Getting to Know Me: The Basics
A Licensed Professional Here to Offer Support, Guidance and Most of all Space
So you would like to know a little more about me? That makes sense. After all therapy is a very intimate experience that begins with establishing rapport and trust overtime; and for many people such a process could seem very intimidating to begin with a stranger. So, let's get acquainted: As you know, my name is Steven Ellison and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). I decided to become a LCSW while I was studying Philosophy as an undergraduate. As a student of philosophy, my primary concerns were to better understand how people have throughout time wrestled with and explored the themes of: purpose, change, community, healing and love. It was this initial endeavor of inquiry which led me to the very practical questions of: "How do we heal?" or "How can we better experience and direct our own growth?" For me these questions and many others like them naturally led me into the therapeutic space as a graduate student of clinical social work where I continued my study and learned how to better channel my love and empathy into the art healing, growth and empowerment.
My Values in Therapy & Healing
In my experiences as a person who has known physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual healing (and by extension suffering); I have noticed that the best measurements for healing to me has always included the question: "How open are you right now?"
I believe that we all are familiar with the experiences of:
Being "Shutdown" - feeling closed in on ourselves, not open to self-expression, new experiences or human connection
Feeling Frequently Uncomfortable - anxious, restless, overthinking, uncertain of how to reclaim or share needed space as our truest selves
Feeling Internally Confined - tireless inner dialogue, stubborn but not sure why, disembodied or limited sense of physical presence (i.e. living from the head)
There are a lot of ways to describe the impact that being "closed" has on our bodies, emotional well-being, psychological wholeness, and spiritual fulfillment. Of course, there are just as many reasons for how we have become the way we are and much of it can be summed up by trauma and grief, internalized oppression and problematic social narratives.
Thus part of the healing work with me is learning to recognize and understand your experiences of openness & "closedness" in body, emotion, mind, and heart or spirit; and of course, learning how to willing and courageously open yourself up to the possibility of healing and a more full life.
How do you see the work?
Many people seek out a therapist because they want a trained expert who has studied the methods and models of therapeutic intervention. Many of the interventions we learn and implement are deemed evidence-based practices and have been improved through a process that includes research, evaluation, critical analysis and most of all time. Every licensed and experienced therapist has gone through a relatively similar process of acquiring greater and greater clinical expertise and knowledge as we learn to more effectively utilize these interventions. We each vow to be lifelong learners in our endeavor to better our practice and our ability to ethically provide our services to our clients.
However, therapy to me is much more than a scientific approach to healing, it is an art form. It is the art of change in the context of the human experience. It is an art that takes place within individuals, couples, families and communities. It is the art of knowing how to relate, to create space, to match tempo and flow. It is the art of listening deeply and reflectively, speaking truths with excellent timing, and digesting insights in momentary silences. It is the art of knowing when to pause and when to push; and it is the art of creating comfort out of discomfort in authentic interactions between one human being and another. Therapy with me is a co-creation and a realization of possibilities during which we are each participants.