Rachel Kitson, Ph.D.
My Therapeutic Approach
My approach focuses on helping you cultivate self-insight and derive personal values in order to promote change and growth.
I have found this approach to be successful in working with clients who struggle with emotional expression, finding meaning in their lives, maintaining healthy boundaries, and managing the stress and expectations they place on themselves.
This includes workplace professionals, high school and college-age individuals, married or committed couples, and individuals who have experienced trauma or significant stress and/or loss (including veterans).
I also work specifically with members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
I love my job and working with a diverse caseload— I feel it keeps me invested and curious in our work together.
Specific areas of extensive experience include anxiety, trauma, substance use, identity formation, stress management, emotion regulation, depression/bipolar disorder, couples counseling, diagnostic clarification, males and females with Asperger’s, issues surrounding identity and sexuality, and female athletes.
Clients Served & Approach
My approach is warm, straightforward, and interpersonal.
I believe in the development of a healthy therapeutic relationship that requires trust and accountability, takes time, needs to be enjoyable and lighthearted at times, and will face certain obstacles like any relationship.
I work with a diverse caseload, which means I respect race/ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural background. I will meet you where you are in terms of values and goals.
In my practice, I incorporate and have been trained in the therapy modalities of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
The following summarizes the needs of the types of clients I serve...
I love working with couples and supporting people as they cultivate meaningful interpersonal relationships. I work with you to establish a definition for a healthy relationship, given your experiences and values. We examine life stressors, schemas, and intimacy.
I have provided pre-marital counseling, marriage counseling, support for couples who are dating or in committed relationships, LGBT+ clients in their relationships, and post-marital counseling for couples who are separating or going through a divorce.
I typically focus on attachment styles, communication feedback loops, and incorporate many of Gottman’s theories.
I work with a wide variety of individuals who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation, or stress and lack of meaning or purpose in their lives.
Sometimes they are just overwhelmed and trying to understand why they feel the way they do.
Some people are coming to grips with past trauma or experiences that seem to still haunt them today. Sometimes our work is brief, and other times it is long-term. I often incorporate exploration of values and personality, in addition to personal histories.
My work with teens stems mostly around establishing trust and providing validation for their experiences, from an adult perspective.
Validation does not mean endorsing or understanding, but the ability to listen to their experiences in a non-judgemental way.
I work with teens who are struggling socially, academically, and with emotion regulation.
I also provide support for parents of teens who are struggling to feel connected to their child.
Autism awareness is a passion for me.
I get so much out of my work with males and females on the spectrum.
If you have been diagnosed with an ASD or have wondered if you meet criteria, I would be honored to work with you to help overcome social anxiety, cope with sensory stimulation, and to feel more integrated, valued, and understood.
My clients who are on the spectrum also teach me, and together we understand the scope of neurodiversity.
As a working mother, I am personally invested in the meaning of having balance in life.
My job is helping people achieve what a meaningful life is for them, and to see if they are living in accordance with those values. We each need time to sit with our thoughts and process our feelings about what a meaningful life means.
What works in the boardroom or on the trading floor does not necessarily, if ever, work in our interpersonal relationships, and learning how to be true to ourselves and effective in each situation is paramount. I help people identify their strengths and cultivate them in different settings to achieve a more balanced life all around.
I love working with people—no matter who they love, how they identify, or what stage of exploration or identity formation they are in.
Sexuality and gender identity are such an important part of us, which needs to be honored, validated, and realized. These aspects of our identities do not necessarily have to define us, but they are core features of our whole selves.
I will work with you if you are struggling with your identity in these areas. My goal as your therapist is to respect those parts of who you are. Wherever you fall on the continuum of human experience, I am here for you and will obviously respect this piece of the puzzle that is what makes up the complete person you are.
I work with people who have been diagnosed with or are wondering whether they may have ADHD.
People may develop anxiety or depression as the result of living a life with undiagnosed ADHD. Executive functioning not only impacts our ability to focus and attend, but also our mood regulation, memory, activation, and distress tolerance.
Some people have been living with ADHD for most of their lives and have developed enough work arounds that they never had to be diagnosed but it still impacts them significantly. I help people recognize how ADHD impacts their lives and relationships and develop behavioral coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms.
Trauma comes in many forms and affects us all in different ways.
I work with victims of sexual assault, rape, molestation, and emotional or physical abuse.
I also work with war veterans and survivors of a natural disaster or life threatening accident.
Through processing and exposure we work together to ground you in a safe environment and empower you to grow from your trauma rather than be held down from it.
I work with a lot of clients who fall into this category, in some way or another.
They might not even know they are “perfectionists” at first because they think they are lazy or feel they haven’t gotten anywhere in life. A lot of the time, that feeling results from anxiety around failing or being judged.
Other clients have been very successful in life, but are having a hard time enjoying themselves in work, school, socially, or in their relationships. Perfectionistic tendencies are tricky because they are so often reinforced by our environments. I work with people to explore the roots of their perfectionism and live a life with more balance and joy.