Brooke Robb, LPC Associate, supervised by Juliane Taylor Shore LPC-S, LMFT-S
Brooke applies IPNB principles to psychodynamic therapy to assist clients who want to know their own mind with great depth. She specializes in working with grief in its many forms, in relational health with individual clients, and with people struggling with drug and alcohol use that feels out of control. Brooke has a gentle presence and works with clients to help them lead the work in directions that are organic for each client.
price for services:
$135 per 50 minute session
Sliding Scale Available? Yes
Feeling real is more than existing; it is finding a way to exist as oneself, and to relate to [others] as oneself, and to have a self into which to retreat for relaxation.
—D. W. WINNICOTT
Q&A with Brooke
How does talking to someone help?
Putting your thoughts and feelings into words and sharing them with another person can help you feel less alone, alleviating fear or shame in the moment. Over time, forming a relationship with another person through talking—relating to someone and being responded to in new ways—can be a crucial part of growing to feel less overwhelmed, self-critical, numb, or alone inside in your daily life.
Furthermore, thoughtful questions and observations from another person can deepen self-exploration and self-understanding. I believe that for many of us, coming to know ourselves more deeply promotes authenticity, flexibility, and aliveness in our relationships with ourselves and others. Having new emotional and relational experiences is key, but insight about our existing emotional and relational patterns is often helpful along the way.
What is the consultation process like?
Our first 30-minute meeting is a time that you can use to tell me about yourself and some of the concerns you’d like to work on in therapy, and it’s a time that I can use to give you a sense of the way I work and answer any questions you might have about the process. How the time is split up among those topics varies among clients. Beyond the exchange of information, the consultation is a chance for you to get a feel for what it’s like to talk to me, which you can then use to decide whether you’d like to work together in therapy.
What can people expect in a session with you?
I encourage clients to take sessions wherever they want to go, trusting that they will know—consciously or not—what it is they need to talk about. Along the way I ask questions and make observations that can help us understand more about their experience of the world, themselves, and their relationships with others. For some, being able to talk about anything that comes to mind is nerve-wracking at first, so I may ask more questions to help get the conversation going at the beginning of our work—most find that the process of coming in and talking about whatever comes to mind gets easier after the first few sessions.
What is your first question for a client, and why?
What I ask at the beginning of a session, and whether I ask any question at all, depends on the needs of the person across from me. My default position is to allow a client to say whatever comes to mind and use that as a starting point for our work for the hour. This openness allows thoughts and feelings that might be just outside of awareness to come to the fore. At times, though, a question or observation that links the current session to themes from previous sessions helps focus the work. Working together to find what is most helpful for you is an important part of the process.
What kind of issues do you love to work with, and how did you come to love that work?
I love working with people who have a hard time developing or holding on to satisfying relationships, or who want to deepen their existing relationships, whether that’s with romantic partners, family members, friends, or anyone with whom they might want to feel more ease and authenticity. Difficulties with relationships can contribute to other problems, including loneliness, depression, anxiety, substance use, and self-criticism, to name just a few.
It feels like there’s always more for me to learn about what it can mean to be connected to others. Growing in my own understanding of emotions and relationships has been and continues to be one of the greatest undertakings of my life so far, so I’m delighted when I can be a part of that process for someone else.
How do you work with that kind of issue?
Having more ease and authenticity in relationships with others often requires developing a more friendly, curious, and honest relationship with oneself. Many of the questions and observations I pose are intended to help you see yourself more clearly and with more compassion. Though most of my questions are about your emotions, I also ask about sensations and impulses in your body, mental images, desires, and thoughts. As you understand more about yourself and begin to relate to yourself with more caring attention and compassion, you increase your capacity to relate to others authentically and with more freedom and aliveness.
What is the best thing that you have learned from one of your people?
I’ve learned to experiment more in the therapy room. Sometimes, really seeing and responding to another person involves more than following their pace, listening with empathy, and making my best effort to understand who they are and what they’re communicating to me. These are important aspects of the way I practice and can serve as the foundation for transformational emotional experiences; they’re exactly what many people need. But for plenty of others, feeling safe enough to fully access the deepest parts of themselves requires experimenting with a different way of sitting together or talking, or perhaps taking a break from talking to turn inward. Sometimes it’s helpful to draw or use other materials to create an image that captures some inner knowledge that words can’t yet express. I welcome the opportunity to learn new ways of working from my clients.