What do you specialize in?
I see all kinds of people dealing with a wide variety of mental health issues. I see male and female clients of all ages and thoroughly enjoy what I do. That having been said, because of many years of ministry work and 20 years as a secondary educator, I do have a great deal of experience working with pre-teen, teen, and young adult men and women, and gain great satisfaction in watching them grow and change and achieve their goals. It is said that many missionaries have a people group that they feel especially drawn to and who come to hold a special place in their heart. For me, young people are that group. I love young people and have spent over 25 years of my life focusing on helping them grow, and I would gladly devote the rest of my working years continuing to do so.
What do you think is important about your role as a therapist?
Therapists have a unique opportunity to help people walk successfully through challenging times or circumstances. They provide a venue for others to be truly heard and accepted, sometimes in the midst of great difficulty. The longer I work in the field of psychology the greater respect I gain for the clients I serve who are willing to share the deepest and most vulnerable parts of themselves for the sake of personal growth and health. The role is not only important but a great privilege as well.
How do you help people, in your opinion?
I think it’s important to know my subject matter well and to be current in knowledge and understanding of the research in my field. I also think it’s important to be able to communicate and utilize that information well in my work with my clients. But, information alone will not produce good results, even if applied appropriately. Good therapy is about good relationships. I need to build good relationships with my clients. I need to know them well, know their stories, their body language, and to let them know that in my office they are heard and accepted. To be an excellent therapist, clinical expertise and positive relationships must work together.
What is something that you wish people knew about your specialty, or about therapy in general?
I wish more clients understood that help and healing and change all take time. Problems often develop and reveal themselves to us over time. Similarly, it’s often a process just to come to the conclusion that therapy might be necessary and to make the first appointment. Therapy, too, is a process. It may seem slow, but it will be worth it.
Name an influential person or experience in your life.
I would like to give to others what my big brother once gave to me: hope. When I was a little girl, I was left unable to walk from surgeries to correct a congenital hip defect. I can remember asking my mother if she thought I would ever walk again. Before she could answer, my older brother blurted out, “Of course you’ll walk! You’ve got legs, haven’t ya?”, as if it was the stupidest question he had ever heard. And, that was the end of the conversation. Eventually I did walk again, and I’m still walking today. Now, I’m not saying my brother caused me to be able to walk again, but he sure did instill hope in me, and it’s followed me all of my life… hope makes a difference.
To learn more about Kimberly, visit her page.