Aaron Kirkwood, marriage and family therapist with Counseling Associates for Well-Being in Athens, GA talks about a practice you might try to improve your relationships and your mental well-being during this trying time. See the video here.
Aaron D. Kirkwood, LAMFT, will be starting a group for couples entitled Collaborative Relationship Enhancement Group and is seeking feedback from couples in committed relationship. If you are in a committed relationship and would like to respond please follow the link below to take this very brief survey. Your feedback will help to shape the group so that it is useful for couples looking to improve their relationships. This is an informal information gathering survey for the purpose of ensuring that the group is useful for couples who might attend. If you have questions or comments please fill free to reach out to Aaron at (706) 534 – 8558 or Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com
The survey can be found at this link.
Check out Aaron’s latest vlog about romance in long-term relationships/marriages.
(706) 534 – 8558
I thought I would conduct an interview with a Marriage and Family Therapist to get a small peek inside the mind of someone who spends all their time “inside” the minds of others. It just so happens that I know a Marriage and Family Therapist rather intimately, and that is who I decided to interview.
Have you ever seen the movie Interview with a Vampire? Well, I can almost promise you this interview will not be as interesting, sexy, or scary as that. Read on to see if you agree.
Me: So, what made you decide to become a therapist?
Also me: Well, I remember having friends in high school whose parents were divorced and seeing how that experience really affected them, mostly in negative ways. I decided, rather foolishly, that I would grow up and find a “cure” for divorce. I also recall reading a book somewhere around 10th grade on the history of psychology in the library and finding it incredibly fascinating. As I began to express interest in psychology my 10th grade biology professor, Mrs. Taylor, encouraged me to look into Marriage and Family Therapy. Plus, I’m really bad at math so I knew I couldn’t be an accountant or an engineer.
Me: What is your favorite thing about being a Marriage and Family Therapist?
Also me: At the risk of sounding cliché, I really love helping people. When the end of a work day rolls around and I have had at least one client who seemed to benefit from our session I feel an immense sense of satisfaction. I can honestly say that this is the most fulfilling thing I have done for work. It feels even more powerful somehow when I am working with a couple or a family and there is a shift in the relationship. Suddenly, where the clients had been experiencing only sadness, hopelessness, or remorse a renewed hope blossoms. There are few feelings as awesome as experiencing this first-hand!
Me: So, can therapists like, read your mind?
Also me: Nope! Not even a little bit. A good therapist is attuned to their client’s body language, however, and this helps us read a client’s emotions when he or she might not be consciously aware of them. For instance, a client may begin to tap or shake their foot rapidly as a stress-inducing conversation gets underway. I might ask that client “Are you feeling any anxiety just now?” The client may reply “No, I’m okay.” “Because I noticed you were shaking your foot quite a bit there.” “Oh, was I? Hmmm. Well, now that I think of it I might have been feeling some stress when we started talking about …” I don’t have any superpowers and supernatural abilities unfortunately, just what Sherlock Holmes might call a keen sense of observation and deduction.
Me: What inspires you?
Also me: Well, besides seeing a person feeling better because of some new insight or perspective, I would have to say music is a big inspiration to me. I get flashes of song lyrics in my head all the time, even during therapy sessions. When it is feels appropriate I sometimes share these with clients, particularly if they might offer a unique perspective or confirm a client’s newly discovered perspective. Music can be a beautiful metaphor for relationships. Individuals (notes) come together to form relationships (chords) in different configurations (chord changes) across time (a song).
Me: Who are your favorite clients to work with?
Also me: Gosh, that’s a hard question! I think if there is a common thread to my work when I’m feeling the most satisfaction, it comes from working with individuals who feel, for whatever reason, disempowered. Working together with them to develop a unique voice, and learn to resist the forces who might have made them feel unworthy or uncared for is uniquely rewarding. I focus often on relationships, especially couples, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, but I also really enjoy working with individuals. The work can be very different when I’m talking with a client one-on-one versus working with a couple or a family. I love being able to switch it up throughout the day because it keeps the work interesting and stimulating.
Me: What advice would you give someone seeking therapy for the first time?
Also me: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find a therapist who you feel comfortable with. Just don’t be afraid in general of seeing a therapist. I personally try to make it as painless as possible, even though sometimes painful things arise. We deal with those things in a comforting and safe environment. Try not to get hung up on buzzwords and psycho-jargon. Studies tell us that almost all therapies are roughly equally effective. If your friend had luck with cognitive-behavioral therapy but it doesn’t feel right for you then don’t do it. Find someone with an approach and a personality who feel like a good fit for you.
via e-mail at Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com
or call me at (706) 296-0455
and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
We at Counseling Associates for Well-being value our ability to provide a much needed service to the individuals in our community. Part of that commitment includes offering reduced fee services. I wanted to take some time to let people know that this is an option and what it means.
- Who qualifies for reduced fee services? There is not strict requirement for reduced fee services. We offer a reduced fee to those that have a financial need, and cannot pay the regular full fee. We do not ask for proof of income or some similar qualifier. This is a confidential determination made between client and therapist.
- What is the reduced fee? There is not one set reduced fee. Rather, an agreement is reached between client and therapist about what is affordable to the client but fair to the therapist.
- Do I get the same services as everyone else? Absolutely! You will see your therapist for a full 1-hour session just like anyone else. Your level of care will be on par with clients who pay using private insurance or who pay the full fee.
- If I have insurance can I still see a therapist for a reduced fee? There are various reasons that people with health insurance choose not to use it to pay for services. Some people have a very high deductible and would have to pay full fee until that deductible is met. If your deductible is $10,000 you’re unlikely to meet that deductible until the 6th Tuesday in Neveruary. Health insurance providers require a diagnosis in order to pay for services and some people prefer not to have a diagnosis on their permanent health record. If, for any reason, you choose not to use your health insurance and cannot afford to pay full fee for services you are welcome to make use of our reduced fee services. Health insurance may not cover your issue if you’re looking for couples or family counseling anyway. We are happy to offer those services, in addition to individual therapy, at a reduced fee as well.
- Who would I see in your practice? Currently I have spaces available for clients who need a reduced fee. Please view my information on our website or at Psychology Today to see if you feel that my services would be a good match for you.
If you’ve been feeling that therapy would be beneficial for you but weren’t sure you could afford it, please give me a call today. If you know someone who might benefit from seeing a therapist but may not be able to pay a full fee for services, please pass along my information. You can reach me by phone at (706) 534 – 8558 or e-mail me at Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com