I found Alice and her Transformation Begins Within practice in the midst of a tumultuous, pandemic-dominated year which, like for many others, had uprooted my life and what I thought it would look like over the course of a year or so.Alice shows up to every session with energy, care, and attention. She empowers clients by encouraging them to look inwards and identify the root causes of mental health problems.Most sessions ended with suggestions for further internal work, be it a journaling prompt, a breathing exercise, an art project, or a book recommendation which allowed me to merge the 1 hour per week spent in therapy into a broader everyday life practice. With these practices in my “mental health toolbox,” I feel more equipped to navigate my life, prioritize my own values, and work towards building healthier relationships.
I am enough. This is just one of the affirmations that I speak daily. When I contacted Ms. Alice Ward I was in a very dark space. I suffered from anxiety and depression in silence. The pain that I felt was indescribable. I had no control of my emotions and I knew that I needed help to silence the dark thoughts that would randomly manifest.Working with Ms. Alice was the highlight of my week; something that I looked forward to. My sessions were nothing as I expected. I expected to discuss my divorce and how it affected me; however, we discussed things that I never considered to be a factor in my adult life or healing.I never imagined that I would be emotional for most of my sessions but eventually I began to feel less tense and my view on the future appeared brighter.Ms. Alice opened my eyes to many areas of my life that I had packed away. I did not realize how I had adjusted my life to accommodate my depression and anxiety. I learned so many things (good and not so good) about myself that I am determined to repair. A few words of wisdom that I have learned through my sessions with Ms. Alice: prayer changes things, boundaries are healthy, words of affirmations are important, self-forgiveness is important and an act of love, worrying is a thief of time, tears are liquid prayers, and the enemy works in isolation.There are so many others little nuggets that Ms. Alice has shared and have made a huge difference in my daily activities.I am looking forward to continuing to unpack emotional baggage, repairing relationships, working on forgiving myself and others, and learning to love and accept myself.
Where do I even begin? I made the decision to go back to therapy in September 2020. I had not been to therapy since 2014 or 2015. I wanted to become more emotionally intelligent, find coping strategies for anxiety, and become more self aware. I honestly feel like these goals have been met, but I am not quite done. There is more things to still learn.
Since September, here are some things that I have learned about myself: I started suppressing my emotions in college by drinking, the root of my unfaithfulness in relationships is rebellion, I am invaluable, even in rejection God’s presence is still there, there’s beauty in my brokenness, I don’t have to always be “together”, don’t edit my testimony, how to stop toxic thoughts that spiral, and so much more. One of the biggest blessings from therapy has been the overflow of vulnerability I have experienced with God, family, and friendships.
I am learning that it is completely okay to not be okay.
I am still learning a lot about myself. I am excited to continue this journey of learning myself, how to put up/maintain boundaries, and why I am the way that I am.
Alice, I appreciate your patience and mini sermons that I get to experience in our therapy sessions. You have pushed me to see myself in a different and healthier light. I look forward to continuing this therapy journey!
I began therapy 9/2020. I didn't know what to expect, but what I did know was that I wasn't the problem....mostly. I made that known to Alice. With a smile, she listened to my take on my life. Over the past 8 months Alice has opened my eyes to see that every interaction I have with people and situations have to do with me alone. She met me where I was and gently placed the mirror to my face. I love how therapy doesn't end with our session. Alice has given me homework assignments that included assessments, conversation exercises, craft exercises, and book recommendations. Therapy isn't easy and shouldn't be, yet I find myself excited for our weekly session. I know I am going to leave with a new perspective than when we started. Alice's knowledge, gentle spirit is why she has earned my trust and why I listen to her, digesting and dissecting things I don't see or aren't clear on. In my opinion I'm nowhere near the end of my therapy journey. I can say I have seen a change in my thinking and being. I'm more in tune with myself than I've been. It's due to the hard work and tools Alice has instilled to me. Alice has given me many jewels. One I've held is "Change doesn't have to feel good, but it must be done."
I have worked with Alice for over a year now and I have gained a lot of knowledge and insight from our sessions. She is honest without being invasive and cares to ask the tough questions when needed. Her assessments of my experiences are and have always been on point and she gives a logical approach to helping me see something in a new way. She meets me at my energy level and never shies away from being a mirror when it is clear I need it the most. I am grateful for the fact that she incorporates Christianity into our sessions as well as humor. I would recommend Alice ten times over.
Therapy with your practice has changed my life. Even through this year and the issues that I've dealt with, it has armed me with more positive ways to cope and handle situations. It's grown me mentally so far as my emotional IQ and maturity, and it's also aided in me being way more positive about life than before and perspectives concerning challenges that I've faced and dealt with overall. I definitely believe it's an essential part of my life and will be ongoing because different stages of life require different levels of knowledge and I think therapy provides that. Also I believe that as a man it is essential to our survival in dealing with the world around us especially as black men.
So thank you for all your help and service towards my journey and listening to me. It truly means a lot and I'm grateful as well as thankful.
Therapy has helped me in so many ways. For starters, it helped me realize that
I needed help. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with
me, why I kept having mood swings and feeling tired all the time. Despite
being on anti-anxiety medication I knew I needed to get to the root cause and
not just treat the symptoms.
Therapy made me realize that I had a lot of toxic relationships and some
toxicity within myself. It also made me realize that I went through emotional
abuse/trauma. It opened my eyes to my family dynamics and how I was raised,
and how certain behaviors and communication styles was translated into some
of the patterns and behavior that I displayed and continued to attract in
others. It made me realize that I for one, took on way more than what I should
have in certain situations.
What I learned from therapy is that it is okay to own your trauma, accept your
past and continue to move forward. I learned that I can have feelings and they
are valid and I am free to experience those feelings. I am capable of standing
up for myself. I learned how to pace myself by noticing things and those who
drain my energy. I started to notice unhealthy traits in myself as well as others
and how to break those unhealthy habits. I learned how to be comfortable
with myself. I learned not to live so much in the past and in the future and just
really take the time to being present.
Before therapy was even brought up to me I was a freshly turned 18 year old who had just been told that we were being put on lockdown after returning from my spring break trip with my drill team. Maybe it was the fear of not knowing what was gonna happen next or maybe it was all the feelings of knowing that I wouldn’t be completing my senior year of high school like the class before me or it could’ve been the fact that I would never get to dance with my team who had become another family to me again. But I knew I had a lot of feelings and thoughts that I really didn’t understand because they came out of nowhere and I had never had those kinds of thoughts before. I started my freshman year of college a few months after and I still remember having those same thoughts and feelings but they intensified because of the stress of classes. Before starting my sessions with you in June of 2021 I was very nervous and scared. I had never had to open up to someone I didn’t know before it was something new to me and you could tell when we started talking. After a while I think I started to open up more and talk about things that were happening and how they were affecting me. You were very understanding and patient with me. I remember the first tool you gave me after just journaling was the 1, 2, 3 calm down and I loved that tool. My counseling experience has been really great and eye opening for me since I started and I know we have those moments where it feels like I'm moving backwards instead of forward. Honestly I feel like that's the hardest part knowing that you’ve made so much progress on things and feeling like you are doing great just for something to happen and you realize that you are the reason you aren’t moving forward. I love the way you deliver your responses to me. They are honest and straight to the point which is what I need to hear a lot of the time. It actually makes me think about certain situations and realize that they are indeed a bigger deal than what I make them out to be. I can seem nonchalant at times but it really isn’t on purpose and I don’t know when I’ll reach my breaking point with certain things in my life like not speaking up when I should be, putting everyone before myself, breaking my back for those I know won’t do the same for me but I’ll know how to handle it when the time comes. Looking back on my journal entries from when I first started until now I can really see my progress and how much i’ve grown there are still things I am working on and towards but so far I think i’m doing great and I want to thank you for making me feel so comfortable that I can open up about things in my life that i’ve never talked or thought were affecting me. We still have a ways to go but I'm loving the progress we’ve made so far.