Why do you think you can help people of color?
First of all, I don’t like the term person of color because I feel like that’s still about white people. I hate the term minority because white people are not the majority in the world. My favorite term is people of the global majority. But it’s not as well known of a term.
I’m not going to tell you that you should trust me because I have a Black friend. Or because I study white fragility and work on my own privilege.
I can tell you that I work from an anti-oppression framework. And I believe that all forms of oppression will continue to exist as long as we continue to allow any form of oppression. I have witnessed extensive systemic racism, particularly during my time in the courts. I’ll tell you I have used my privilege within that system to advocate for and get attention for folx who were being ignored there. And shouldn’t have been there in the first fucking place.
White people need to point out to other white people when they are wrong. White therapists who think they are out there to save the poor colored people piss me off. And they have no business being therapists.
It is not your job to educate me. It is my job to educate myself.
You can tell me how much you hate white people. And you can share your stories of the times white people have been racist to you. I will tell you that I can hold space for your anger and your sadness. Whatever that looks like and no matter how intense it gets.
Why do you think you can help LGTBQ+ folx?
I’m not going to tell you that you should trust me because I have a sister who has had a long-term relationship with a woman. Although, my favorite story about her was how upset she was about how anti-climactic her coming out story was. All we cared about was that she lived with this person and clearly loved her. Which we all knew long before her official coming out.
Or because I have non-binary, trans, gay, or bi friends.
Conversion therapy is evil.
I don’t think being gay is a choice.
I keep up on the research about the biological differences in gay folx and in trans brains. It’s fascinating and supports my beliefs so far. I think gender is a societal construct, but there are slight brain differences. Which could be due to nurture more than nature.
If we can show heterosexual sexual interactions in public and on TV, we should be showing homosexual ones as well. I’m comfortable talking about sex no matter who the sex is with. Whether it’s someone of the same or different gender, one person or six, in or out of a relationship. I also acknowledge that not everybody likes or needs sex.
I can hold space for your anger and sadness about how homophobia affects you. Because fucking people constantly confuse sexual orientation with gender presentation and they have little to do with each other.
Do you offer EMDR?
I do not.
EMDR has shown to be most effective with single-incident trauma. Such as a car accident or a one-time acquaintance rape.
It has not shown to be effective with developmental trauma or multiple incidents of trauma. Which is what most of my clients have experienced.
EMDR also typically requires the client to repeatedly think about the traumatic incident. Which is contradictory to my training.
My experience is that it is only helpful to tell the story if it was a secret at the time that it occurred. Or there was some reason the client hasn’t historically shared it.
It’s important to me that healing can occur without having to repeat the story of the original traumatic experiences. I utilize relational somatic psychotherapy techniques with clients as well as Tapping in order to help with the beliefs that develop as a result of trauma.
What is your theoretical approach to therapy?
I generally believe that we do everything for a reason.
We usually end up in therapy because we are complaining about something in our life that just isn’t working for us. But don’t know why we keep doing it or how to stop.
Often the reason is some random interpretation our brains made of an event that then controls our future behavior. All below conscious understanding. Or the reason is something we learned from society, our families, or our friends.
Our job is to identify what the past experiences were and what beliefs or fears resulted from that. That are now dictating our choices and reactions.
Sometimes you realize how the thing is benefiting you and decide to keep doing it. Sometimes you want to figure out how to get those benefits without the same cost. Other times you realize you are protecting yourself from something that you no longer need protection from.
I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy in most sessions.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for the consultation?
You will want to create a list of any questions that you have for me. The more clear you are about what you want therapy to help you with, the more easily I can answer whether I think I can help.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for the first session?
No, because you’ll give me most of the stuff before our first session that you might need to prepare. Like a picture of your driver’s license or a list of your medications. I guide the first session with a whole bunch of questions. It’s ok to take time to answer and you may not know all of the answers. Some people ask other people questions after the intake and come back with more information. Mostly because of their own curiosity about things. Like their birth or their family.
Do I have to do anything outside of therapy?
I don’t provide worksheets, homework assignments, or assign readings. You may choose to do your own reading outside of session. And sometimes I’ll have recommendations if you ask for them. I may suggest you read a particular blog post or watch a video on my website. In between sessions, it’s mostly you observing your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior. And experimenting with new ways to do things.
Will I feel worse before I feel better?
I do not promise to make therapy comfortable or easy for you.
If you really want to dig deep to change those core habits that are limiting you, it’s gonna get super uncomfortable at points.
Some clients complain that they just want a break. Once the changes start coming, it’s hard to stop your brain from noticing more things. And deciding to change those too. It can get overwhelming.
There’s often a lot of sad and mad that comes up when you realize that life can be better. And if you do the work, it will get better eventually. I’ve had clients say that they are afraid the tears won’t stop, but they will stop eventually.
I often tell clients “be brave” because therapy isn’t about magic solutions that make you instantly happy. It’s about doing things repeatedly to retrain your brain to react the world around you in a different way.
Your persistence will pay off.
You are capable of healthy relationships, fulfilling activities, and days full of joy. And I will help you celebrate your progress each step of the way.
Will therapy affect my relationships?
Yes, but it depends on the people whether it will be in good or bad ways.
Are the people around you growth minded and ready to change with you? Will they get inspired by your changes and want to improve too?
Are they going to get unhappy if you start telling them that you don’t like things they do? Are they going to be unhappy if you stop doing everything they want you to do?
We have unspoken rules in our relationships about how we interact. And it can get real uncomfortable in your relationships as you start to change the rules. Especially if the other person isn’t eager to change them too.
How often do I have to come to therapy and how long do I have to be in therapy?
That is up to you. I can make recommendations that fit your needs best. Ultimately it is your time and money and therefore, your decision.
Most people start out meeting more frequently, once a week or twice a month. Or with longer sessions as we are starting to get to know each other. Eventually, they decrease the frequency as they meet their goals. Some people choose to remain at once a month for maintenance.
I always tell people that they aren’t stuck with whatever decision they make. They can always add extra sessions or decide to skip sessions. This is true even after they officially choose to stop therapy. They can come back anytime they want as long as I have openings. And I typically prioritize previous clients for my openings.
It’s also up to you how long you come. I may make suggestions to decrease how often we meet when I feel like you don’t need therapy as often. But you never have to do it (unless you are using insurance, which is a whole different thing). At the beginning of therapy, we’ll make a treatment plan that includes why you are in therapy, what your goals are, and how we’re going to help you accomplish those goals. We’ll review that plan every 6 months and make any changes at that time. Often, that includes a discussion of how often you’re attending therapy and whether it’s in line with your current goals.
You can start, speed up, slow down, or stop therapy any time you’d like.
How will I know therapy is working?
My cheeky answer is that you are happier. But that’s not always true because sometimes therapy working means that things feel worse before they feel better.
The first stage of improvement in therapy is usually increased awareness. Meaning you start to notice the things that are really causing you to be unhappy. This is when clients start to say “I realized I was doing that thing again.” This is usually when people first start to feel worse as they realize how bad things really are.
The second stage is that you start to realize after the fact that you could have done something differently. This is when clients come in and say “after I did it, I realized I shouldn’t have done it.” People often feel worse at this stage because they are beating themselves up for not realizing at the time something happened.
That realization gradually gets closer to the time the thing happened. Until eventually you’re realizing it while it’s happening. This is when clients come in and say “I knew I shouldn’t do it, but I did it anyway.” Sometimes people feel worse at this stage because they are upset that they haven’t been able to change it yet. And I usually remind them that it takes a lot of repetitions to change a behavior or thought pattern.
The third stage is that you start to do it differently sometimes. Which is usually followed by some level of freaking out or other people being upset. This is when clients say “oh my god Tia, you won’t believe what I did.” This is when people start to get excited.
The fourth stage is when you start to do it more consistently. This is when clients start to say “you’re going to be so proud of me.” This is when people get even more excited.
Lastly, you’re naturally able to do it the new way every time without it feeling like a big deal. Even if other people don’t like it. And this is even more exciting!
Together, we’ll review your goals and talk about how therapy has been helping. I try to point out improvements any time I notice them. That way, you’re not guessing whether therapy is helping.
Do you offer online counseling?
Yes. Check out about online counseling.
Serving the Denver Metro Area, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Boulder, Grand Junction, Greeley, Pueblo and the entire state with online therapy in Colorado. I do not see clients at my home-based office located in Brighton, CO.