Katherine Gill, Therapist

Meet the Therapist: Katherine Gill, LLPC, NCC

In Meet the Therapist, Therapy by Kalamazoo Therapy Group

What do you specialize in?

My current specialties include working with individuals experiencing grief and loss, women’s issues, and depression and anxiety. I recognize the many faces of grief and loss, the particular set of challenges and experiences of women’s issues, and the impact that depression and anxiety can have on an individual’s quality of life. I enjoy working with individuals to help navigate the unique, challenging, and sometimes confusing terrain of each of these areas.

What can clients expect when they first come to therapy? How would you describe a typical session with you?

The first session looks like a meet and greet between client and therapist. I like to frame our time as a friendly and fluid conversation as we get to know one another. A client coming to see me won’t be met with a cold and formal feeling introduction. In the first session, I’ll gather some information by asking the client to describe their past experiences with therapy, what brings them in, and what they hope to get out of our time together in therapy. I give an introduction into who I am as a therapist, my style, and the typical flow of my sessions to the client so they have a clear idea of what to expect. I understand that between working, tending to our relationships, and taking care of ourselves that time is valuable and sometimes scarce. Because of this I like to discuss the client and therapist availability and frequency of sessions so we can make sure that scheduling won’t be an obstacle.

My sessions are talk therapy. I engage in a conversational type of dialogue to freely explore and discuss the issues at hand. However, I can adjust the flow of sessions to be more structured if this is preferred by the client. I typically ask the client to tell me what they want to talk about or work on to start us off to help guide sessions. I want to make sure that the client’s time in therapy is spent working on things that are important to them.

Continued sessions involve developing goals/treatment plan, strengthening the therapeutic relationship, and working on presenting issues or concerns in a collaborative way. Sessions are typically once a week or once every two weeks depending on what needs to be worked on and what works for the client. However, frequency isn’t set in stone and can be adjusted based on client needs.

What is your personal style as a therapist?

I’ve been described by past clients as a down to earth, compassionate, free-flowing, and open therapist. I meet everyone at the door as myself and bring that authenticity into session with me. I’m a therapist but I’m also a human being first. I believe that clients are the experts of their own stories, so I don’t approach clients as though I am more knowledgeable than them about their experiences. I strive to create a space that feels equal, non-judgmental, and authentic where anything from their deepest secrets to their biggest wins can be acknowledged and explored. I help clients increase understanding of patterns, relational dynamics, the origins of our emotions, and their role in our functioning. I like to think of the therapy space as a place where clients feel safe to identify, experience, accept, express, explore, transform, and manage their feelings. I also incorporate psychoeducation related to healthy coping skills and how to apply them to everyday life. I want my clients to feel empowered, supported, and confident in their ability to navigate the peaks and the valleys of life in and outside of session.

How have you seen therapy benefit your clients?

I’ve seen therapy provide such a wide variety of benefits. Clients have developed healthier coping skills, strengthened boundaries, lessened their depression and anxiety symptoms, improved their relationships with others, strengthened self-esteem, processed trauma, gained self-compassion/self-acceptance, developed confidence managing their mental health, and felt more fulfilled in their daily lives.

What do you think are the most important considerations when looking for a therapist?

Before you meet the therapist face to face or via telehealth, it can be difficult to confidently say yes or no regarding compatibility. I’ve been in the shoes of someone looking for a therapist and their bio has always been where I start to gauge my interest in reaching out. So, is there something in their bio or photo that resonates with you? Do you think their approach to therapy could work with your style of communication, personality, and values? Do they have experience working with what you want to work on? Do they take your insurance or provide a sliding scale?

Being compatible with your therapist and the rapport you build creates a strong foundation to the counseling process. If you enjoy your therapist then you’re more likely to develop a therapeutic relationship that fosters trust and creates a space where you can be successful exploring your concerns and working towards your goals. Once you begin therapy I think it’s especially important to check in with yourself regularly and ask “Do I feel respected, heard, and supported by my therapist?” The answer should always be yes!

What do you hope your clients walk away with?

I hope my clients walk away with clarity, pride in themselves, and a greater sense of confidence in their ability to continue growing into the person they want to be. I want my clients to feel as though they have a solid arsenal of coping skills and new perspectives to help guide them through the journey that continues after therapy. Most importantly, I want my clients to walk away knowing and believing that they are worthy, important, and a good person even on the days they struggle the most.

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