Interview with Ashley Safiedine, LLPC
Check out our clinician interview with Identity Ann Arbor therapist, Ashley Safiedine, LLPC. Ashley is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor, practicing at our West office location in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ashley is passionate about working with adolescents, adults, couples and families dealing with a wide range of mental health concerns. Contact us to schedule an intake appointment with Ashley.
1. What is your specialty?
I specialize in working with adolescents and emerging adults struggling with anxiety, depression, difficulty adjusting to college life, trauma, identity and sexuality, family of origin issues, life transitions, and relationship concerns. I also specialize in couples counseling!
2. What made you want to become a therapist?
As a young adolescent, I never felt like I had a voice and was often silenced by adults. I felt that way in nearly every avenue of my young life, until I walked into the school counselor’s office one day in middle school. It was in that very moment that I got my voice back when someone finally allowed me to share my truth. It was in that very moment that I realized I wanted to spend my life creating a safe space for people to be and feel truly heard, understood, and to learn to find their own voice.
3. What can clients expect when they first come to therapy? What is a typical therapy session like with you?
Clients can expect to feel a little nervous and uncomfortable when they first come to therapy. It can be difficult to revisit painful memories, disclose embarrassing issues, and not know quite what to expect from the process all together. This can be especially difficult in the beginning, since I am a stranger and have not yet earned your trust. The initial intake session may feel overwhelming, as it is an information gathering session to assess the client’s presenting issues and get to know the client overall. However, a typical therapy session with me will feel much more laid back and relaxed. I generally start the session out with reviewing homework if it was assigned (pay attention to triggers, go on a mindfulness walk, etc.) and then asking where the client would like to start. I am a bit more direct and solution-focused in my therapeutic approach. Depending on your goals, I may ask you to change or accept your thoughts or be courageous and face your fears, for example. No matter what the client’s symptoms are, there tends to be a lot of therapeutic laughter in session.
4. How have you seen therapy be helpful to your clients?
I have seen therapy benefit my clients in many ways. In my experience, motivated clients who actively participate in the process have grown and changed exponentially. I have seen daily panic attacks dramatically reduced from daily to once every so often, deep shame healed from clients learning and accepting that trauma was not their fault, reduced anxiety from drastic shifts in changing negative thinking patterns, and huge developments in self-awareness and use of healthy coping skills. I find that it is incredibly powerful for clients to learn that they may not be able to control what has happened to them in the past or what will happen in the future, but they are in control of their response. The clients that I have seen the most tremendous change in were those that were willing to step into the uncomfortable, do the work, and face their fears.
5. What do you think are the most important considerations when looking for a therapist?
When looking for a therapist, I think it’s important to consider the therapeutic approach and specialties of the therapist. It’s important to do some research on a therapist’s therapeutic approach to really try and get a feel for how they may conduct a session and how they view the therapeutic process and relationship. I also think it’s important to look at a therapist’s specialties, as this is generally where their experience and expertise is. It is important to note that finding the right therapist can be challenging, but it is important not to give up in the process and find someone who is the right fit for you!
6. What do you hope your clients walk away with?
I hope my clients walk away feeling truly seen and heard with an increased sense of self-awareness, self-compassion, confidence, courage, and coping skills. I hope that they leave feeling proud of themselves for accomplishing their goals by choosing to lean into the uncomfortable and do the work. I hope that they leave knowing that they are in control of their thoughts and subsequent behaviors. I hope that they feel more prepared to tackle obstacles in the future, knowing that they have all the tools they need inside of themselves.
Visit Ashley’s profile to learn more about her counseling services, or to schedule an appointment.