We spoke with Liz Waisberg, a clinical social worker in Toronto. We found out how we can all benefit from therapy, how to find the right therapist, and how she resets after a challenging day.
What does “Fostering Meaningful Connections” mean to you?
Fostering Meaningful Connections is the foundation of my work with individuals, couples and families – the importance of fostering supportive relationships and giving back to people in their lives. I help people to understand obstacles in their lives, and our sessions allow them to obtain support and to devise productive solutions for their lives.
I strive to help people who are feeling stuck, struggling or can’t seem to quiet their negative self-talk. I work with people and help them develop different skills needed to move forward with confidence. I believe that my work with people allows them to foster resilience and hope. I strive to help people to learn how leave their struggles behind allowing them to feel more connected within their personal and professional lives.
When should someone see a therapist?
There is no good or bad time to see a therapist. People seek therapy for a variety of reasons. Therapy is a good place to plan and develop coping skills proactively. People seek the support of a therapist when they are going through life transitions such as going to university, getting married, live with pain or illness, or a significant loss. Therapy is a good place to go when a person is confronted with painful or challenging experiences. A therapist can help people to problem solve and build the needed skills to manage their reactions to different situations. Therapy is also a proven method to help people change harmful thinking, and address problem relational and behavioral patterns. It can help people live happier and healthier lives. Therapy can help one explore roadblocks to self-esteem and teach practical ways to make health and happiness a priority. Therapy can help improve communication and provide a space to practice skills learned. Therapy can help one address issues of fear, anxiety that may be holding a person back from reaching their personal and career goals.
Working with a therapist can support an overall feeling of wellness. Wellness can be defined as being healthy both physically and emotionally. That being said, therapy is used to help people feel healthy, achieve their potential and make their good lives even better.
Therapy sessions will focus on the issues that you have identified that you are struggling with. We will have a conversation about what has been happening and then we then find ways to address the issues by connecting your thoughts and behavior to habits and patterns. We work together to explore strategies when approaching difficult situations, and I teach you the skills you need to develop solutions.
How does someone choose the right therapist for them?
Finding a good therapist can be challenging. So how do you go about finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with and feel can help you sort through whatever issue or situation you are wanting to address? Word of mouth and referrals from trusted family, friends, family physicians or community members could be a good place to start. Many therapists will create profiles for people to review online. These profiles can be found on websites such as Psychology Today and will give the reader and short description of the therapist and the areas that they are trained in. Many therapists will offer the opportunity to talk to them on the phone and allow the person searching for the right therapists to ask questions that they may have.
What does your logo symbolize?
My logo can be seen as a brain and how the brain can perceive and interpret different situations and events. The logo is fluid which again connects to our thoughts and behaviors. There are different pathways we choose depending on how we handle a situation. We can allow ourselves to be directed by negative thoughts and unsupported assumptions which can lead to increased stress, low mood, anxiety, avoidance or we can go down a different route and learn skills to help us be more grounded, centered, optimistic and connected. The logo has different branches or arms which symbolizes the many different routes and tactics that one can use to address a situation. I try to be creative and think outside of the box when I work with people.
The logo symbolizes the brain and thinking which is one of the pillars of emotional wellness.
Not one path
Is group work effective or does counselling need to be one on one?
Counselling can come if a variety of forms. Both one on one counselling and group work can be very effective. Some people prefer to work in a group setting because they are surrounded by others who have similar challenges. The group setting can be quite supportive, and some group members develop connections that last outside of the group. It allows individuals to who feel isolated with their challenges to connect to others who may have similar experiences.
Do you have a morning routine?
I have a morning routine that I use to help me begin my day and feel ready to take on whatever may come across my plate. I wake up early I enjoy the quiet of the early morning hours. It allows me time to reflect and plan for my day. I take my dog out for a walk and then I regularly go to the gym to work out. I come home have some coffee and begin to plan my day. I find working out in the morning guarantees a work out and gives me time to be set for my day to come.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading a few books – I am a book workworm and love reading all types of books I always have at least one book on my list that is professional or career oriented and then others for entertainment and pleasure.
Mindset – non-fiction – Author Carol Dweck – this book looks into the power of thoughts and how ones mindset can impact their success or failure in all realms of life. (This is one of our favourites to read and recommend!)
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – a cook book by Samrin Nosrat – easy read – very interesting description of the use of ingredients in cooking – also has a great four part series on Netflix under the same title.
I also enjoy losing myself in a good thriller and I have been reading Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell.
The last book I am reading right now is The Group by Mary McCarthy, a novel about friendship and connection.
How you do reset yourself after challenging days sharing your energy?
I have an 8 year old Goldendoodle who benefits from long walks which let me reset after a challenging day. I love to take her for walks at the beach. Looking at the water and being surrounded by my dog and nature are calming and help me feel grounded and able to let go of the day. I find that having a long walk lets me feel refreshed and ready to enjoy the company of good friend or family or just curling up on the couch and enjoying a good book.
For more information, visit lizwaisberg.com.