We are excited to welcome Dorette Greene, LMSW to the team! Learn more about Dorette below, and look out for more therapist features in the next couple of months.
What initially inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?
Therapy has always been a field I found fascinating, but never really thought of pursuing. When I first began my career, I spent several years as a Case Manager working with children and families. In that time, I found myself doing a great deal of therapeutic work and I fell in love with it! One day, I had a conversation with my mentor at the time (who was also the Associate Director of the agency in which I worked). I remember telling her that I was interested in pursuing a Masters degree as I had dreams of being a “counselor.” Her response to me was, “I don’t see you as a counselor… I do, however, see you as a therapist.” It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how much passion I had for mental health, specifically in therapy and the therapeutic process. Once I began to learn more and actually began practicing as a therapist, my passion for it only increased. I love to see people grow and change due to the benefits of engaging in therapy. Early in my career, all I knew was that I wanted to "help people." I had no real semblance of what that really meant or exactly how I intended to do that until I began practicing therapy.
As a therapist, what are you most passionate about?
The Process! Anyone that has ever been through therapy or practiced as a therapist knows that therapy can be integral in someone not only gaining meaningful perspective in their lives, but also in understanding things about their life and experiences that they were previously unaware of. Making sense of ones thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and then applying that knowledge and perspective to making decisions, can only lead to better future outcomes and more positive dispositions in the present. It's exhilarating when I'm in session with a client and I see them mentally "connecting the dots" and gaining perspective they didn't have before.
What are your specialities and what drew you to them?
I wouldn’t say that I have any particular specialties, however I have a special love for couples work and interpersonal/relational work. While in grad school I was particularly drawn to psychodynamic modalities as well as emotionally focused therapy. I found psychodynamic therapy interesting mostly based on the subconscious/unconscious aspects of the work. I gravitated towards emotionally focused therapy due to its heavy base in attachment theory. Attachment being a fundamental part of the human experience is important to all relationships, not just romantic ones.
What makes you unique as a therapist?
I don't think any two therapists are alike, even if they have similar backgrounds/training. In that respect, I think all therapists are unique in their own way. I like to think of myself as having always been a therapist in some ways. I was always the friend that people came to for advice. I was always reframing problems before I understood that their was a clinical term for what I was doing. Although therapy is not about providing advice, or just helping someone conceptualize a problem differently, it's about facilitating a process/journey. I think part of what makes me unique is I'm very aware that in the dyad of therapist and client, I am not the authority. The client is, and I like to allow them to feel empowered by that fact.
How would you describe your therapeutic approach?
As far as my therapeutic approach is concerned, it varies based on my client's needs. I would say it obviously begins with building rapport and understanding the presenting problem, but from there it evolves into a mix of solution-focused, emotionally-focused, psychodynamic therapy with some CBT techniques incorporated.
Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care?
I love to travel, read, and spend time with my family. I try to keep a good work/home life balance as well.
What is your favorite...
Quote: "Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right." – Henry Ford
Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (I know technically that is 3 movies but I cant pick just one)
What is one thing that is important for anyone to know?
For anyone who has ever had difficulty saying no, I offer this: NO. Is a full sentence and a totally acceptable response. Saying no to things that don't align with your authentic emotions, beliefs, and desires is one of the most empowering acts of self-care you will ever engage in.