One of the best things about being a counselor is that counseling is relational. We know from the research what leads people to feel successful in therapy, and that is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. This matters more than the age and experience of the therapist, the particular struggle of the client, the type of therapy used by the therapist, or any other potential influence on counseling. Like other types of relationships, the therapeutic relationship is one in which there is both give and take.
Whitney Storey Blog
I'm here to propose what I believe to be the Neurodivergent Song of the Summer for 2023, and I'd love to get you on board. If you aren't familiar with the artist AURORA, she is a Norwegian singer and songwriter whose voice you might recognize most from Disney's Frozen II, as the mysterious spirit singing to Elsa. She has had three albums, each of them coming across my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, much to my joy. In addition to her ethereal sound and creative look that speaks to the theatre kid within me, her songs frequently tackle topics that speak to the counselor in me, like identity, mental health, and social issues.
Folks who know me are well aware (and dare I say, tickled) at the way I am able to walk a very fine line between being rigidly rule-governed and, at the same time, aggressively rebellious (thank you, autism). I think this is one reason that I find myself being drawn to and working so well with clients who appreciate structure and also the beauty of going against social norms.
If you have spent any time on TikTok lately, odds are you have come across some videos where folks (with a healthy helping of good humor) discuss the specific behaviors that have led them to discover, usually later in life, that they might actually be neurodivergent.
I can count on one hand the number of times I, as a cis-White woman, have been a minority in any space I have been while in the United States. Growing up in this way means that while I was aware of some differences that exist between myself and my non-White peers, I never really came face-to-face with the ripple effects of this way of living until my young-adult years.
I love that as a culture we are embracing the idea that "it's okay to not be okay." It's so accepting and welcoming of folks with all kinds of struggles and has reduced the stigma around seeking help. But, can I be honest with you for a second? Sometimes when I think "it's okay to not be okay," I find myself meaning it only for other people. It's okay for other people to not be okay. Not me. And I have a hunch I might not be the only one.
I have a long history of being involved in the arts and finding benefits from making art by myself and with others. While I had folks who encouraged me in my practice, I also found that many people (mostly my peers) didn't understand my love of art. The stigma I felt about my artistic self lead to feelings of shame. My best friend in undergrad even told me one time, as we were discussing dating, "maybe you shouldn't tell them you're a theatre major" - as if distancing myself from the arts were possible, let alone preferable! Art fills me with life.
The COVID-19 pandemic really turned the mental health world on its head. Not only have rates of mental health issues increased, but therapy completely revamped itself to accommodate for the risks involved in contact between clinician and client. Now that the world is settling a bit, we have had some time to reflect back on the last two years and to explore the research about teletherapy.
Since I am a mother and one of my specialties is parenting, I have parents reach out to me and ask if I can counsel their children, and they are usually pretty surprised when I say no. How can I be an expert in parenting and say that I love helping families when I won't work with children? The answer to this question is actually pretty simple.
Ten years into marriage, I find it so odd that all of the classic children's stories end in the same way. People find each other, they make a commitment to each other, and curtain. The end they live happily ever after. This grand commitment we are conditioned to seek and, most often, enter into thinking it's all smooth sailing.