Clarity Counseling Center is a Wilmington, NC–based practice. Our “Meet the Therapists” series is intended to take a closer look into each therapist's background, values, experiences, and treatment orientation. In this series, we put therapists on the couch to learn who they are and why they do what they do. In this post, I'll be interviewing Clarity therapist Nicole Pipitone.
Q: How did you first get interested in becoming a therapist?
A: I thought psychology was interesting and the idea of how the brain works was “so cool.” I also found a lot of healing in the form of art and ceramics. In my senior year of college at Central Connecticut State University, I discovered Art Therapy. I decided to stay an extra semester so I could finish all the related prerequisites for graduate school. I’m so happy I did; I love what I do.
Q: What types of issues do you address and how?
A: I work with individuals struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body-image issues, as well as people who contend with anxiety, depression, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). With most of these issues, I rely heavily on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and with OCD behaviors, I use Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). I also work with people who are experiencing difficulty in their relationships. With these individuals, I often turn to Art Therapy or Narrative Therapy to help externalize their problems.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your work?
A: Working with motivation to change. Sometimes an individual feels “stuck.” Finding the motivation for change can be frustrating. However, when people realize they are worth it and, therefore, do choose to change, they tap into the self-love or self-compassion necessary to do the work. That’s a great feeling, and very rewarding.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your work?
A: The most rewarding work is seeing clients overcome some of their darkest moments and helping them to navigate their recovery while balancing normalized life stressors.
Q: What is the most important thing to look for in a therapist?
A: I think the most important thing to look for is a connection. You build a rapport and, hopefully, that develops into a connection. Your therapist should be a person you can trust to hold your information and help you navigate life problems or stressors.
Q: If every potential therapy client were listening, what would you want them to know?
A: Although times may be difficult, mountains can be climbed. Think about therapy as going for a long hike. The hiker is doing all the work, but a guide can really help. And when you hike, you bring tools with you: water, boots, tent, flashlight, food. Tools are important in therapy as well. A therapist can be your guide and give you the tools you need, but you’re the one who will need to use them and make the climb. It’s a lot of work, but the view from the top is beautiful!