One of the things we understand about the practice of therapy is that a good connection between the clinician and the client is absolutely essential to the process. In conventional, in-person therapy, we build that rapport by sitting across from one another in an office, noticing what it feels like to sit together. As the client, you ask yourself, "Do I trust this person? Can I imagine talking with her about things that are hard to talk about? Do I feel listened to and respected?" And the answers to those questions determine whether you schedule a second appointment.
We won't be sitting together in my office, so I want to give you an idea of what it's like to work with me in therapy.
1. I'm not objective. I come to this work with a set of values, beliefs, and attitudes that affect my work.
2. Part of not being objective means I'm on your side. And that means I'm sometimes confronting parts of *you* that are not on your side - maybe parts that are rigid, self-destructive, or downright mean to you.
3. I want you to feel successful in therapy - which usually means feeling challenged in therapy.
4. I'm not Judge Judy or Ann Landers. I'm not going to make judgments or offer advice. I will be discerning, and I will support your efforts to use discernment. I will help you learn to trust your own intuition and listen to the good advice you give yourself.
5. Before I became a clinical social worker, I worked with victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The client-centered, feminist-oriented, strengths-focused approaches I learned inform my work as a therapist.
6. My primary "languages" in clinical work are narrative therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, EMDR, and the Internal Family Systems metaphor. Collectively, these practices are de-pathologizing, collaborative, and imaginative. They normalize multiplicity, foster self-compassion, and encourage creativity.
7. Problems don't occur in a vacuum. We will be looking at how issues and identities related to race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, and "other-ing" affect your experience of the problem.
8. I will bring honesty, curiosity, kindness, and humor to the table. If you can bring some of the same, we'll be well on our way to building a trusting therapeutic relationship.
9. Lastly and most importantly, I welcome and encourage feedback. That's one of the ways we build therapeutic rapport: you tell me something, I tell you what I think I heard, you tell me what I'm missing or what I got wrong, and we go from there.
A final note:
Engaging in therapy is kind of like inviting someone into your house. At first you may be comfortable with your guest in the living room, the kitchen, or maybe that one bathroom you cleaned before they showed up. It would be shocking and intrusive for a guest to propose going down to the basement to look through a bunch of old junk. But as a therapist, when I'm invited into your metaphorical house, I won't want to stay in your living room for very long. I'll get curious about what you're hiding in the basement, and I'll want to look through old boxes with you. Together, we'll wonder why you're holding on to old things you don't need that aren't really serving any purpose anymore. Walking down the basement steps the first time can feel scary, overwhelming, and unsettling. I hope I'll have the opportunity to walk at your side.
- Stress, Anxiety
- Relationship issues
- Eating disorders
Addictions , Family conflicts , Trauma and abuse , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Parenting issues , Self esteem , Career difficulties , Bipolar disorder , Coping with life changes Read more...
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy
LISW #006847 (Expires: 2022-12-31)
Kat Nydam Olivier is an extremely helpful, informative, and kind therapist. During the time that she has been my therapist she has helped me to understand my own emotions better. I am able to voice my needs to myself and others due to her expertise.
Kat listens well and comments insightfully. I quickly became comfortable sharing and speaking with her. She always recaps our sessions with a thoughtful message, and sets an intention for the next season. Overall an excellent experience!
Kat has been wonderful for me--she infuses some humor (which I need) while talking to me realistically about what I am thinking and feeling. She has been so valuable, especially knowing that she is going to check in on me, which is a major source of stability right now. I really like being able to send her quick chats and emails and get her feedback on a quick turnaround. I don't think I will ever go back to once-a-week therapy!