Featured Therapist for March, Jae Guy
Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Jae Guy, LSW, MEd. Learn more about her in the below interview!
What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person?
I love plants, animals, and nature. I lead an active lifestyle and enjoy traveling. But the most important thing someone should know about working with me as a therapist is that I am a queer woman. I actively queer my life, my relationships, and my work. I’m critical of “traditional” categories of relationships, gender, sexuality, knowledge, and just about everything else. I believe the field of mental health is deeply in need of change, as it has a long history of harming just about everyone who falls outside the norms of social respectability. I believe everyone can benefit from the queering of ideas, theories, and interventions as it opens up a plethora of unique perspectives and alternative ways of being, which can lead to a more authentic life.
Describe a specific tool or exercise that you share with your clients.
Many people I work with struggle to identify their emotions and desires. While they can often intellectualize their problems or discuss their thoughts, they struggle to identify and understand the internal signals their body is sending them. Some people experience their body as uncomfortable and have spent years turning away from it, essentially divorcing their mind from their body. Body scans are one tool I use to help heal this divide. A body scan is a quick 1–2 minute activity that helps people slow down and bring awareness to the sensations in their body. This awareness is the foundation of somatic therapy work.
What advice would you give someone who may be struggling with the decision to start therapy, but may not feel ready?
Therapy can be hard, uncomfortable work. If someone is not willing to take that on, there’s little anyone else can do. However, I think the idea of being “ready” for something is often misunderstood and used as a thinly veiled reason to avoid doing something difficult. Being ready is a choice. It is not something that just happens to you. If you’re passively waiting to be ready to start therapy, you’re essentially waiting for rock bottom. You’re waiting for your current life to become so uncomfortable that you’re convinced therapy will be less uncomfortable than continuing the way you have been. So, if you find yourself contemplating therapy but you’re unsure about starting, ask yourself “what would need to happen for me to feel ready?” This will help you decide if you want to make the decision to be ready now or continue to wait.
Describe a first session with you.
During our first meeting we will go into more depth about a client’s most pressing concerns and what they would like to get out of therapy. We will set specific goals that will guide our work and we will revisit them frequently. I’ll ask a lot of questions about their history and how they got to where they are today. They are welcome to ask me anything that comes up for them as well. Therapy in a unique and dynamic process. Who a person is and what they would like to get out of our work together will largely determine our process. I don’t believe in manualized care and I encourage feedback.
Jae Guy, LSW, MEd is a Staff Therapist at our Voorhees, NJ Office; she currently sees clients via online therapy. To set-up an appointment, you can reach her at email@example.com or 215-382-6680 ext. 7037.