Liz is a psychotherapist at Wildflower. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Trinity Christian College and completed her Master’s degree in Social Work at Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois-Chicago. Prior to coming to Wildflower, Liz worked in non-profit settings addressing, among others, health, poverty, trauma and domestic violence. Read Liz’s full bio here.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a psychotherapist?
My interest in psychotherapy grew after working in non-profits. From my agency work it was clear that there was a piece of the puzzle missing and I began to explore the clinical practice aspect of social work. Particularly in my work with women who experienced intimate partner violence, it was abundantly clear that individual psychotherapy would accelerate the individual’s healing in ways that group work and experiencing the therapeutic milieu of residential care could not. I sought training from a licensed clinical social worker in private practice and began to develop my clinical skills working with individuals and families moving through seasons of transition and healing from trauma.
As a psychotherapist, what part of your job is most satisfying?
Witnessing positive change is the most satisfying part of being a therapist! Collaborating to set goals and determine the tools needed to reach those goals is the process, and seeing someone put those tools to work is so inspiring to me. Developing a plan to identify someone’s values with them and allow those values to drive our work together is life giving to me and has been transformative for people I’ve worked with!
How would you describe your therapeutic approach?
My therapeutic approach draws from several treatment modalities. Regardless of the theoretical frame work, I lean towards task-based approaches that work to articulate goals clearly and identify specific tools to work towards those goals. I have extensive training in Trauma Informed Care and I approach my work through a trauma informed lens inclusive of any goals that my clients identify. I draw mostly on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. My strong belief in the strength and resiliency of individuals also informs all the therapeutic approaches I utilize – each of us has strengths to build on (even when it doesn’t feel like it!).
Why do you believe that psychotherapy can help?
Psychotherapy can help in so many ways! We live in a culture that is often image-based and entails a series of surface-level interactions. Psychotherapy can help us identify what drives us, what holds us back, and what we need to get what we want. The therapy room is a unique space where we can access vulnerability that doesn’t have a place in many other parts of our lives. Accessing that vulnerability during therapy can show up in surprising ways in other places! It can help improve personal boundaries, sleep, coping skills, and overall satisfaction in life.
What are some of your specialties and what drew you to them?
I find myself really drawn to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approaches because I think they are accessible for people experiencing a variety of things: anxiety, depression, stress, grief, etc. CBT skills help us hold our thoughts and feelings and work towards congruence in our actions. I find the simpler the concept, the more effective!
What is one thing about psychotherapy you wish everyone knew?
Therapy is NOT scary and it’s NOT forever! Seeking out psychotherapy is a sign of strength and a vital part of many people’s journey toward self-actualization. If you’re unsure if therapy is for you, it is! I am always pleasantly surprised what can happen when someone opens up to the possibilities of change!
What is your motto or personal mantra?
“It’s never too late to start over, start again, or try something new.”
What are your favorite self-care activities?
Cooking, yoga, walking, bad TV and time with good friends.