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 Doug Edwards.
Q. How did you first become interested in your your particular field?
A. Doug: I became interested in this field after overcoming a struggle with depression and addiction as a young adult. I eventually decided that I wanted to help others because treatment saved my life.
Q. What types of issues do you address and how?
A. Doug: The types of issues I specialize in, and do my best work, are relationship issues, couples work, anxiety, depression, autism, and addiction /substance use issues.
The modalities I use in session depend largely upon the clients unique needs. I customize my treatment approach for each individual client because no two are alike. No two have identical needs. The best approach for any individual depends on how that individual thinks, how they learn, their readiness for change, how they communicate.
I am trained and experienced in Insight Oriented Therapy, Didactic therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Behavioral interventions, and support building. In working with couples the session focus is slightly different. In couple therapy we focus on communication, developing realistic expectations, compromise, and conflict resolution.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of your work?
A. Doug: The most rewarding part of my work is observing therapy work. There are people out there who I know are living better and healthier lives, and having more satisfying relationships, at least in part because of the work they have done in therapy. I feel fortunate to have been on that journey with them.
Q. If every potential therapy client were listening what would you want them to know?
A. Doug: I'd want them to know that treatment works for people who are motivated to do the work. A therapist can't "fix" anyone, but they can facilitate change.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. Doug: My plans for the future are to retire over the course of time, and enjoy life. I'd like to have adventures, hike, take photographs, love my family, and always carry the message of recovery.
Q. Is there anything you wish you'd known about the field before you started?
A. Doug: Yes, I think it would have helped to know more about boundaries and self-care.
Q. What is the most important thing to look for in a therapist?
A. Doug: The most important this have when looking for a therapist is someone that you can put your faith in. As Scott Miller said: "When it comes down to helping clients to create positive change, nothing is more important than the alliance that you are able to forge with your client." I totally believe that.