Interview with Ashley Magers, LMSW
Check out our clinician interview with the newest therapist at IDENTITY, Ashley Magers, LMSW. Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing at our office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ashley is passionate about working with adults and adolescents dealing with a wide range of mental health concerns, offering therapy in specialty areas including maternal mental health, postpartum depression, anxiety disorders, grief, trauma, adjustment to major life transitions, and more. Contact us to schedule an intake appointment with Ashley.
What are your specialties?
I am particularly passionate about working with women during their pregnancies and postpartum periods and have completed specific training in Maternal Mental Health from Postpartum Support International & 2020Mom. I have specific experience with anxiety, stress, coping with life transitions, grief, and relationship issues. Finally, I also have previous experience as an inpatient therapist for adolescents diagnosed with substance use disorders (SUD).
What made you want to become a therapist?
Being a human is hard, and I believe we can all benefit from having a non-judgmental and empathetic person to help us process and reflect on our challenges. I thoroughly enjoyed gaining more understanding about how and why humans think, feel, and behave when I was a psychology major in college, and realized there is always something new to learn when working with people. After my own positive experiences in therapy from 2011-2013, I was convinced that becoming a therapist through clinical social work training was my professional goal.
What can clients expect when they first come to therapy? What is a typical therapy session like with you?
Clients can expect to electronically check themselves in using the IDENTITY tablet in the waiting room and then help themselves to a drink and/or snacks until I greet them to begin our session, which will last for just under an hour. The first two to three sessions will be focused on gathering information about why the client is seeking therapy, including exploring their biological, psychological, social, and spiritual histories, and for both of us to determine if we are a good fit for each other based on the client’s needs and preferences and my expertise and style. After these intake/assessment sessions are completed, we will collaborate to create a treatment plan to appropriately address the client’s goals in therapy. Moving forward, a typical therapy session will include time to check-in on the time between sessions and then to deeply explore and address the client’s specific concerns and goals with time for interventions to be introduced and explained. Therapy with me is highly individualized and goals will be adjusted as needed.
How have you seen therapy be helpful to your clients?
I have seen clients gain a deeper sense of hope and acceptance by engaging in the vulnerability and difficult work of therapy. By discovering the power of being unconditionally accepted and heard on a consistent basis as they explore topics that they may typically try to ignore, clients come to see that the therapeutic process is worth it, even if some sessions bring up more pain and frustration than healing. Throughout the therapeutic process, decisions are sometimes made, such as setting new boundaries with others, that may involve increased frustration as the client lives out their beliefs and values in new ways. Therefore, the emotional experience may be quite intense. I will be available to discuss any assumptions or possible negative side effects in our work together.
What do you think are the most important considerations when looking for a therapist?
Therapy is a collaborative process between a client and a therapist; therefore, for therapy to be most effective, it is important that clients feel safe to take an active role in the process. In order to do this, a positive therapeutic alliance between client and therapist is essential so clients feel understood as they explore their concerns and are challenged to enhance their well-being.
What do you hope your clients walk away with?
I hope clients walk away with greater self-awareness and self-compassion, specific tools they can utilize to cope with life’s stressors on a daily basis, and an increased confidence to assertively communicate in their relationships.
Visit Ashley’s profile to learn more about her counseling services, or to schedule an appointment.