Hello, everyone! Joey Salvatore here, teletherapy counselor for State of Maryland. Therapy, Art, and Cooking are my respective jams!
Counselor in Bethesda, MD
Life brings changes and adjustments to us, often without us wanting or requesting them. Change of job, housing, relationship, loss of a loved one. Many of these things can lead to greater stress and difficulty adjusting to the transition. Having a counselor to explore how to settle into the transition, how to "ride the waves of uncertainty" can be useful in helping you feel grounded when you get where you are transitioning to.
Exploring the influence of the gender binary, gender roles, how various cultures view gender differently, gender markers, correct pronouns, having discussions around gender identity with loved ones, friends, or co-workers. There are a lot of issues that can come with exploring gender identity. I recognize that there are many sides to this concept and work with my clients to provide them a safe space to explore issues connected to gender, regardless of how they identify.
As a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I not only feel a professional but also a personal responsibility to support this often under-served community, to provide a space of safety and security to explore issues connected to sexual identity, and of course issues NOT related to sexual identity that can be made that much more challenging for people who are in sexual minority communities. Providing an empowered space for clients to explore content is a cornerstone in my work.
What we pay attention to shapes our experience. By working with my clients to notice their minds, their attention, they work with attention and mindfulness to show improvements in mental health and wellness outcomes, feel more equipped to manage stressful or anxiety-provoking events, and are able to more adaptively manage unwanted sensations between session.
Talk therapy is the primary method of my counseling work. However, I maintain that there are "multiple ways to the same goal". We might talk about the content to see if that gets us there. We might also write about it, draw about it, walk about it (internet and tele-space willing*), close our eyes and meditate on it.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the cornerstone of my work. The goal under our work is to increase psychological flexibility. By connecting clients with their values, they feel empowered to behave and decide in ways that are affirming for them, work on being adaptive and open when unwanted moments naturally arise, and work to increase healthy ways of responding to life's many changes and demands.