Featured Therapist for November, Kelly Wallace-Baxter
Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Kelly Wallace-Baxter, MA-CMHC. Learn more about him in the below interview!
What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person?
I’m just as human as everyone else. I’ve made mistakes. I cry. There are moments where I am confused and frustrated. These actions and emotions are normal and can weigh heavy. Some of the ways that I work through them is with my own support system; I love zombie and racing video games, traveling, and reminding myself that distress is only temporary. Letting go of perfectionism is something I practice myself and I bring that into therapy to help my clients.
Why did you decide to become a therapist?
So many times, peoples’ voices go unheard, and their wounds are never healed. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that, in many ways, I had been helping family members and friends do their healing for a long time. Once I made this discovery, I realized how much I also needed my voice to be heard and a space to heal and grow. It became clear to me that my life’s passion was helping others heal. I enjoy witnessing others work through their pain and strengthening different areas of their lives. I can honestly say that this work is so meaningful, and I am proud to be able to be a healer.
What advice would you give someone who may be struggling with the decision to start therapy, but may not feel ready?
Sometimes we may not even recognize when we need additional support. Opening up about things that have been hidden so deep is a difficult and scary thing to do. If you are considering therapy, I always encourage remembering that you DON’T have to “have it all figured out.” You can be confused, scared, and anxious; the therapist is there to help you find what areas of growth and healing are most important to you!!
Furthermore, nothing has to be “wrong” for anyone to begin therapy. The world is always and forever changing and unexpected events can occur. However, no one has to wait until things become unbearable to begin this journey. Many clients recognize that once they start therapy it is truly a space unlike any other where they can gain deeper insight into themselves and the world around them.
Describe a first session with you.
A first session with me would be a warm and safe environment. We would spend time getting to know one another. I am a very relational person and naturally want people to feel validated and comfortable with me as we embark on the therapy journey. I would also spend time talking about what the process of therapy looks like. Many times, there is a misrepresented narrative of what therapy actually is and I like to have a collaborative discussion with people to help alleviate anxiety about therapy.