We are so excited to take today to introduce a member of our Steady Hope team today! We have taken some time to sit down with one of our adolescent and trauma therapists and we hope you enjoy getting more of an inside scoop on Kate!
What got you into the counseling field?
There are a number of roads that led me here! First, I had a positive experience in my early twenties with a counselor at my university. Even in a short-term relationship, I found so much safety and freedom in her office; here, I was able to say things out loud that I'd never processed before, and she helped me parse through them without judgment and with compassion. It was around this time that I started to conceptualize counseling as a career path, and I held this little flame in my heart for a few years before seeking out a graduate program.
Also around this time I was working for a ministry that was rooted in building relationships with adolescents, offering them safety, community, and a "third place" outside of home and school. My favorite part of this work was the connection and depth that came with fostering relationships, and I started to think about what it would mean to do that professionally. While counseling and ministry can be (and are!) wildly different, the stuff of relational work is the same and I have enjoyed the time spent building rapport and creating a safe place for clients to heal.
Third, I am a reader at heart, and as an English major in my undergrad, was trained to think critically, find themes, symbols, and motifs. It is right up my alley to intertwine the story-based work of counseling with the science of how the brain works in order to pursue healing with clients.
What is the biggest myth you have heard about counseling?
The biggest myth I've heard about counseling is that it can "fix everything!!" I really don't think this is true, and while counseling can be a helpful and life-changing tool, a trusting relationship with a counselor is only part of the whole story of healing. I believe deeply in holistic healing and that healing happens in communities.
My hope as a clinician is to walk with clients into wholeness, doing my part to help with coping tools, cultivating self-compassion, and exploring trauma and hurt, while at the same time encouraging clients to be active in finding safe community, care for physical health, and engage with nature.
What types of clients do you work with?
I enjoy working with adolescents and adults healing from trauma and managing symptoms of complex PTSD. I integrate EMDR into trauma-sensitive care. I also love working with adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety, grief, life transitions, and relational distress. I work from a client-centered framework that pulls from psychodynamic theories while also keeping in mind the intertwined connection between mind and body.
What’s your favorite tool/book/recommendation you give to almost all of your clients?
Oh my goodness there are so many! My top two are:
1. The Wisdom of Your Body by Hillary McBride. She does an excellent job of outlining how deeply our minds and bodies are connected, and how mindful, embodied living can be healing and empowering!
2. I frequently use Deb Dana's Polyvagal Card Deck in session. The way Dana has made nervous system science digestible is so helpful in empowering clients to acknowledge and understand bodily sensations so that they can use the deck's tools to practice managing discomfort.
What does free time look like for you?
I am a homebody to my core, so you can usually find me with a coffee and book, on the couch, with my Golden Retriever, Maddux. If I have a free Saturday, I love taking a yoga class, going thrifting, or trying a new restaurant with my husband!
What is your favorite thing about the work that you do?
My favorite thing is getting to watch clients get comfortable with "gray area." Most of my clients know that I am a big believer that there isn't much "black & white" happening in our human experience, so rather that running away from the discomfort of the gray, I love to lean in and allow for the complexities of good & bad, happy & sad, change & stillness, etc. Sitting in the both/and can be so freeing and it's a delight to get to watch humans be human and sit with the gray area.
What is your go-to coffee order?
I am a black coffee girl in the mornings. Sometimes in the afternoon I'll do a cold brew with sweet cream for a treat!
If you're interested in scheduling a free consultation with Kate, be sure to click the link here to get started!