Hi! I’m Alicia and I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor in both Missouri and Kansas. I’m a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), and Certified Grief Counseling Specialist. I’m double board certified, having the NCC (National Certified Counselor) credential and the BC-TMH (Board-Certified Telemental Health) credential.
I’ve got a lot of interests when it comes to counseling, but I specialize in treating insomnia and in working with people with dissociative disorders such as dissociative identity disorder and depersonalization/derealization. My approach is an eclectic one. This means that I use the approach I think will most benefit my clients. With insomnia, that is usually CBT-I (cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia). For trauma and dissociation, it is a lot of person-centered and compassion-focused work. I am big on providing what is called “psychoeducation.” That is, I want to explain to you why something is happening or why a tool works. I don’t want you to do something just because I recommended it; I want to tell you about the research that supports it or how/why it works. (I will usually ask you first so if you aren’t interested, I won’t force it on you).
And that brings up another point: collaboration. I’m really big on working collaboratively with my people. Particularly when it comes to people who have experienced terrible trauma, they have often been treated as though they don’t matter, that what they think or feel doesn’t matter. In my office, your thoughts and feelings and opinions are just as important as mine. Actually, they are even more so because you get to say “no.” When I can, I will give you choices such as “We can do this, this, or that” which I will discuss with you and then you will tell me what makes sense to you. You always have the right to say “no.”
Sometimes, the therapist is seen as the authority and having more power than the client. I work really hard to put us on an even footing and I’m happy to say my clients have reported that they notice and appreciate it. One thing they have shared with me is that I’m “real” with them. That is, I sometimes relate to something we are talking about and share my own experience with it, such as times when I messed up or had what I call “human moments.” (See my blog post for more information about this). Don’t worry: I don’t dump on you or use your time to talk about my own issues. I do, though, want to be clear that I’m just as human as you are. I’m not judging you or grading you or any better than you, just perhaps different than you in some ways.
I am a proud ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. I have been an ally for many years, but it became personal when one of my children came out as transgender. I am so proud of her and her strength. I have seen the courage and strength it has taken to be herself in a society which doesn’t always understand or accept it. If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I will respect and support you. And, incidentally, this seems like a good place to mention that my pronouns are “she/her.”
Are you neuro-diverse? Well, I am! In fact, my entire family is. I have ADHD. In my family, two of us have ADHD and two of us are on the autism spectrum. Being neuro-diverse often brings with it some real challenges. While it is possible to find a neurotypical therapist who is educated about neuro-diverse brains, I want you to know that in me you get someone who has both clinical experience and real-life experience as a neuro-diverse person.
And, finally, a little bit about me outside of the office: I’m an animal lover, most especially dogs. I’m passionate about gardening with native plants, as well, and have grown many rare species from (commercial) seeds. I’m an avid reader, enjoying fantasy fiction and mysteries and I’m always reading something to add to my professional knowledge and skills. And one of these days, I’m actually going to use the yarn and crochet hooks I have and learn to crochet!