Therapist Spotlight: Hanifa Akpe, LCPC

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Therapist Spotlight: Hanifa Akpe, LCPC

Therapist Spotlight: Hanifa Akpe, LCPC

As a licensed therapist, I understand that the decision to seek individual therapy can be a daunting task that can make many feel uncomfortable. I deeply respect my clients for the strength and resilience that it takes to seek out professional help. Therapy is not a one stop fix, it's a journey and process. With my support, I am honored to have the opportunity to embark on this type of journey with you.

The number one thing I tell my clients, you are not alone. You are the expert of your experience, and each therapeutic process is a collaboration and unique to each client. I am here to provide the tools and resources to help foster your experience while reaching your goals. I believe that a strong client/therapist relationship, appreciation for diversity and evidence based interventions is one of many remedies to create clarity in life.

The way I strive to live my life is the way I approach therapy- with love, laughter, compassion, and in constant pursuit of understanding and genuineness.  I believe that therapy is about the relationship and this is important to develop a healthy therapeutic foundation. I also believe that insight is not enough, treatment includes skill building and the development of "tools for the toolkit". My passion is trauma; like mental illness and mental health issues, it too can be an area that is stigmatized and taboo to discuss.  I also like to focus on interpersonal relationship issues, depression, anxiety, grief and loss and management of life stressors.

The techniques I utilize include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with an emphasis on a person-centered lens. I make sure to see each person as their own unique being, creating a nonjudgmental and compassionate environment. I like to utilize mindfulness and relaxation techniques to help clients become more aware of the connections between the body and the mind.  With many mental health challenges, such as anxiety, trauma and depression, stress is carried within the body. Through understanding how mental health manifests in physiological symptoms, individuals can experience symptom relief.

Many physical symptoms that can manifest from chronic stress, anxiety and even depression can be in the form of panic attacks. Just a few therapeutic techniques that can be used to self soothe during a panic attack include Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Thought Stopping and Deep Breathing techniques.  However, the key is to increase the ability to identify stressors and triggers, as well as when the person is beginning to increase in anxiety so as to implement a coping skill before a panic attack will occur.  It is much more difficult to implement a coping technique in the midst of an anxiety attack as opposed to implementing a skill when the individual recognizes that anxiety is increasing.

Because we are all unique, planning appropriate treatment is a collaborative effort in which we work together to create a specific treatment protocol to your individual needs.I have years of experience in helping clients with anxiety and depression. In treatment, I like to focus on psychoeducation, behavior activation and identification of coping outlets.  Through this, clients have been able to experience a decrease in symptoms.

There are many misconceptions about therapy that deter people from seeking it out.  One of the biggest misconceptions that I hear often is, "If I come to therapy then that means I am not 'strong enough'".  I would challenge that it takes a significant amount of strength to seek the help of a professional as many of us would agree that vulnerability can be a difficult task for anyone.  I would also challenge that to face, tackle and combat any challenge is strength as opposed ignoring it or continuing to function in an unhealthy manner.

If you have taken the first difficult step in searching for a helping professional, you are taking your first step towards meeting your overall goals. Together you and I will travel your journey to conquer your challenges toward living your best experience.

 

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