17 Jul Therapist Spotlight – Rachael Martin, MS, ALMFT
What’s your best wisdom you often share with your clients?
Acceptance – of yourself, of your difficult feelings, of your triumphs and your disappointments, of the faults and foibles of those you love – can be freeing and empowering. It is well worth the work.
As we move through life, we get all kinds of messages and feedback about who and how and what we should be. Some of these messages are good, and they fit with us, but some of these messages don’t fit with us and can even be harmful. You don’t have to keep the messages that don’t fit or serve you – you can keep the beliefs that fit with you and make your own messages and beliefs to fit those that don’t!
What is your treatment philosophy?
That people are generally doing the best they can with what they know. People aren’t struggling out of a lack of trying or lack of want to experience something different, but rather that they don’t have a blueprint to get to a better place. In therapy, we work on a blueprint that works for each client or family to get to where they want to be. In my work with clients, we are co-architects on this journey, using my training and your expertise about yourself or your family to create a new plan together.
What is your most unusual talent/What is something surprising that very few people know about you?
I am pretty darn handy! My parents believed it was important for me to learn maintenance and fixer-upper skills to be independent and able to take care of myself. The lovely byproduct of this family value is that I am now fairly proficient in many things from putting furniture together to fixing a dishwasher to gutting a kitchen down to the studs and pulling up flooring. I grew to really enjoy these things and love the feeling of fixing something or making it new again – especially if I can use the pink toolkit my dad bought me when I moved out for the first time!
Rachael is an Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned her Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Purdue University Northwest. Rachael also completed her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies at Northern Illinois University in preparation for her graduate degree. Rachael has experience working with individuals, couples, families, and children in therapy as well as helping clients navigate larger systems such as schools, healthcare settings, and DCFS.
Rachael takes a collaborative, non-judgmental approach to therapy and believes that she has a responsibility as a therapist to create a safe, supportive, open environment where clients feel empowered to take an active role in the therapy process. Rachael focuses on patterns within and across generations of families, the balance between connectedness and individuality, and increasing an individual’s ability to cope with and tolerate stress. Rachael uses Bowenian family therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and play/experiential therapies to work with children, families, couples, and individuals to address behavioral, emotional, and relational issues and facilitate positive change. Rachael regularly includes art, music, storytelling, and games in her work with children and families to help children to feel comfortable in therapy and connect what happens in therapy to the children’s’ home and school lives. Rachael’s other areas of expertise and interest include trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, grief and loss, life transitions, identity formation, and communication. Rachael is certified in Gottman Couples Therapy Levels 1 and 2 and has completed SafeZone LGBTQ Ally training.
When Rachael is not working with clients, she enjoys discovering new music, reading, cooking, visiting museums, and spending time with her fiancé and hound-mix dog.