Posted by: Marie | August 31, 2010

(390) And the finalists are . . .

Post #390
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, March 9, 2010]

Well, I haven’t heard a peep from Mark since I sent him the “Would you allow my friend to kick your ass?” email five days ago and the “Let’s wrap this up” email four days ago.

I wonder what is up with him. Maybe he is angry . . . ?? Sick? If something really bad happened to him, I would have heard about it through the small-town rumor mill by now, I’m sure.

Oh, well . . . I’ll give him more time, maybe he is just busy. In actuality, it’s only been three business days. I guess that isn’t so long.

Anyway . . . looking forward . . .

I have gotten all five interviews with prospective therapists scheduled over the next seven days – starting tomorrow. The five finalists are:


Believes each person is resourceful and able to bring about his or her own healing in order to better thrive in their lives.

Employs an array of counseling techniques that are tailored to meet each client’s needs including: examining beliefs that cause behaviors, guided imagery, exploring spiritual life, and finding understanding and healing.

Has worked for over 10 years in the area of human development including psychological services at an mental hospital and at a safe house for abused women and children, and she has also served as a professional coach for individuals.

Is just starting a private practice as a psychotherapist – she is the therapist who called me on the day I started looking for a new therapist.


Has more than 20 years experience as a therapist.

Works to address issues related to body, mind and spirit by creating a safe, nurturing environment.

The Pier by Martin Chen

Specializes in working with challenges related to trauma, attachment and relationship conflicts.

Understands relationships are not easy but essential to living a balanced, happy life.

Has an honest, direct style.


Specializes in issues related to relationships, mood disorders, phobias, substance abuse and spiritual issues.

Has over fifteen years experience in a variety of therapeutic roles including counselor, therapist, instructor and psychologist intern.

Has a variety of work experience including substance treatment clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, mental hospitals, colleges and private practice.

Has certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

Uses respectful humor when it is appropriate.


Specializes in treating depression, anxiety, trauma (including childhood trauma), relationship issues, dissociative disorders.

Is a certified integrative psychotherapist – integrative psychotherapy is far more common in Europe than in the United States.

Is certified as an advanced ethical psychotherapist – he adheres to the highest ethical standards of the profession.

Has a doctorate’s degree in telecommunications (what he did prior to becoming a therapist) and taught for six years as a university professor.

Is a public speaker and published writer.


Specializes in marriage and family therapy.

Broad clinical practice including experience treating trauma, domestic violence, relationships, medical issues, grief/loss, substance abuse, mental illness (e.g. depression, etc), dual diagnosis, body image, foster/kinship care, marital/relationship issues, and personal development.

Her practice is GLBT friendly.

Theoretical orientation tends to be integrative, predominantly drawing from the following theories: Feminist, Narrative, Solution Focused and Cognitive Behavioral.

Certified as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner and an Addictions Counselor.

Seven years clinical experience.


  1. These all sound like excellent candidates. How did you feel about each of them, based on your interaction?

  2. … I meant based on your initial interaction; I know you’ll tell us about the interviews. :-)

    • Hey, David –

      Great question!

      Katherine (via email) was very professional and a bit laid back. She responded quickly to my emails and took extra steps to complete our communication when my email went on the blink. Her photo showed an older (late 50’s?), motherly looking woman.

      Janet was actually not the therapist to whom I emailed in her office. But, the guy to whom I did email forwarded my information to her because he was not looking for new clients and she was. As you know, I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by my phone call with her. I did wonder why she ignored my request to use email, but I decided it was not a deal-breaker at all for me – just something worth noting.

      Steve (via phone) was efficient yet casual . . . almost not professional. For example, he never did respond to my email and when I called him, he answered with, “Hello” . . . no name. However, he asked great questions and seemed to be focused on our conversation and he listened well. His photo showed someone about my age, very broad, open face, shaved head, athletic (muscular) build.

      Edward (via email) responded very quickly and his emails were very complete and warm . . . professional . . . but almost too touchy feely. I got the feeling that he was all about understanding what I needed in the context of therapy and meeting those needs. He said he appreciated the opportunity to meet with me, that he valued the effort I was putting into finding a new therapist, etc. His photo showed someone my age and with an athletic build (slender), bright eyes, whole-face smile.

      Anna (via email) was very efficient and professional – pleasant interaction but the conversation was limited to just discussion about dates, times, address, etc. She responded very quickly from her blackberry – I got four emails from her in 48 hours. Her picture showed a very strong featured, professional, well-groomed younger lady (my age, LOL).

      Is this what you were asking?

      – Marie

    • Yeah, that’s what I was asking — I’ll be curious to see how your interviews do or don’t match your initial impressions of them.

      • So . . . are you brave enough to take a guess based upon the info provided so far whom I selected?

    • I’m thinking Janet or Edward; I think you’ll be drawn to Janet due to her stated belief that healing is basically a self-directed process w/the therapist as guide, which probably means she’s not didactic. Edward has a good training background w/the types of issues you have (and also with communication) but I’m pretty sure he won’t be open to touch in session, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for you.

      • You are right on about my being drawn to Janet’s belief that therapy is a client-directed process. Edward had a very touchy-feely website that had a very personal, warm feel to it — as you noted, big on communication.

  3. Yes, interesting to know who the winner is.

    • Hey, Ivory –

      It was a very cool process . . . I learned so much!

      – Marie

  4. Looking forward to hearing about the interviews and the winner.

    • Thank you for your continued interest, Evan!

  5. My two cents:
    Katherine and Anna look like the best ones to me – they seem the most experienced and professional.

    You don’t say what degrees or professional association memberships they have. That’s something that is pretty important to check, in my opinion. Professional associations and degrees help by giving therapists someone to be accountable to besides you. They usually ensure that people don’t do work they are not qualified for and give you someone to complain to if there is an ethical issue.

    For what it’s worth, most professional therapists are not going to be comfortable with emailing you back and forth about anything other than appointment scheduling. This is because it is easy to misunderstand tone and such in an email so their responses have to be crafted very carefully because of that, which makes it very time consuming. Good therapists will want to keep the therapeutic work during the face to face time when they can do their best job of it. Usually they’re not being paid for email writing time, so it amounts to free clinical work for them and therapists have to watch their boundaries like anyone else.

    • Hey, SDW –

      It doesn’t surprise me that you are asking about certifications, degrees, etc. I know you value that greatly . . . I guess I don’t value that nearly as much just because I don’t understand the value of the various degrees and certifications and affiliations. It is all alphabet soup to me. But, I know you are well versed on all that . . .

      So, to answer your inquiry, here is the info they provided on their websites:

      Janet – Two Master of Arts Degrees (one in Organizational Psychology, another in Counseling); Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Affiliated with: American Counseling Association (ACA), American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA), Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW), Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), Colorado Association of Psychotherapists (CAP), Colorado Counseling Association (CCA), International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC)

      Katherine – Master’s Degree, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor

      Steve – Master’s in Counseling Psychology, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Addiction Counselor Level II, has completed a Doctorate in Psychology (all but dissertation which I am currently completing), certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

      Edward – NCC (National Certified Counselor), LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), CIP (Certified Integrative Psychotherapist), CAESP (Certification In Advanced Ethics Studies In Psychotherapy), Master’s degree in community counseling, Ph.D. in telecommunications

      Anna – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Level II Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner, Level III Certified Addictions Counselor, AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

      – Marie

  6. Based on limited info, my vote is for Katherine or Janet…but i’m also curious to see how it unfolded

    • It is very interesting to me to see what the various readers value . . . I guess Steve is the only one that isn’t drawing much favor, LOL . . . poor guy!

  7. Edward sounds really good. But I am saying that because that is probably who I would be drawn to if I were the one shopping from this list for a therapist for myself (except I like it when the therapist is at least a little bit older than me because it makes me feel like they might ‘know something’ that I don’t – or some such like that). I can’t wait to find out who you choose.

    • Hey, EH –

      I understand what you are saying about the age things . . . the only one who was significantly older than me was Katherine. I guess that means I’m getting older, LOL!

      – Marie

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