Linda Herman LMHC Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
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my approach
 

Linda’s approach to psychotherapy and counseling is straightforward:

"When I begin therapy with a new client, I do a thorough assessment of their presenting concerns. In addition to the history taken, I am interested in what my client has already done to address his/her concerns. I want to know what has, and has not worked in the past. One of my core beliefs is that all behaviors are attempts at coping or maintaining stability. Thus, even the maladaptive things we do may have a healthy purpose. Understanding that the purpose of behaviors is generally healthy enables my clients to begin seeing themselves in a more positive way. It also allows for reducing the guilt and shame often associated with personal struggles.

Another one of my beliefs is that just as our children grow taller, we (as humans) move in the direction of growth. It is my job as a therapist to help my clients identify what is getting in the way and to help them get back on a path that is healthy for them. My effectiveness lies in my ability to address my clients’ specific problems, while keeping an eye tuned to the larger picture. My goal is to not just provide symptom relief, but an increased understanding and deeper sense of meaning in their lives.

Sometimes issues are interpersonal (between people) and sometimes they are intrapersonal (having to do with oneself, e.g. a phobia). At times, a positive outcome requires that one effectively address past hurts or disappointments. The early sessions are aimed at clarifying what a client wants to work on and developing a plan to address their concerns. Therapy can involve the individual and/or family members and can encompass cognitive, behavioral or experiential strategies.
Very often, a significant obstacle is a client's belief or thoughts about himself. For example, someone who has been the "rock" of the family may see her own crying as a sign of weakness. I listen carefully to the words people use to talk about themselves and offer more appropriate alternatives. Thus, I may reframe the woman’s self-described "weakness" as perhaps just vulnerability at this point in her life. There is increasing evidence that we can significantly alter our feelings when we are able to change our thoughts. I use elements of cognitive behavioral therapy to assist clients with this process.

People ask me how I can do this work after all these years. My answer is this: I am humbled by the confidence placed in me by my clients and am honored that I can join them on their journey for a time.

There is a story about a man who had a reputation as the most popular person on the block. He prided himself on getting the most mail of anyone in the neighborhood. The upshot of the story is that, although quite popular, he hadn’t heard from himself in a long time. This, in my view, is the task of therapy: To help people ‘hear’ from themselves and to use that knowledge and understanding to live more fulfilling, meaningful lives."