Q+A with therapist and modern relationship blogger, Alexa Baliski, LAMFT

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What is something your clients would say about you?

I think my clients recognize my empathy and warmth create a safe space, which allows them to access and explore the most vulnerable aspects of themselves. It’s a privilege to walk beside my clients and witness their growth, insight, and the healing they achieve as they work towards their goals. I’m sure my clients would also note the emphasis I place on balancing self-compassion and accountability.

Describe the types of clients that you are most experienced in working with.

I specialize in supporting women and college students experiencing chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. My warm and calm energy also allows me to effectively treat children and adolescents with anxiety, school-related issues, and family difficulties. Additionally, I’m also certified as a Level II Gottman Couples therapist, enabling me to help both individuals and couples improve their communication in relationships. I have a strong passion for helping couples reconnect through strength-based interventions. I’m a systemically trained therapist, which allows me to treat clients from a framework that factors in the greater context of their lives (relationship issues, environmental stressors, etc.)

Describe a useful tool or exercise that you like to share with your clients.

My clients are caring, well intentioned, and often overextended individuals dealing with a wide variety of responsibilities (career, education, family, relationships, parenting, health, friendship, financial stress, etc.) Helping my clients establish healthy limits/boundaries in their lives to restore their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being is a critical part of our work together. Boundary setting allows my clients the space for vital self-care, ultimately enabling them to better tend to the important aspects of their lives without feeling depleted or resentful. My supervisors have instilled a great metaphor in me over the years– when you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. Why is this important? Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask. Self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and the people around us.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give people who might be struggling emotionally and would like to seek out counsel but may not be ready?

Therapy is a personalized experience, and it’s our job to meet you where you are. The first priority of therapy is to provide you with a supportive safe space to talk about what’s going on in your life. If you are unsure whether or not to start the process due to anxiety or fear related to the process, remember that therapists are here to work with you in a way that complements your unique personality and goals. The benefits of therapy can be immense. The best way to figure out whether or not therapy is for you is to try it yourself.

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