Clarity Counseling Center's “Meet the Therapists” series offers a deeper look into each counselor’s background, experiences, motivations, values, and philosophies. In this series, I put counselors on the couch to learn why and how they do what they do. In this post, I'll be interviewing Clarity therapist Justin Mitchell.
Q. Why are you a therapist?
A. I first became interested in studying psychology as a teenager after witnessing my mother battle mental health issues on-and-off during my developmental years. While majoring in psychology during my undergraduate education, I was influenced by two very good professors to take my interest in psychology in the direction of becoming a therapist. I took a lab class where we practiced basic counseling skills and I became intrigued with how counseling can help people change.
Q. What types of issues do you address and how?
A. I am passionate about working with angry, defiant teens, trauma survivors (specifically, survivors of sexual abuse, physical abuse, individuals who have witnessed traumatic events), and individuals struggling with substance abuse issues.
I assist people in addressing these issues, first and foremost, through a supportive and collaborative relationship. I believe that always comes first. I am trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Narrative Therapy, and Structural Family Therapy. I use a combination of these approaches to best suit my client's individual needs. Mindfulness is also an important element and used throughout these approaches.
Q. What is the most challenging part of your work?
A. The most challenging part of my work is constantly pushing myself in refining learned skills and to better learn new ways to provide the best possible counseling services.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of your work?
A. Being a small part of people's change.
Q. If every potential therapy client were listening, what would you want them to know?
A. If every potential therapy client were listening, I would want them to know that they are much more than their problems. I truly believe there is an intrinsic ability within all of us for healing. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Q. What is the most important thing to look for in a therapist?
A. Someone who is committed to positive outcomes. Also, a therapist who is committed to being a better therapist. Research shows that the most effective therapists also put in the most time to becoming a better therapist outside of their day-to-day work.
Q. What's the most impactful work you've done?
A. The most impactful work I have done would be helping women escape from domestic violence situations, assisting men and women to regain their lives from trauma, helping teens feel calm again, and guiding people to gaining and maintaining sobriety.