This is a colorful version of the Chinese symbol for listening*. I believe it is an excellent illustration of what a therapist does. When you are with me, you are who my attention is focused on.
You tell me your story, in your way, and at your own speed. Together, we identify areas where you want to make changes and decide on where you want your therapy to take you. In this sense, therapy is a dialectical process, a conversation we have in the context of our therapeutic relationship.
It sounds simple, but it is potentially very powerful, as I know from my own experience of being in therapy.
I thought that by doing therapy over a computer, something would be lost, and yes, I can no longer pass you the tissue box if you weep during a session nor can my dog snuggle up to you on the couch, but these were never essential components of the process. Those essential components include the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client and the mutual trust and respect they have. To my great surprise, I have found that doing teletherapy has not impacted those at all.
Many therapists identify as one type of therapist or another, sometimes by area of practice, such as couples therapists, and sometimes by the model of therapy, such as DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) therapists. I would describe myself as a therapist who meets people where they are and draws from a wide range of different models and theories, according to what the individual client needs.
In addition to everything that was in my graduate training in counseling, I am a Master Practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming, a hypnotist, and a former teacher (which is very helpful). I have had specialized training in attachment disorders, trauma treatment, Gestalt Therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, emotional freedom therapy (aka Tapping), art therapy, and many, many other useful and relevant things.
But I do not know anything about you, my client, when you first walk in to my office or first log into your initial session. You are the expert on you and my job is to "go to school" and learn as much as I can about you so that I can most effectively help you make the changes you want to make using the tools at my disposal.
Your job is to participate actively in your therapy by attending sessions, identifying problems and goals and providing feedback on how you feel the therapy is going.
* I found this picture on Pinterest, after searching on Google. I have seen it in several other places online as well and do not know to whom the original image can be attributed.