Introducing Featured Staff Therapist, Laurel Roe, MS CHR, MFT
Every month, Council for Relationships highlights one of our staff therapists on the blog. January’s Featured Therapist Laurel Roe, MS CHR, MFT, has a background in education and particularly enjoys working with families with members who have special needs, parenting issues, childhood developmental concerns, and anxiety in children, teens, and adults. Check out the interview below to learn more about Laurel!
What do you consider to be the goal of therapy?
Every client’s goals for therapy are unique, so it is my job is to help them identify the changes they want to see in their lives. After identifying goals, I assist clients in taking the steps necessary to move toward their new vision. Most importantly, I help clients get to know themselves better so that they have greater control over the choices they make. Therapy looks different from person to person. This is true for the types of interventions we use, the frequency of sessions, and the length of time we work together. Ultimately, therapy is a highly personal experience for each client and my job is to facilitate that for them.
Describe a useful tool or exercise that you like to share with your clients.
Mindfulness is a fantastic tool that we have free, immediate and constant access to. I use it in every session, based on my clients’ comfort level. I also encourage clients to experiment with it in different ways to see how it fits in their everyday lives. Mindfulness looks different from person to person and can be as simple as breathing in a conscious way, engaging in sensory awareness activities, or spending time in various forms of meditation.
Mindfulness is a simple and effective way for us to feel empowered because it fosters opportunities for us to be in control over the choices we make in our lives. This practice allows us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves by exploring our thoughts, physical sensations, and any emotions we may have in a given moment. In that exploration, we begin to understand we have control over the choices we make in response to the world around us.
What is your background and why did you choose CFR?
My professional background is in education. I have had many career changes over the years looking for “where I belonged;” I have been a teacher, an elementary school Guidance Counselor, and a case manager. After the birth of my children and starting a business with my husband (that now operates very well without me), I was excited to return to my career as a therapist. CFR was a great place for me to land because the organization really values the personal growth of its staff and it allows me to be a part of a unique network of care created by knowledgeable and skilled professionals.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give people who may be struggling emotionally and would like to seek to counsel but may not be ready?
I would tell them that they are not alone. All of us struggle at various times in our lives: this is part of our shared human condition. It may surprise you to know that all therapists have been in therapy, so we know what it’s like to sit in the other chair. Therapy can be helpful no matter where you are in your life’s journey: a therapist can meet you just as you are and stay with you as long as you find therapy to be helpful.
What does a first session with you usually consist of?
Initial sessions are an opportunity for us to get to know each other. I ask basic questions at first so I can get a sense of a person’s life and background. We then move the session toward more open conversation about the reasons they have chosen therapy at this particular time in their life. I try to gain a clear picture of where someone is and where they would like to go. At the same time, I encourage clients to ask me questions so they can feel comfortable and confident that I am the person they would like to work with. By the end of that first session we have developed a mutual understanding of the clients’ goals and have a general sense of how we will work together moving forward.
January’s Featured Therapist Laurel Roe, MS CHR, MFT, has a background in education and particularly enjoys working with families with members who have special needs, parenting issues, childhood developmental concerns, and anxiety in children, teens, and adults. Laurel is accepting new clients, request an appointment today!