Where Did it Come From?
My clients! I had previously described myself as an outpatient therapist, a behavioral psychologist, or a child, adolescent, and family counselor. However, about once or twice a month, someone would tell me that they really appreciated my “down to earth” approach or that they really liked me because I was “down to earth.” I decided that all those clients couldn’t be wrong, so I took that on as the name for my practice. It seems that people see me that way and that they like it, so why fight it?
What Does it Mean?
For a comprehensive answer, you’d have to ask my clients that “named” me, but here are some of the things they’ve told me when I asked them to describe what they meant.
I speak in easy-to-understand terms. I know the psychological terms and can use them if I have to, but I rarely feel that I have to or that it’s all that helpful to do so.
I speak many languages. All of them are English, but I can speak “teenager,” “kid,” “mom,” “dad,” “husband,” “wife,” and other dialects that sound similar on the surface, but have entirely different meanings for the same words and phrases.
I don’t look like a doctor. I wear comfortable clothes that I might have bought at a rummage sale or at a discount store. I find it bothersome to try to chase small children while wearing high heels and panty hose. I find that teenagers find it hard to approach someone that looks like the high school principal.
My office is fun. I have lots of toys and games and cartoons and other neat things. There are rules that must be followed, but I haven’t yet met a kid that couldn’t learn the rules. I even let the parents hold a teddy bear if they want to, and sometimes they do.
I enjoy people’s individual differences and do not waste time trying to get people to be “normal.” I think there is no such thing as normal. There are averages and things that are typical and there are societal expectations, but a true “normal” doesn’t exist. Therefore, I make people feel comfortable because I can accept just about anything they do, as long as it isn’t hurting anyone.
How Does it Work?
Time is precious and I treat it as such. I get to the point. I ask the questions that need to be asked and I give feedback as I feel it is needed. I don’t waste your time having you guess what I’m thinking or stumble upon the answers yourself. If you could have done that, you would have already done it. You’re asking me for my help and I give it. If I don’t know the answer, I don’t pretend to. I refer you to someone else that might. I don’t try to dress up the truth and make it sound pretty when it is not. Some of what I say is not easy to say nor is it easy to hear, but no one said this was going to be easy. I do say it is going to be worth it, though, and I stand by that!