Introducing May’s Featured Therapist, Akilah Pierre
Every month, Council for Relationships highlights one of our Staff Therapists on the Expert Voices blog. Akilah Pierre, MFT was named this month’s featured Staff Therapist. Learn more about Akilah in the quick introduction below. If you are interested in therapy with Akilah, request an appointment today.
What do you consider to be the goal of therapy?
Change within ourselves. Often, we become stuck in patterns or cycles that prevent us from growing. I help clients recognize these patterns or cycles, find solutions to dismantle them, and then work with my clients to apply these solutions outside of the therapy room. Learning about these unhelpful patterns or cycles can place anyone in a position of vulnerability. Having a supportive and empathic support system, along with therapeutic help can make the journey of change more self-enriching and fulfilling.
What is something your clients would say about you?
Many of my clients tell me that I have a talent for reframing situations and offering different perspectives. The way you perceive your surroundings impacts how you think and feel. I do well in de-escalating anxiety, by helping clients deconstruct their anxiety and discover essential messages their mind and body are trying to get them to understand.
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?
Therapy is a big, brave step. It’s understandable that you may not be ready to start this journey. For someone who is struggling emotionally, I believe the first step is to acknowledge that your emotions are real, no matter what you are responding to. I would advise taking time for yourself, about an hour, picking one problem you are going through, and write down all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that come to mind. It doesn’t need to be pretty, just let it all flow out. Sometimes we feel emotionally overwhelmed because we are experiencing different magnitudes of emotions for different situations, all at the same time. Seeing your thoughts, emotions, and feelings on paper can help you to organize them, and gain more clarity in understanding what is bothering you and why. Often this is an emotional process, and it’s best to take some self-care or turn to your support system after you finish writing.
What does a first session with you usually consist of?
Many of my clients describe our first session as a liberating one. This is a session where clients can unload their burning issues in a safe space and feel that they are being heard for the first time. After asking the client “What brings you to therapy,” I sit back and allow the client to share their story with me. Often, the first session tends to be the most emotional as my clients’ vulnerability is accepted and the problems are validated.