[00:00:00] Sherman Hu: Welcome to the inaugural podcast episode with Felicia Laforest from Through The Forest Counseling. I just have three simple questions for you today. Let’s kick it off with the first.
What kind of therapy or counseling clinic is Through The Forest Counseling?
[00:00:11] Sherman Hu: What kind of therapy or counseling clinic is Through The Forest Counseling?
[00:00:16] Felicha Laforest: Through The Forest Counseling is focused on young adults, people in transition, whether it be college to grad school, college to work life, single to married, people that are going through transitions, and people that have had traumatic experiences in the past and want to move past those.
Where are your counseling clinics located?
[00:00:37] Sherman Hu: That’s great. Felicia, where are your counseling clinics located?
Top 3 requests for therapy types since the beginning of 2022?
[00:00:52] Sherman Hu: Brilliant. What are the top three types of therapy that many of your clients are requesting or that clinicians have been [00:01:00] working with since the beginning of the year?
[00:01:03] Felicha Laforest: We’ve been getting many people wanting help with anxiety. Whether that be returning back to work as a result of the pandemic, unsure how their life will change, whether it be college to adulthood, working, or things along those lines. Anxiety is probably the number one thing that people come to us for.
[00:01:24] Felicha Laforest: Another issue we help many people with is depression. Whether it be a situational type of depression, whether it be an environmental type of depression, or hormonal depression. We’re getting many people who are experiencing depression and want help to manage it better or come out of it.
[00:01:42] Felicha Laforest: And the third type has been people who want to work on the traumatic past that they’ve had. Maybe something happened in their childhood. One that comes to mind is someone was in a car accident. And just trying to be able to get back out driving and do things like that.
[00:02:03] Felicha Laforest: So anxiety, depression, and trauma are probably the biggest requests that we get.
[00:02:10] Sherman Hu: Have you seen a big increase in those kinds of requests or cases compared to two years ago?
[00:02:20] Felicha Laforest: Definitely seen an increase in anxiety. Definitely seen an increase in depression. Trauma would be probably the one that we haven’t seen a big increase initially because people that are coming in for anxiety, depression tend to have the trauma that we uncover in the sessions and then go and deal with that as well.
[00:02:42] Felicha Laforest: So when people initially come in, they’re not saying I want to do trauma work. But a lot of their anxieties or depression is based off of traumas that they’ve experienced. So we ended up doing trauma work as a result.
[00:02:55] Sherman Hu: I’m curious, Felicha, for somebody who’s listening or watching this right now, [00:03:00] if they’re feeling anxious or think that they have depression or are depressed, the question is, are they alone? What are some of the commonalities that will help somebody feel, “This is not just me. Maybe if I reach out these professionals know this is very common. They can work with me. They can help me.”
[00:03:24] Felicha Laforest: Starting with anxiety, a lot of what people describe is tightening in their chest or discomfort in their stomach. These are the physical symptoms that people tend to feel when they’re anxious. There’s also the *mind *running constantly, never being able to stop, never being able to just be at rest because you’re always worried about something.
[00:03:45] Felicha Laforest: With depression, it varies. Sometimes it’s that heaviness, that tired, that lack of motivation that people tend to describe. Another thing is just being stuck or being in a fog. Those are what people feel, but maybe not say as often, but if you’re feeling any of these things here, you’re definitely not alone.
What differentiates Through The Forest Counseling?
[00:04:09] Sherman Hu: Okay. That’s great. Felicia, what specialty or secret sauce differentiates Through The Forest from other clinics or other clinicians?
[00:04:21] Felicha Laforest: I think one of the things that make us different is that we have a very diverse staff, right? We go out of our way to find therapists of color. Like Latinx (Latin American descent), Haitian, Jamaican.
[00:04:36] Felicha Laforest: Like we go out of our way to find these therapists that have the very different backgrounds that represent the people that you would see in any of our locations.
[00:04:46] Felicha Laforest: So we have that firsthand experience. Even myself, I’m a first-generation American to Haitian immigrant parents. So I completely understand what the cultural expectations of a Haitian family or the cultural expectations of West Indian Caribbean family. So I have that same knowledge. So there doesn’t have to be the explanation that goes on.
[00:05:13] Felicha Laforest: We also have therapists that have been in awful situations when they first started or if therapists had even immigrated to this country. So they have the firsthand experience of what people are going through. So when we get to jump past that, because we have that shared knowledge and experience, we’re able to connect to our clients a little bit more intimately.
[00:05:38] Sherman Hu: That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. That commonality is so important.
How can one get in touch with Through The Forest Counseling?
[00:05:41] Sherman Hu: How can somebody watching or listening to this get in touch with the clinic, whether through the website or a phone number?
[00:05:50] Felicha Laforest: Both of them work. You can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call our main number. You can jump on the [00:06:00] website, get a feel for the different clinicians and the work that we do. Our website is ForestCounseling.net. And you can reach us in all our locations there.
[00:06:11] Sherman Hu: That’s great. Felicia, thank you so much for your time this morning. And we look forward to next week’s episode.