Beyond the Clinical: A Look at Our Therapists In and Out of Session 2
Sometimes it can feel like a mystery when searching for a therapist.
You read and scroll all of the websites, profiles, and clinical information, but you don’t usually get to hear from the therapist in their own words.
Bright Light Counseling Center decided to lift the veil and introduce our therapists, in their own words. Learn more about them both personally and professionally.
This month we are interviewing Sarah Archer, MA, LPC
(Nancy): What made you choose counseling?
(Sarah): Remember in grade school when you would have to name a career you would want to do when you grew up? Well, a few years ago I found a list of three careers that I had named: interior designer, counselor, and teacher (in no specific order). I was shocked that they are still true to this day. I never would have imagined as a kid that I would be where I am today. I was raised by parents who worked 9-5 Monday through Friday at the same job for years and years. I knew that was never going to work for me but also had no clue what else existed. Ultimately, I started out my college years aiming to become an elementary school teacher. I quickly learned that it required me to get up way too early in the day. So, when life presented an opportunity for me to change my major, I did. It was in my senior year at UNT when I met with an advisor and started down the road of preparing to one day enter graduate school. I WAS TERRIFIED! I had no idea how I would pay for graduate school or where I would go. So, I took a few years off between undergrad and graduate school, worked a desk job and was soooooo ready for a change. Once again life presented another opportunity, and I took it. I loved graduate school and was so happy I made the switch! The main reason I chose the counseling field was because of my own life experiences. I want to be a support for others when they feel they need it. I want to help others grow and learn to love themselves more deeply.
(Nancy): What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?
(Sarah): I am a curious person by nature and love learning how other people think and process their life experiences. I really enjoy the process of building relationships with others. There is something very special knowing that others are willing to be vulnerable and open with me.
(Nancy): What helps you to relax and calm your mind?
(Sarah): I really like to watch documentaries and reality TV such as The Real Housewives on Bravo. I meditate several times per week, routine skin care, cleaning, exercise, and shopping. All my friends and family think I may have a shopping problem =) I always remind them that it was a learned behavior from my Mom who also loved shopping, hahahaha.
(Nancy): What do you like to do in your free time/for fun?
(Sarah): I am so glad you didn’t ask what my hobbies are... I have never had any of those. In my old age I have started collecting plants. I literally am running out of places to put them all! I love pulling weeds out of my yard, there is nothing so satisfying as getting the whole root! I have also found that it’s a great stress reliever at the end of the day. My friends are a huge part of my life, and we get together as much as we can. Our time together is filled with lots of laughing! We can't forget the most important person I spend all of my time with, my adorable son who has recently become a threenager!
(Nancy): Are you currently reading any books or binge watching any shows?
(Sarah): I don’t get much time to binge watch any shows because my 3 year old doesn’t allow it… But occasionally I get a night to myself! Recently, I stayed up until 3 AM watching The Big Shot on HBOMAX. I loved every minute of staying up late knowing I had no responsibilities the next day except to care for myself oh and the dogs… As for the show, it was interesting.
(Nancy): What would you want someone who has never been to therapy to know about therapy?
(Sarah): It’s a collaborative process that entails taking the chance of being vulnerable and being willing to make changes in how you view yourself and the world around you. Think of it as an investment that grows as you grow.
I really enjoy the process of building relationships with others. There is something very special knowing that others are willing to be vulnerable and open with me.
(Nancy): What do you think makes you stand out as a therapist?
(Sarah): Do I stand out??? (Ha ha - my humor!) I think that I am relatable in many areas of life through shared interests and life experiences making it easy for clients to open up to me. Also, I create a space where my clients feel safe by ensuring it be as judgement free as possible, and being open to topics that some may feel are difficult to talk about with family and friends.
(Nancy): What makes being a therapist worthwhile?
(Sarah): Watching clients experience “aha” moments and become experts on themselves.
(Nancy): How do you feel about technology and its impact on therapy?
(Sarah): I personally have a love hate relationship with technology. But, overall I feel technology has opened the therapy door for many people who otherwise may have not been able to access therapy for a number of reasons; location, work schedule, fear...
(Nancy): What have you felt most challenged by as a therapist?
(Sarah): Practicing what I preach and holding myself accountable. Also, therapy goodbyes are challenging. I invest in others and after our work is done and it's time for them to move on -- this is always bittersweet for me. I cherish the vulnerability my clients share with me.