Beyond the Clinical: A Look at Our Therapists In and Out of Session: Lee
Updated: May 25, 2022
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 Lee Rogers (Catherine E. Lee), LCSW
(Nancy): What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?
(Lee): The first thought that came to my head was laughing. I love those moments of connection. I remember hearing an ad on the radio for an online therapy platform and the therapists were also sharing what they enjoy most about their job. They all said things that I really love, too - "ah ha!" moments, being a witness to someone's experiences, and holding space to talk about hard stuff. When it comes down to it, it is the moments of laughter that bring moments of joy.
(Nancy): What do you like to do in your free time/for fun?
(Lee): I mostly craft, read, and run. Little known fact -I actually have 2 art degrees- art and creation have been and will always be a part of my life. I am putting all projects away right now so I can finish a wall hanging that I didn't finish last year in time for the holidays. I am determined to have a sewn and sequined Santa in a camper on my wall.
I've gotten really into YA fantasy fiction over the last couple of years. I read almost every night before bed. At the end of the day I want to go into a different world for a little bit and let my imagination go wild.
My big thing, though, is trail running and hiking. My partner is my favorite person to hike with. She encourages me, reminds me to drink water, and keeps my snacks in her pack. I also have a lot of fun hitting the trail with my dog. She doesn't seem to think going up or down hills is ever hard but she's a good listener and keeps with me. I think it's notable to say I almost always do these things alone, though, which is how I prefer it. Having time to myself is really, really important for me to recharge. When it is just me and trail (and my hydration vest, whistle, headlamp, squirrels, bugs, snakes, deer...) it stills my mind. It's like someone takes a magic eraser to my brain. All of the to-do lists, worries, and doubts float away. I get off the trail ready to take on anything.
(Nancy): Why did you choose EMDR as an area of focus?
(Lee): Real talk, the only reason I did EMDR training was because I got a scholarship. All I knew was that it is highly effective in treating trauma and a lot of people were doing it. I do mostly trauma therapy, so when someone told me about a scholarship program to get EMDR training for free I thought, "Oh that'd be cool. Everyone says EMDR is amazing. I love free training." Long story short I did an application, got some reference letters, wrote an essay, got a scholarship, and here we are today.
After the first intensive weekend I totally drank the Kool-Aid. "Oh yeah!" A lot of people don't know that I actually did EMDR in training. I practiced facilitating it but I took the role of a client. It was a profound experience that I'll never forget. Seeing the impact it had on myself and others around me was incredible. I knew it was an effective treatment but woah! The things I worked through continue to have a positive effect on my life to this day.
I like that it is less dependent on words than traditional talk therapy. Words are hard. When we're upset words are even harder. It's one less barrier to doing deeper work. I believe that processing trauma is some of the most important work we can do as humans so being able to facilitate EMDR, which is so powerful, and hold space is awesome. Best. Job. Ever.
When it comes down to it, it is the moments of laughter that bring moments of joy.
(Nancy): Are you currently binge watching any shows?
(Lee): Yes! I love the Great British Bake Off. Each week my friend and I dish (pun intended) about how everything went and who we think will be in the finals. So far my predictions have been pretty spot on. With the exception of one person, the star baker of bread week is always in the finals...Giuseppe is on the short list. I'm also following What we do in the Shadows. It's silly, over the top, vampire fun. Throughout the week when I want something playing in the background while I'm cooking or doing a project I'll put on The Good Place, The West Wing or, currently, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
(Nancy): What kind of music is on your playlist?
(Lee): Pop music, pop music, some pop music, and pop music. Okay, okay, I do love and listen to all types of pop music (dance pop, indie pop, K-pop), but my tastes are varied. My most recent playlist has some Doja Cat, The Weekend, Shura, Lil Nas X, and Christine and the Queens. I also enjoy swing jazz. I used to swing dance and teach weekly and although I'm not dancing much these days, I still love the music. Bottom line, I love dancing so mostly anything with a good beat. At work I usually listen to lo-fi outside of sessions and put on something fun to dance to when I need a little energy boost.
(Nancy): What would you want someone who has never been to therapy to know about therapy?
(Lee): It looks like a lot of different things - it isn't always like a cartoon from the New Yorker. Therapy involves talking but also skill building, taking deep breaths, and challenging yourself. Also, change takes time. It is about little shifts along the way. You didn't go to a pottery class for the first time and make professional level work. It's something that you worked and that makes the accomplishments even more meaningful.
I believe that processing trauma is some of the most important work we can do as humans so being able to facilitate EMDR, which is so powerful, and hold space is awesome. Best. Job. Ever.
(Nancy): What do you think makes your standout as a therapist?
(Lee): My honesty and frankness. I'm not going to hold back or hide who I am. I will allow you space to explore and grow, and will challenge you along the way. I tell interns I work with to always stay curious and kind.
(Nancy): What is rewarding about working with your clients?
(Lee): Seeing their growth and change. I get so excited when things shift and change. Maybe we've been processing leaving a job and a client comes in saying they found their old resume to be revamped, or put in an application, or interviewed somewhere else, or put in their 2 weeks. So cool! Or maybe we've been working on negative self-talk and in the next session a client compliments themself. So cool! Sometimes the shift happens faster or slower than other time-no matter how "fast" or "big it is, it is awesome.
(Nancy): Where is one place you would like to travel to and why?
(Lee): Toss up between Antarctica, Italy, and Bali. All so different but all incredible places. They speak to different parts of me -adventure, art, nature. Wherever I go I want to be with people I love. There is no such thing about bad weather, just bad clothes...
(Nancy): What have you felt most challenged by as a therapist?
(Lee): Shutting up. Sometimes a client is on the precipice of connecting the dots and I get so excited for them. I get this urge to jump in and nudge them a little but I know it's important for them to do it themself. Very don't-help-the-butterfly-out-of-cacoon situation. I have given extra focus lately on leaving extra moments of quiet before saying anything.