Michele A. Zimmer-Forster
MSW – Masters in Social Work from the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC – Combined concentration (macro and clinical) – with a certification in Gerontology
LICSW – Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the District of Columbia
LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia
CSW-G – Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology
I practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel.
I promote the practice of Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
Depending on the particular context—when, where, how, and with whom they are used—multiple approaches, explanations, and interventions may prove effective and helpful. I may use elements of other theoretical approaches in conjunction with CBT when appropriate: Role, Social Learning, Strength Perspective and Transcendental theories. At other times, I may use elements of Art or Play therapy.
4 THINGS MATTER TO ME AS A THERAPIST:
I am not a friend. Therapy is purposeful and pragmatic, moving deliberately toward one or more mutually negotiated goals. Therapy is not an end in itself.
I believe therapy is evidence-based. I keep good records, connect anecdotes into patterns, generate hypotheses and test them.
There is art to good therapy, since it is an intentional human encounter, and as such is inherently dynamic, creative, and unique. But the art of good therapy must align with science in the way that the art of architectural design must align with the principles of sound engineering. What the therapist suggests to the client—the course of action, the explanations and interventions—should be based on scientific research, to the extent that such research exists.
Just as a surgeon has a duty to operate regardless of the patient’s ideology, moral character, wealth, or ethnicity, so must a therapist accept, listen, and seek to understand, respond appropriately to, and honor the humanity of every client, regardless of how much the therapist “likes” or approves of the individual. And needless to say, good therapy does not condescend, patronize, abuse, abandon, manipulate, lie, or cheat.
Lynette Jacob has over 30 years experience working in the senior care field. She worked as an outreach worker, activities director, marketing director and community relations director for independent, assisted and long-term senior care communities. Ms. Jacob returned to college to received her BSW in 2006 from Shepherd University and received her MSW from West Virginia University in 2011. She is experienced in grief counseling, support groups for caregivers and care planning for seniors and their families. She has experience counseling persons suffering from dementia and their families. She is available for private individual counseling and group counseling.