If you know Jai Madden, one of our newest counselors at Windhorse, you can understand how truly infectious his energy and presence are. Jai's empathy and passion for this work are evident in his approach to counseling and we consider working alongside him as a great privilege.
Below, Jai discusses what it's like to start therapy with a new counselor, what progress looks like for Windhorse clients, his core values as a counselor, and more. Take a look!
What would you say to someone nervous about starting therapy?
It’s OK! Honestly, it is! I would be worried if you weren't a little nervous. If you aren’t nervous, it could be a sign that you are avoiding your feelings. We want you to enter this space ready to discuss feelings and unpack your experiences. Yes, I made that sound much easier than it will be for folks! I know that a good therapist will ease you into counseling with their ability to hold the space and be empathetic & thoughtful. So embrace the nervousness, take the first step - and watch everything else flow!
How do clients know counseling is working for them? What does progress look like?
You know it's working because you are being consistent in showing up. You committed to entering the space weekly because deep down you are feeling better or you are beginning to understand the therapeutic process.
Progress will look different for everyone! I always incorporate elements of solution focus in my sessions. I look for exceptions (a time when things were fine) and I remind my client about these moments to instill hope, encouraging us to do more of what is working. And they keep returning week after week as I am demonstrating to my clients that they have the ability to get through any period of their life.
What are your core values as a counselor?
My core values are rooted in the ethical standards for social workers: service, social justice, dignity, and worth of the person. The importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence are at the center of my work with clients.
How do you continue to grow as a counselor?
I am a firm believer that we are lifelong learners. Windhorse has provided numerous learning opportunities, bringing experts to share their work and best practices with us, as well as facilitating continued education opportunities, group supervision, and individual supervision with seasoned clinicians. Outside of this, I am constantly working on my brand, and this can only be done by me developing myself and my skills as a clinical social worker. One of the qualities that I am constantly working on is creating appropriate boundaries.