My name is Dakota Fidram, an associate professional counselor providing affirmative therapy in Atlanta, GA. Website: djfidram.com
Associate Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA
Supervised by Kristy Aspinwall, LPC, CPCS
I have worked with diverse identities and backgrounds in the LGBTQ community. Many of my clients work on identity exploration and the complexity of expressing one's true self. Some issues that stand out in particular are dating in the LGBTQ community, dealing with conflicting family values and expectations, the intersection of LGBTQ identities and mental health, and the stigma and nuance of polyamory. I work frequently with trans clients processing transition as well as the HRT process.
My experience with depression has involved working with the often varying and unique circumstances each client faces when coping with a wide range of symptoms, such as sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness. I like to focus on a trifecta of depressive symptoms that can be especially debilitating: anhedonia (or the loss/lack of pleasure and enjoyment), executive dysfunction (a deterioration in the ability to complete tasks and plan), and fatigue/pain.
I have worked extensively with clients managing the symptoms of anxiety as well as panic attacks and panic disorder. My approach to anxiety involves a combination of evidenced based techniques such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Exposure-Response Prevention, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in order to help understand the cycle of anxious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to best counteract negative thought spirals and hyper-awareness to negative signals.
I like to incorporate the benefits of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in therapy as a means to help manage a wide range of situations. Mindfulness, the state of being in the present moment and non-judgmental of your emotions/current state, can be a vital component of effectively and positively managing symptoms and developing adaptive coping mechanisms. My mindfulness approach involves Conscious Breathing, Guided Imagery and Meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and much more.
My experience and studies in literature paved the way for my current philosophical and therapeutic approach in counseling. It was the influence of French authors like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus that left a huge mark on my professional development. I would later consolidate their teachings with experts in Psychology, such as Viktor Frankl and his emphasis on the "will to meaning." How we make meaning out of the suffering we endure can be one of the most powerful questions in counseling.
CBT is a crucial tool in therapy that can help point out how the ways we think can be faulty and therefore perpetuate negative feelings and behaviors. By examining these thoughts and working on ways to counteract them, I help clients reframe situations and pull-back from the irrational judgments placed on the self and others.
OCD is one of the most complex and, at times, debilitating disorders. In the community, it is often called "complex" anxiety and normally involves intrusive thoughts that are overwhelming accompanied by safety checking. There are many subtypes of OCD recognized by the community such as Harm OCD, Religious OCD, Contamination OCD, among others. Research has shown that the most effective approach to OCD is Exposure-Response Prevention, aimed at reconsolidating memories around fears.