Meet Kathleen Mack! She shares her speciality areas, which are anxiety, depression, trauma and couples work.
Who do you help? Ideal client?
What is your general philosophy and approach to helping? Are you more directive or more guiding?
What are your strengths as a therapist?
What are your clients results after coming to see you?
Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?
Kathleen Mack, MSW, LCSW
More Questions? Call, text or email
Laurie: Hi! My name's Laurie Groh. I'm co-owner at Shoreside Therapies. Today we're meeting with Kathleen Mack and she's new to Shoreside but not new in the field, and thank you so much, Kathleen, for being here today.
Kathleen: Of course, thanks for having me.
Laurie: Yeah! So we're just going to go over today just a little bit of information on getting to know you. So if anyone out there is looking for a therapist, to kind of see if you're a good fit for them.
Laurie: So, the first, the first question, is: how do you help? I'm sorry. Who do you help and who is your ideal client?
Kathleen: Yeah, so I see clients usually from the range of 16 to like, up to early seventies really, and I specifically like to work and find that I'm really effective in working with people who struggle with pretty significant anxiety disorders, people struggling with depression, maybe as a result of the anxiety disorders, perfectionism, difficulty with feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy, things like that, and so I really like to help people understand the patterns of their minds that have been created over years of conditioning and really get underneath and sort of past some of that so that they can experience life in a different way.
Laurie: Right, so somebody that might be experiencing anxiety. It sounds like some of the patterns of thought that get in the way, some of those unhealthy patterns of.... maybe some ways that they're thinking, different belief structures about who they are as well. So it sounds like you're trying to get to that root as well, you know, of maybe why they believe that maybe some things that could help and slowly help them get out of those patterns of thought.
Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely, and people who struggle with a lot of just internalized shame, and maybe it's something that they don't talk about in their normal daily lives, and I find that that's something that... being able to talk about that and sort of uncover it and look at it is one of my strengths.
Laurie: Yes, I think so many people struggle with some of those feelings of inadequacy or feeling like you're not worthy or feeling shame. Therapy is such a great way to be in a safe spot to talk about some of those thoughts, some of those feelings. I know for me one of my... one of those best moments I have with a client is when they share something that they think is this big, horrible, negative, disgusting thought and they just have not ever shared it. And then they say it out loud and it's like.. a lot of people, you'd be surprised how many people have a similar thought. You're not a bad person for having a feeling about something.
Laurie: And so then your work with them can be so helpful.
Kathleen: Really normalizing, so many of the things that we all have inside of us, but we don't say it out loud. So therefore it like breeds shame and really it's something, it's very common, it's a common experience.
Laurie: Right, so we'll go on to the next question. So what's your general philosophy, your approach to helping and healing? And a side question with that is, are you more directive or more guiding? What could somebody expect, basically, when they walk into your office?
Kathleen: Sure, I'm definitely more guiding. I believe that we are the experts of our own lives absolutely and that we have a lot of self-knowledge within us. It's just that we can't always access it. So like my gut tells me something different than anxiety tells me, for example, and I can't always tell the difference between those two things. So I really like to help and encourage people to listen to themselves and listen to the knowledge that they already have and of course, I love to provide psychoeducation along the way. But ultimately I find each client where they are and I see them where they are with the utmost respect. So I can be directive and I'm very open about, that's not my natural inclination. If you want me to be more directive, that's just important for me to know, and I do have certain clients who are like I need accountability, I need you to ask me if I did this, that kind of thing, and I can certainly do that.
Laurie: But I love, Kathleen, that idea, that we have all the knowledge about ourselves that we need, but that anxiety can get in the way of that... sort of confusing us, getting in the way, and I definitely hear that from clients- that question of people saying like, follow my gut, but I have, like, two things happening here. One part says I should move forward in this direction, and another part is saying no no no.
Kathleen: Absolutely. So that's something I do all the time. It's using mindfulness techniques, learning to slow down and discern between those two voices, the head and the heart, or the head and the gut, or however you want to think about it, and learning to trust yourself. But that requires this, like, slowing down process, because we live in this world where we're having constant thoughts and constant distractions and constant messages coming at us. So, it's challenging.
Laurie: It is, it is, and you're hitting the nail on the head when you say that practice of mindfulness because we do need to slow it down because if we're going by that first knee-jerk reaction, that's usually not necessarily the best or most productive place to be. Yep, so slowing it down a bit and thinking.
Kathleen: Yeah, so clients will tell me that after we've worked together, they'll learn to recognize what is this very reactive thought process or what is this knee-jerk old programming versus what is truly the way they want to respond to a situation, and I just think that's so empowering.
Laurie: Yes, yes it is, and being able to do that, when a client is able to do that. It's, like you know, a magical moment.
Kathleen: Yes, magic.
Laurie: Yes, it's huge, all right. So, Kathleen, you know we're talking already about some of your strengths. I've seen some of your strengths, but could you share a little bit more about what you see yourself, and what you see as your strengths as a therapist?
Kathleen: Yeah, I think I'm really genuine and raw, I use transparency. And the feedback I get is that people feel very comfortable and safe, probably because of that, and so that in itself, I think, is one of my biggest strengths. If I can offer a space that feels safe, that's like half the job right there in some ways, so, that.. and I have a lot of knowledge about like cognitive behavioral therapy and I really love cognitive behavioral therapy. But I like to tie in the mindfulness and almost like spirituality as well, and so that's something that is maybe a little bit unique for me: just the ability to approach life's problems through the lens of like, maybe a little bit of a bigger picture for clients who are interested in that.
Laurie: Yeah, that that is something definitely unique, you know, a lot of therapists work in cognitive behavioral or even mindfulness, but to kind of step into that bigger picture and like zooming out a bit in that process must be so powerful for clients.
Kathleen: I love it. I love when clients want to go there. I light up inside.
Laurie: So, yes, and that's when you know you're with the right therapist too. When you're connecting on that level and like this is who I'm supposed to be seeing, this is really what I want to be getting out of therapy and everybody wants something different, you know. So being able to, to pick you out and say: okay, Kathleen's going to help me with not only changing maybe some of my thoughts and how I'm feeling about myself but maybe what I want to get out of my life, in like this bigger, bigger picture kind of way.
Laurie: Yeah, it's really cool. All right, so we got one more question.
Laurie: So what are your client's results after coming in to see you? So what would you say? I know we talked a little bit about the actual process and that somebody might be experiencing and letting go of the shame. But, are their other results. Are there other things that they can expect?
Kathleen: Yeah, so another piece of feedback that I get often is that people feel like they understand the sort of education portion of anxiety, depression, how it works, how our brain is functioning when we struggle with those things and so I frequently will have clients be like, it makes so much more sense now because we've talked about it, so much, that kind of that education piece I love. I think it's fascinating. So I love to like use education as a big component in my practice. So people will say just the understanding and being more educated in itself is so helpful, so that, the increased awareness, I think of our condition, like we talked about our condition, thought patterns. Whose voice is this? This actually isn't my voice. This came from a long time ago and it's still kind of running the show. I actually have clients complain about how at first that increased self-awareness is.. it was almost nicer to be blissfully ignorant for a while, but it's part of the healing process, of course.
Laurie: Right, right, there is that point sometimes where it's like I feel a little bit worse now, right, and that's the totally normal part of the process. In fact, sometimes when a client might want to want to exit, that's actually the time to stay, because something's probably happening, shifting, you know.
Kathleen: And you can fall into the space where, like now, I see it now, I'm aware of it. I still don't know what to do about it, still very, very significant, and that can be a really uncomfortable place. But like you just said, and that's what I explained to people, something's moving, we're moving, we're not going to stay right here. This is actually a good thing, but you have to, you have to stick it out.
Laurie: Right right, the shame can go away from the knowledge and the awareness of where it came from, but then there's a responsibility part that can be really tricky. Of, okay, I know this and I want this to be different and I'm the only one that can make those changes. You know, it is a hard thing to sit with, but so powerful that we can make those changes, you know.
Kathleen: Yeah, and that's again, that's what my approach is, is if, like really boiling it down is, I want my clients to understand the power that they do have in their own lives. I'm here to just kind of pull it out, provide some education and then pull that knowledge out of you, but to really just feel empowered in our own lives.
Laurie: Yeah, yeah, it's a gift, it's a gift. So, Kathleen, do you have anything else that we didn't cover today that you might want some potential clients to know about you?
Kathleen: I'm also... I've been in some extensive training in the area of death and dying and grief, and that's something that I hope to create as a niche over time. I've been doing some hospice work and things like that, but working with people who may be themselves have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or have a family member. That is something that's really really fascinating to me and I've done a lot of research and reading and, like I said, training in that area too.
Laurie: Oh, and that's a wonderful thing- to help people during that time. I know that that can be extremely devastating, but there's some wonderful things that can come out of that experience that, you know, we don't always pay attention to or look for. So I think that's wonderful.
Kathleen: And we don't like to talk about it. You know, most people don't like to talk about it. Some of us do. There are some of us who are like, let's talk about it! They were all in the training I was in.
Laurie: Yeah, but it's so right, and that's where that support from friends and family can, unfortunately, be lacking a bit.. is because people don't want to talk about it or they don't want to bring it up. And how are you doing and sort of pretending that it's not happening? We're all kind of scared to bring it up. Yeah, I think a lot of people are.
Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely!
Laurie: Yeah, so it's wonderful that they could reach out to you and feel like they can talk about whatever is going on for them during that time.
Laurie: All right, well, thanks, Kathleen. I really really enjoyed our time together.
Kathleen: Me too!
Laurie: We will be meeting again to do another live coming up in a couple of weeks. So I look forward to that. And if anyone wants to reach out to Kathleen, you can go to our website at www.shoresidetherapies.com and you should see her bio, and you can get more information about her there, and then you can schedule right online if you need to, or call or text or email if you need more information.
Kathleen: Perfect! Yeah, thanks again!
Laurie: Yeah, take care, bye!