Interview with Joe Jaster, LPC
Check out our clinician interview with the newest team member at IDENTITY, Joe Jaster, LPC. Joe is a Licensed Professional Counselor practicing at our counseling and psychotherapy practice, Identity Counseling Psychology PLLC, located in Ann Arbor, MI. Joe is passionate about helping adults and adolescents cope with, manage, and recover from issues relating to addiction and substance abuse. Joe is currently accepting new patients. Contact us today to schedule an intake appointment with Joe.
What is your specialty?
The primary focus of my practice is substance abuse in adolescents. However, I do see adults who are experiencing addiction problems as well. Drug craving, seeking and using drugs, and other compulsive behaviors are the essence of addiction. They are extremely difficult to control, and much more difficult than any physical dependence. For an addict, there is no motivation more powerful than drug craving. The task of treatment is to regain control over drug craving, seeking and use. This is my goal with every one of my patients.
What made you want to become a therapist?
I started my career in the business world and went to school to study Business Management. I spent many years doing all the jobs that you would associate with this occupation. At one point, I had numerous people reporting to me. Part of my job was to help my people develop and learn new skills. While this was rewarding, I found it did not contribute enough to my feelings of self worth. I decided to return to school and pursue a degree in Guidance and Counseling. I wanted to help people who struggled through life. This is also my way of giving back to society.
What can clients expect when they first come to therapy? What is a typical therapy session like with you?
My first session with a client is called an intake. This is designed to help the counselor determine the severity of the issue and any extenuating circumstances that might help or hinder the process of recovery. It is also used to begin to establish a level of trust between the client and myself. It is vital for my client to understand that I am non-judgmental, patient, caring and supportive. It is also important to understand that what we discuss is private between us and will not be shared. After the first session we will work on defining the problem(s), examining the behavioral issues and building a solution to help support recovery.
How have you seen therapy benefit your clients?
Therapy provides a safe place for clients to talk without fear of judgment and practice new ways of thinking about themselves and others. It will hopefully help clients discover their negative behavior patterns, fears and what triggers their particular negative cycles. This type of activity will hopefully lead to the change that my clients’ desire. It takes courage, dedication and the mindset of “ ‘I’ can do this.” I have seen my clients develop entire new ways of coping, gain a better understanding of their negative actions, increase their confidence and find freedom to enjoy their lives once again.
What do you think are the most important considerations when looking for a therapist?
Not all therapists are a perfect match for a client. The therapist must be familiar with the client’s type of problem, have outstanding communication skills, patience and analytical and problem solving abilities. Additionally, the therapist must be able to maintain strict professional ethics, as well as adhere to patient confidentiality standards. The patient must feel comfortable with the therapist. These are all necessary components required to establish that much needed level of trust.
What do you hope your clients walk away with?
I want my clients to walk away with the tools that are necessary for them to cope with their addiction. They should have an increased level of understanding of their triggers and the necessary actions required to diffuse those situations. My clients should have an increased level of confidence and self trust. Most importantly, my clients should leave with an “I CAN DO IT” attitude.
Visit Joe’s profile to learn more about his counseling services, or to schedule an appointment.