Meet our new therapist Claire Wetter. She is answering basic questions about who she can help and how she can help. Claire loves working with new mothers and new parents. Claire specializes in anxiety and mood disorders, using Narrative Therapy and DBT.
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Claire Whetter MS, LPC-IT, NCC
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Laurie Groh: All right. Hi, my name is Laurie Groh. I'm co-owner at Shoreside Therapies. I'm here with Claire, she's one of our new therapists at Shoreside Therapies. Just want to thank you first off for talking with me. And first question, Claire, wondering if you could tell everybody a little bit about your experience as a counselor.
Claire Whetter: Sure. So, first of all, I'm really excited to be chatting with you today as well and to be joining the clinic. So I received my master's degree from Mount Mary University in twenty nineteen. So since then I have just been trying to get experience with as many populations as I can. So I've mainly worked with adults doing individual and group counseling. I'm also able to offer some family counseling and things like that, which I've done in the past. So I'm looking forward to using my previous experiences to help me as I work towards gaining some clients at your Shoreside Therapies.
Laurie Groh: That sounds great. That sounds great. So a lot of different experiences, family groups, individuals. So tell me a little bit about some of the techniques you use.
Claire Whetter: Sure. So mainly I've been trained in dialectical behavioral therapy, which is really great for mood disorders like depression and anxiety. It can also be helpful for things like borderline personality disorder, some PTSD work and OCD. So that kind of therapy works to target that black and white thinking that you might start to see if you're dealing with mental health issues. What I really love about it is it provides some really tangible skills that I can teach you to apply to your life, to manage stressors, deal with your emotions, and better communicate with others. So that's one of my favorite parts about that. And then I also use narrative therapy.
Laurie Groh: Oh, tell me about that, Claire.
Claire Whetter: Yeah. So that helps to identify what are your values and how have you been living your life either with or against those values? And if you've been living against or not in alignment with those values, how can we get you back in alignment so that life feels better? And how can we kind of essentially rewrite that story?
Laurie Groh: So Claire up sort of that idea with narrative therapy of that, we have one way of thinking about how we see ourselves, what we want for ourselves, how we want to see our lives unfold, versus maybe that instinctual instant gratification that we might be seeking. Or if we're in in pain, then I'm going to maybe go to Facebook or game on my phone or some other coping skill. And that might not get me what I'm looking for, for my life. Is that that idea with narrative therapy?
Claire Whetter: Right. So how can we get to living a life that feels good to you? And if right now things aren't going that way, how can we write that story or narrative of your life in a way that feels really good to you, whether that's gaining those coping skills or just being able to assert your values with other people?
Laurie Groh: Yeah, I mean, that sounds really great. And so with the DBT, so there are a lot of different individuals that can benefit from DBT. The way I think about it is the CBT, which is the cognitive behavioral therapy, but added this extra I guess, coping skills and different ways of handling that black and white thinking is that tell me, I guess, a little bit more about, let's say a client comes in and there they have some anxiety issues. What would be some things that DBT would help with?
Claire Whetter: Sure. So somewhere I always start with is that for core mindfulness, so how can I remain present with what's going on around me? How can I stop thinking so much about the past, which I can't change, and the future which I can't control, which a lot of times is where our anxiety may be coming from. So I always start there and then we can continue working through the modules of DBT, which include the destress tolerance. So how can I get through a really stressful moment of anxiety than those emotion regulation skills which help me better manage my anxiety more long term and then interpersonal effectiveness. So how can I explain to someone that I'm experiencing anxiety or let them know that something that they're doing may be causing that anxiety for me and just better communicate with other people in general?
Laurie Groh: Yeah, yeah, I think that's great. And with anxiety, too, which I think is interesting, is that a lot of times we want to hide that from people and sometimes just sharing it like, hey, I'm feeling nervous or I'm feeling uncomfortable, can create a better relationship with someone and it can help with actually regulating in the moment. So I like the DBT for anxiety, and that's not always what we think of when we think of dDBTuty and how to use it. So that's really awesome. That's really great and so Claire, tell me a little bit about the clients you're looking to see so that if someone's looking for a therapist and they're searching dozens of therapists, you know, who are you looking to see? Who should seek you out?
Claire Whetter: Sure. So I'm definitely looking to continue working with some of those mood disorders like anxiety and depression. I've worked with them pretty extensively, so I feel comfortable being able to help someone with that. I am also looking to kind of open up my practice to new moms or even just new parents. So I want to help people who are going through maybe postpartum depression or anxiety, experiencing some struggles with that transition. And if in any way possible, maybe you meet with their partner as well. So maybe we can put some couples counseling into that and just make sure that everyone feels supported and understood and what they're going through, because it's not just the mom or the dad who may be going through the changes.
Laurie Groh: Right. I found that that was the hardest transition for me in my life, was all of a sudden now there's this new role. But that's not even it. It's it's almost as if everything changes and every relationship changes. It's not just, oh, now I have a baby to take care of. It's how do I still be me with a baby and trying to figure that out. And how do I how am I a good partner with this little addition?
Claire Whetter: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think that's where the narrative therapy can come in as well. Like so now my life has changed or shifted. So what do I want that to look like. How can I bring those pieces of who I was before into this? How do those things fit together? And then of course with your relationship, that changes and it feels different. So how can we make that the strongest it can be for you and your baby?
Laurie Groh: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's so interesting how a new baby can change things. Right. And I love that you're opening up your practice to new moms. I think it's much needed, even better if it's a virtual session. But, you know, they can give you a call, they can email you and feel out what works best as far as it's sometimes is really tough to come in. You might not want to come in because of the pandemic Right now, we do have at Shoreside Therapies a lot of precautions in place for individuals to come in. But you have a newborn, you might not even want to take any risks. So that might be a good option if someone wants to reach out to you.
Claire Whetter: Absolutely. I know for me, having a four month old, it's definitely nerve wracking to take your baby out right now. So I definitely want to reiterate that virtual meetings are definitely an option. Also, if you are comfortable bringing your baby or you don't have child care, I would definitely want to open that up, maybe until they're more mobile and they're kind of walking around or crawling around. So I think we can definitely work with some of those things. I want this to be accessible and not a stressor because you shouldn't feel stressed trying to get some help. So I'm willing to work with people.
Laurie Groh: Yeah, sometimes. When I'm working with moms? Sometimes it's even doing the session, phone, phone session. If you can't do it face to face and the baby's crying and you don't have childcare going on a walk and just putting those headphones in and doing the session that way, I think right now we just need to be more flexible, right?
Claire Whetter: Absolutely. And as the weather gets better, I think that's a great option. Kind of kills two birds with one stone exercise in and also helping yourself at the same time.
Laurie Groh: Yeah, well, awesome, Claire. So one last question. For you, what do you think you'd want your clients to know about you?
Claire Whetter: Yeah, so I like to remind my clients that I'm also a human. So I make mistakes. I struggle with things. I have things going on in my life that I'm working through. So I don't want them to feel alone in that struggle or feel like I would be coming in there and judging them. That's one of the main things that I really try to invoke in my counseling process is a nonjudgmental stance that empathy and really making sure that people feel comfortable to talk about whatever they need to. I also really just want people to know that I'm going to be their biggest cheerleader. So I may challenge you at times and I'm going to be there right next to you to help you get through that challenge, to make those changes in your life that you're looking for. So in any way that I can help you, you let me know this is your experience and I want it to be helpful to you. So if there's something that I can help you with, let me know.
Laurie Groh: That's awesome. Claire, I love that idea of that of the nonjudgmental environment and knowing that we are all on that journey, on bettering ourselves, trying to improve and we have bumps in the road as well and that we're all human. I love that perspective and that idea of being someone's biggest cheerleader, but at the same time challenging them when they need it. You know, what a gift I think that's such a gift to give to someone. So I appreciate taking the time today Claire. And if anyone wants to reach out to you, they can check our website at shoresidetherapies.com, all your information's there. And I will also add it to the Facebook link and we'll go from there. And thanks again.
Claire Whetter: Yeah, that sounds great. Thank you, Laurie.
Laurie Groh: All right. Take care, Claire.
Claire Whetter: You too. Bye bye bye.