I‘m back today on the blog after learning more about Kelly Lehman, who just joined our staff last month. Kelly is a Licensed Professional Counselor who treats children, adolescents, and adults. Her areas of special interest include eating disorders, addictive behaviors, military issues (including deployments, readjustments/reintegration, and PTSD), anxiety, OCD, and marriage/couples counseling. Additionally, Kelly works well with patients who are experiencing chronic pain or have experienced medical trauma. To schedule your first appointment with Kelly Lehman, call our office at (910) 790-9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Alexis Hunter, Director of Professional Relations
Why did you decide to become a therapist?
I decided to become a therapist because I know personally how life can throw challenges at you. None of us are exempt from experiencing trials in life, and when they do occur, there is tremendous value in having a support system outside of family and friends. I have always enjoyed creating genuine, authentic relationships with people, and being able to encourage and help others is something I feel compelled to do. I feel incredibly honored to be able to serve in the role of therapist, and I take the responsibility that comes with it very seriously.
I’ve never been to therapy. What should I expect during therapy appointments with you?
I want to create a therapeutic environment that feels relaxed and natural. I am a very down to earth person, and I appreciate ‘realness.’ I provide an honest, accepting atmosphere where my clients can feel safe being who they are genuinely. I also want them to know that they will get honesty from me. I know how imperfect I am, so I make every effort not to judge another person for past life events, current circumstances, future aspirations, or emotional/behavioral struggles. While I have education and experience that can be of value to my clients, I know that I am not omniscient. I rely on my clients to share their own expertise into who they are. I value the therapeutic relationship and like to have a partnership with my clients. As a therapist, I am not a dictator, rather a facilitator. My clients should expect our sessions to be an accepting environment where they can receive education, guidance, and support. Ultimately, change is in their hands. My job is simply to encourage and facilitate that change.
What is different about talking to a therapist than talking to a good friend?
Friends and family are an amazing resource and provide a tremendous support to someone in need. A therapist can also provide this, although the relationship is a bit different from that of a friend. A therapist is likely to be more objective and can provide feedback that is not emotionally rooted. It is very easy for friends or family to become overwhelmed or frustrated by client circumstances; therefore, they may respond out of their own emotion. Their ability to remain neutral may become cloudy. They also may not have the communication skills or understanding of mental health issues to effectively support the individual in a manner that encourages personal growth. Additionally, many clients may find it comforting to share personal issues with a ‘stranger,’ so they can be completely honest without fear of retaliation, hurt feelings, judgment, or awkwardness.
What book are you reading, or podcast are you listening to right now?
I just finished reading It’s Not Supposed to be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst.
If you stepped through my front door, you would immediately realize that I am a huge animal lover. At this time, I have cats and dogs, but if I can one day convince my husband, I would love to include a pygmy goat and alpaca to my pack.