Jennifer Whitlock, Licensed Professional Counselor
My Approach to Counseling
If the only therapist you have ever seen is Jennifer Melfi from the Sopranos, fuggetaboutit.
I share the first name with the TV psychologist, but I don't share the distant "blank slate" approach.
I'm more like humanist Carl Rogersin that regard. Rogers advocated that therapists communicate in an open and direct way, without hiding behind a professional facade. This type of of therapist-client relationship builds trust and models a way for clients to express themselves authentically.
I am skilled at integrating such methods such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Psychodynamic theories, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, MultiModal therapy, Trauma research and Person-Centered approaches. I choose the methods that fit the client's needs at the specific time.
For example, not all depressed people need the same thing. Some need an attitude adjustment. Others need to reprocess an early trauma that is darkening their perception of the world. Recovery might involve getting out of a dead-end job, developing a more satisfying relationship, starting an exercise habit, taking anti-depressants or cutting down on alcohol. It's like repairing a car. You can't tell what needs to be fixed until you know what's broken.
The best results happen when the client takes an active role in the process. Instead of sitting back and listening to a presumably all-knowing authority, the client and I explore what they want from life, discover what's getting in the way of fulfillment and create new possibilities for the future. Between what I know about psychology and what the client knows about their own needs and patterns, we develop a plan together.
If a client has a psychiatric diagnosis, I help manage the condition so that it has minimum impact on their life. I honor the person first, as a human is so much more than a chemical imbalance.
Laughter can be part of the sessions, as seeing the humor in tough situations can be therapeutic. I have a "playroom" where kids of all ages (including adults) can use art and play to express feelings that are difficult to put into words. We may also create reminders of what makes life worth living so clients can turn to them for inspiration during times when they forget.
Copyright 2018 by Jennifer Whitlock, 93 Main Street, Newton, NJ 07860; Jen@JenWhitlock.com; 973-222-3750