her Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at the University of Denver. Isabella’s background is in substance abuse and trauma, and she brings a unique perspective to our team. If you would like to get to know more about Isabella, read our Q&A below.
What made you want to become a therapist?
When I think about what drew me into being a therapist, I automatically think of going to therapy myself. I started therapy when I was 10 years old because I had developed trichotillomania [unable to resist the urge to pull out one’s own hair]. It was an incredible experience; I look back on the work I did with my therapist and it was so rewarding. It’s incredible that I still use the tools that she gave me to this day.
After that moment, it just clicked. I knew I would be in a profession helping people. Even before that, all my friends always saw me as “the person they could talk to” and I was always seen as a helper in my family. It’s actually really funny–I was cleaning the other day and found an old homework assignment from when I was 10 or 11 where we had to decide which careers we were interested in, and therapist was my number one choice.
How would you describe your approach to counseling so far?
My general approach is a humanistic approach. I’ve really been getting into Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) therapy as well, and that’s been beneficial to the clients I’ve worked with before. At the end of the day I also have to acknowledge that therapy is not a “one size fits all.” I know that one approach that may work for one person may not work for another, so even though humanistic and ACT may be my starting point, I also have experience with CBT and DBT and like to explore different approaches for different clients.
What would you say are your strengths as a counselor?
I think that I have an innate curiosity about people and the world. This has been so helpful in making sure that not only am I getting to know my clients as people, but also really getting to the root of what is bringing them into therapy. I would say compassion and patience are also big ones for me; I’ve always considered myself to be a very compassionate person. I have a lot of care for others and I always want to do anything that I can to help others. Also, working with people in recovery has taught me that patience is key in the therapeutic relationship. Treatment is not something that can be done in one session; it takes time.
When a client is in session with you, what can they expect?
At the end of the day, no matter what, they can expect me to be myself. I use a lot of humor and I am truthful to myself when I am in session. I’ll be authentic and non-judgmental; I will never judge a client that comes into my space. I will be there to be understanding and provide the ability to listen when a lot of people don’t have that chance.
What drew you to Embrace Strength Counseling?
The first thing that really drew me in was the different populations that you all work with. I have been interested in working with eating disorders for a while now because that is something that has touched my own life and the people that I love. I’ve been passionate about wanting to explore that.
I could also see that it was going to be a very welcoming environment. From the second that I came in for my second interview I felt immediately cared for and I felt a warmth in this environment that I think will just translate no matter who is a therapist here.
What are your main goals for your internship?
I want to work with a lot of different populations and presenting issues. I don’t want to be put in a box and it’s really important for me to get a lot of experience working with eating disorders, doing couples and relational work, delving into trauma, and more.
What do you do outside of work and school that helps you to maintain a healthy, well-balanced life?
I love this question, it’s such an important thing in our field. I have a lot of different hobbies and interests. The first thing that comes to mind is that I am a huge movie and TV show person; I grew up watching movies and TV shows every single night and I’m passionate about connecting with people over these things- it’s so fun. I also love to draw and write. This is kind of niche but I love doing trivia; my friends and I do trivia every Wednesday night and it has been a fun new tradition each week.
If you weren’t studying to be a therapist, what do you think you would be doing?
That is such a tricky question! It’s hard for me to put myself in a box, Honestly my mind goes to a million different things. I’ve always been interested in therapy but I like to wear many hats–it’s tough to narrow it down. When I started college, I was double majoring in psychology and environmental science, so I was very interested in finding solutions for making things environmentally friendly. I was also super drawn to geology. So I could see myself working in one of those fields if I wasn’t a therapist. I also love working with animals and all kinds of creatures. I also love writing, so being an author is something that has not been far from my mind.
If you are interested in working with Isabella, please send us an email at email@example.com to schedule a free phone consultation.