Therapist Feature: Rosie Barton, LMSW

We are excited to welcome Rosie Barton, LMSW to the team! Learn more about Rosie below.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?

I was inspired to become a therapist during my junior year of college after having such a positive experience of support at my college counseling center. After one of my childhood best friends died suddenly in a car accident, I found that I wasn’t coping in a healthy or adaptive way. Luckily, I had a friend who noticed what was going on and she walked with me to set up my first appointment at the counseling center. I was nervous to start therapy, but it ended up being the catalyst to healing, growth, and my future career.

As a therapist, what are you most passionate about? 

I’m most passionate about forming a trusting and warm relationship with my clients so that we can work together to identify goals and directions for treatment. I want my clients to know that therapy isn’t something that “happens” to them, but rather it’s a dynamic, engaging process in which we collaborate to help them achieve more meaning in their lives—whatever that might look like.

What are your specialties and what drew you to them?

My specialties are eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and professional and relationship issues. I’m drawn to these issues in particular because I’ve experienced the way that societal influences, our history, and negative thought patterns can come together and limit our quality of life. And I’ve also experienced the way that these limiting beliefs can be challenged and overcome. I believe that life is full of richness once we are able to relinquish the patterns that aren’t serving us, such as coping through isolation, perfectionism, or managing food and body shape.

What makes you unique as a therapist?

When I first started therapy, I imagined that my therapist never had any problems or struggles because she seemed so wise. What I’ve realized since then is that as human beings, we all struggle and feel shame over some aspect of our lives. That’s what makes this profession such a gift. In our current age of social media and constant stimulation from technology, it’s easy for us to feel isolated with thoughts of guilt, self-doubt, worthlessness, or hopelessness. I want to help my clients feel less alone in that experience. My warmth and acceptance helps others feel more comfortable and ready to take on challenges in therapy, no matter how daunting they may seem at first.

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

My therapeutic approach is collaborative and active. I aim to understand what my client is looking for in therapy so that we can identify concrete steps to take toward his or her goals. My therapy combines teaching skills, such as cognitive behavioral techniques to reframe thoughts, as well as psychodynamic work, in which we explore the client’s history and the experiences that influence current ways of relating and functioning in the world. I don't believe that therapy should be manualized and I invite my clients to play an active role in making treatment decisions.

Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care?

For me, I feel most connected to myself and the world when I’m near the water. I try to take a walk out to the East River as often as possible, even if that means bundling up in the winter. I also enjoy activities that ground me in my life, such as cooking while playing music, checking out a new book at the library, or writing at my favorite coffee shop.

What is your favorite...

Quote:I love the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, but especially the beginning lines:
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
Love what it loves.”

Book: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Movie: The little girl in me could probably watch Matilda every day of my life.  

What is one thing that is important for anyone to know? 

The first step towards healing is self-compassion, no matter what you’re going through. Learning to be gentle and forgiving with yourself isn’t easy work. Often times our thought patterns and beliefs are so deeply engrained that it takes a long time and great effort to change. It can be discouraging at first to continue to struggle with old habits, which is why it’s crucial to be self-compassionate in that process. 

Rosie Barton is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. To schedule an appointment with her or learn more about how therapy can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.