Aaron D. Kirkwood, LMFT: Athens
- Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy, in progress
- Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy, Northcentral University, 2016
- Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Georgia, 2011
“As we become aware of ourselves as storytellers we realize we can use our stories to heal and make ourselves whole.” – Susan Wittig Albert
My work with clients is informed by the narrative model of therapy which emphasizes collaboration and mutual respect. This model is born out of a worldview that begins from a belief inequality and social justice and these are important ideas that drive my work. I believe that people possess the knowledge and internal resources to overcome problems. My job, as a consultant in their journey, is to help in making room for possibilities and preferred ways of thinking that are blocked by problems.
By naming the problem and understanding that it is separate from the individual or the relationship we can begin to break it down and collaboratively discover the steps that will move clients away from the problem, and towards the life that they truly want. When we break down problems in this way it is analogous to breaking up a huge boulder that sits in the middle of the path of your preferred life. Once the boulder (the problem) is broken down into smaller, gravel size pieces it becomes much easier to see a way around or through the problem. You might simplify this by saying people feel stuck either in their lives or their relationships and I help them get unstuck.
I believe that therapy is ultimately about hope, and no matter how big the problems are the smallest of hopes can be built up and used to overcome them. I love the analogy of our lives as a story and the chapter entitled “Tomorrow” hasn’t been written yet. As I see it, therapy can help clients realize that they are the authors of their own story and therefore they get to decide how the next chapter turns out.
While the foundation of my work is in narrative therapy I am also familiar with and make use of ideas from solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), Gottman theory, and emotionally focused therapy. I work with individuals, couples, and families of all backgrounds including LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families. It is always a privilege for me to meet with clients whose life experiences differ from my own and to be allowed to get to know the world through their eyes.
I see clients for evening and weekend appointments and offer reduced fee services for clients who cannot comfortably afford to pay the full fee for services. I also offer premarital counseling which may qualify couples for a discounted marriage license in the state of Georgia.
Aaron is seeing clients in the Athens location.