In 2012, Eastern Red Cedars became the official state tree of Tennessee preceded by the Tulip Poplar in 1947. Throughout time Cedars have become synonymous with strength, beauty and grace. They are also known for their endurance and longevity. Cedars are referenced over 100 times in Biblical texts as being important symbols of spirituality and are highly respected evergreens. Red was also my grandmother's favorite color and she was one of the strongest people I have ever known!
Strength, endurance and resilience are some of the traits that clients can uncover as they commit to the therapeutic process and discover the beauty within themselves. You can be as strong as the cedar!
Crystal R. Owens, MS, LPC-MHSP (temp) is a Brentwood counselor who is supportive, encouraging and knowledgeable. Crystal is licensed in two areas of mental health to be able to support children and adults. She's a wife, mom, sister, daughter, amateur gardener and cat-mom to 'Ollie' and 'Itty-Bitty'. Having lived in the Nashville area for over 15 years, Middle Tennessee feels like home.
Real change happens when there's an authentic connection between the counselor and the client. So, if you have more questions, don't be afraid to ask. It's nice to know that your counselor is a real person who has experienced some of the same things as you.
Therapy is essentially a conversation. It's a conversation that is uniquely structured for you to share your story completely and without fear of judgement. Therapy is an opportunity to focus on topics that you may not be able to say to your closest friends or family. Therapy is also a time when you will be challenged to think about things in new ways and presented with options to help you live life authentically and fully.
That question comes around a lot. There is no "cure" to the issues that brings someone into therapy. Instead it's more of a process of healing. Remember a time that you've cut your finger or broken a bone? It doesn't get better right away. Actually, it may even feel pretty uncomfortable as it heals. The process of therapy is similar. Change takes time and it's a gradual process. Some of those conversations may make you feel uncomfortable and a slightly anxious. Your therapist will be watching for signs of discomfort and direct the pace of sessions to help you through it. Just like with a physical injury, there's no timeline of healing. But stay the course. Change happens when you commit to the process.
Well, there are several ways to treat different issues. You've probably heard counselors describe their therapeutic approach as being 'eclectic' or 'integrative'. What that means is that they are using various theories to support clients. In sessions, you might hear various evidence-based approaches such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT (which examines thoughts, feelings & actions), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (which helps you picture solutions to your issue in the present while setting future goals) and Family Systems Therapy (which helps uncover patterns within families that influence thoughts and behaviors).
The first session is a little different than all the others. When you sit with your counselor the first time, you can expect them to do a lot of the talking! All of the documents you completed will be reviewed with you and some additional information may be collected, like your demographics or emergency contact info. The counselor will discuss the fees for their service, explain their office rules and tell you about the privacy laws that keep your conversations protected. Then you will be asked about any symptoms you've experienced, such as extreme anger or intense sadness. There may even be a short assessment to get an idea of what those symptoms are like for you. Your therapist will answer any questions you have, so please ask.
You also get the opportunity to explain why you initially wanted to start therapy and the conversation will begin to flow organically. After the talk, you will have an opportunity to review the conversation and set up an appointment for the next session. That's it. That's therapy.