Featured Therapist for December, Anneliese Sorrentino
Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our Staff Therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Anneliese Sorrentino, MSS, MFT, who joined our staff in 2018. Learn about Anneliese in the interview below!
Tell us a little about what makes you unique as a therapist and person; anything about you including hobbies and interests that make you more relatable to clients.
I’m what some would refer to as a “third culture kid.” Growing up, my family moved internationally every three or so years. This taught me a lot about belonging and survival, and sensitized me to the ways our relational environments shape how we experience and relate to ourselves. While this certainly had its challenges, it also taught me to be open to many perspectives and ways of understanding, which helps me to connect across differences and seek common ground with others.
As far as hobbies, I find joy and peace in reading, singing, being in nature, and spending time with kids.
What do you consider to be the goal of therapy/ what do you help your clients work towards?
I believe that humans, like all life forms, are born learners, and that under the right conditions, we have the innate capacity to adapt, to heal, and to grow. My goal as a therapist is to support my clients in becoming more intentional agents in their own lives, and to form more secure attachments with themselves and with others, by fostering the necessary conditions for them to experiment, improvise, and generate new, more satisfying ways of living.
What is something your clients would say about you?
I think many of my clients would describe me as a warm, earnest, trustworthy, calm, curious, and gentle therapist. They would probably say I’m on the quieter side, and endearingly out of touch with pop culture. I think I do a good job of enjoying and appreciating my clients in their singularity.
Why did you decide to become a therapist/ what drew you to counseling as a career?
I studied medical anthropology in college and later pursued a graduate degree in social work, based on the notion that I wanted to be a “clinical anthropologist” – but I hadn’t figured out exactly what that meant. After graduate school, I tacked back and forth between the worlds of social research and frontline work, in an effort to answer my own question and discern where I belonged. I decided to commit to becoming a therapist in 2014, after concluding that my heart lay in work that requires and fosters deep connection. I realized that such relational work offered the best pathway for me to make a positive difference. Now, a little over five years later, both training and experience have confirmed and deepened this conviction. Additionally, I’ve discovered that this work both challenges and inspires me to keep stretching myself, for my clients’ sake, which is an unexpected gift.