Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Pre-pandemic I would have said that counseling isn’t about going to someone to find the answers, but about finding a safe place that you can understand yourself well enough to find your own answers. I don’t see therapists as experts, but I see therapists as guides. I think often whether it be trauma, life experience, or mental health challenges, we get all mixed up in our head with beliefs about ourselves and our world. Therapy is the place where you can dump all that out, and decide what beliefs are worth keeping. Therapy is where you can create a narrative based on what you want, not based on what other people want for you or have given you.
During the pandemic, this is still a good time to learn about yourself, but also acknowledging that we are all just trying to survive. This is a trauma. How can I get through this moment and how can I get support so I don’t feel so alone in this? First and foremost I can offer that support and acknowledgement, and that place where you don’t have to pretend that you’re doing okay. I have experience and skills that could help you learn new ways of coping that you may not have considered before. I am familiar with trauma and what it does to the body. I can help you understand yourself and why you’re responding this way.
I think everyone could benefit from having a place where they can get to know themselves free of judgement. There are so few places in our world where we can explore without getting hurt. You won’t be judged for whatever is going on inside your head.
Change happens out of both necessity and out of desire. True healthy change, not changing for someone else, happens because we want our connection with the world and with ourselves to feel more genuine and authentic. Change means adapting to enrich your life, and sometimes accepting yourself is the most profound adaptation you can make to improve your life.
In my practice, I like to work with people who are neurodivergent – for example, with ADHD, or autism-spectrum disorder, or sensory processing disorder. I like the term neurodivergent because it means that we can celebrate the interesting ways you see the world and interact with it. We can acknowledge that in a predominately neurotypical world it can feel like there’s a disconnect; you may not always have the language or knowledge to do things the way you see other people doing it. Sometimes growth is about learning to fit into your environment, but it can also be about how to make your environment fit for you. In therapy, I don’t want you to feel you have to fit yourself into a neurotypical mold. If there are places where it’s hard to navigate the world, I want this to be a place where you feel comfortable learning strategies or tools to navigate it, while also learning how to feel good about who you are right now.
Embarking on a journey of knowing yourself is a very vulnerable thing, but it’s also a very brave thing. However you approach that process, it’s okay. Everyone has their own unique journey — therapy is about dropping the shoulds and connecting more authentically with yourself. It’s scary and exciting and it creates a depth of living that lasts even after you’re done with therapy. I hope we can walk together on your path.
I am a licensed mental health counselor (# LH61049266).
Cate offers individual counseling (not couples). She sees adults 18+.
Important: If this is a crisis or you need immediate support, please call the Crisis Clinic at (206) 461-3222 or go to your nearest emergency room. Catalyst Counseling cannot provide emergency services.