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 Jeanne Farabaugh.
Q. How did you first get interested in your particular field?
A. I became interested in becoming a therapist when I was asked to become a mentor in my church's ladies’ women's mentoring ministry. I found I had the ability to sit with people in their pain and enjoyed counseling individuals. I went through training and was selected to become a lay counselor at my church. After several years of lay counseling, I was strongly encouraged to attend graduate school to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. I’m so glad I did because I found my passion for working with couples and love the work I do.
Q. What types of issues do you address and how?
A. I have a passion for working with couples! I specialize in couples counseling or marital therapy because I believe in love, commitment, long-term relationships and marriage. My greatest desire is to enable couples to keep their families together. I help my couples listen to one another, without judging. To consider their hurts and pinpoint their grievances and annoyances. This process enables the couples I treat to see how they unknowingly hurt their partner or loved one, heal the hurt, and ultimately renew their relationship.
The couples I treat often come to treatment because of different parenting styles, children, money/debt, communication, work, in-laws, and more!
Q. What is the most rewarding part of your work?
A. It is most rewarding for me when I see my clients leave my office more stable and secure than when they first came into my office.
Q. What is the most impactful work you have done?
A. When I worked with a married couple and the wife described her husband as her best friend.
She stated that she felt like she lost her best friend. Through utilizing Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and a lot of hard work form my clients they were able to "hear" the other, identify their needs, feelings, and emotions. The couple was able to restore their marriage to where it had been before, and the wife was able to "find" her best friend again. That was most rewarding for me.
Q. What is the most important thing to look for in a therapist?
A. A good couples therapist must show compassion and be properly trained. They must genuinely want to help the client, not just listen to the client vent. Couples therapy is one of the rare specialties where an untrained therapist can unintentionally do more harm than good.
Q. What are the names of the 3-5 books you recommend to couples the most?
1. The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.
2. "Hold Me Tight" by Dr. Sue Johnson
3. "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by Dr. John Gottman
4. "Practical Skills for Successful Relationships", A PAIRS Curriculum, PAIRS FOUNDATION
5. "Marriage Matters" by Winston Smith