Mental health counseling is a second career for me. I've spent the last several decades as a performing artist and teacher. What does this mean for you? Therapy is based upon scientific and theoretical principles, but the application of evidence-based knowledge is much more of an art than a science.
Research clearly shows that it is the nature and quality of the therapeutic relationship that you and I co-create that most influences the outcome of therapy. My training as an artist and educator brings with it some well-practiced skills that crossover quite naturally into my work as a psychotherapist:
- Active and careful listening (absolutely essential for a musician)
- Focusing on the process (rehearsing and performing make this a must)
- Staying in the 'here and now' (from years of improvisation)
- Giving honest and respectful feedback (something every teacher needs to be able to do)
- Having a sense of humor (a survival skill!)
My approach to helping takes into account the fact that whatever issues you bring into therapy developed over time and in relationships with other people. We don't grow up overnight or in a vacuum. So I'm wary of any kind of counseling that offers a 'quick fix'. Some problems can be addressed in just a few sessions, but I've found that many cannot.
There's no one-size-fits-all for counseling. For this reason, I favor an integrative theoretical framework. This means that you and I collaboratively determine how best to make use of your inherent wisdom and other strengths to increase your mental, physical and emotional well-being. If you'd like a more technical explanation, I feel most comfortable in the client-centered and psychodynamic realms. I'm primarily influenced by the work of Carl Rogers, Irvin Yalom, Louise Kaplan and Daniel Siegel, among others.
This will be YOUR work. You determine the goals. You set the pace. I strive to create an environment that encourages you to be honest with me (and, more importantly, with yourself). Trust, openness and non-judgmental acceptance is the atmosphere in which I feel you will be able to do the work you came to do, whatever it is.
Can I guarantee that I'm the right (or best) therapist for you? Of course not; no one can. Because this work is so personal, it's crucial that you find a counselor with whom you 'click'. I encourage you to give me a call so you can have an opportunity to see if we connect in our initial consultation.
I very much look forward to speaking with you soon. Whether or not we work together, I offer you my very best wishes.
Bill Harrison ReachesChicago IL