Here at Long Real Estate Team, we often consider ourselves amateur therapists given the frequently high-stakes and emotional nature of real estate. It is always an honor to hold that level of trust with you, but let’s be real, we do not have anything close to the credentials for counseling like our friend and client, Amber Dickson! (Buying, selling, or investing in real estate, though, we definitely have you covered).
Amber is a Licensed Professional Counselor who meets her clients where they are and helps them forge a path forward, out of pain, frustration, anxiety, or grief, and toward peace, growth, and connection. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and she is also a Level I trained Internal Family Systems therapist. Using evidence-based methods rooted in neuroscience, she equips her clients with practical tools to manage their struggles. So what exactly does that mean, and how can she help someone like you or me? Let’s find out!
LRE: Before you went back to school for counseling, you worked in the engineering field. What was the catalyst for this big life change?
AD, LPC: I can’t point to a singular event that brought about the career change, just the long, slow process of living and growing into a different purpose. The two fields are quite distinct from each other but both engineers and counselors rely on systems thinking. When working with a system, be it a building or the human psyche, none of the parts exist in isolation and each aspect within the system influences the others. Potential clients might be reassured to hear that I didn’t finish engineering on a Friday and show up as a counselor the next Monday. The transition between fields happened over quite a few years with much education!
LRE: How can a potential client know you might be a good fit for them? Do you specialize in helping any particular type of client or using any specific therapeutic methods?
AD, LPC: I’m happy to schedule a consultation call to talk and see if a person finds us to be a good fit. For the most part, I see individual clients who are 18 years and older. A lot of my clients are dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, life transitions, or relational issues. I use a therapeutic model called Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy but my work is also heavily informed by existential psychotherapy.
LRE: When the media talks about therapy, whether it’s a story about a celebrity or a fictional depiction in a movie, it seems like it’s most often in reference to a really dire situation like the brink of divorce or a severe mental illness. Is that an accurate depiction of who can benefit from therapy?
AD, LPC: Let me start by saying, I wish I had the wardrobe budget that many movie therapists possess. But to your point, while more severe symptoms bring some people to therapy, others come in who are managing ok. They want to get better equipped to enjoy their lives and have more inner resources when stress and unexpected life events occur.
LRE: We can imagine that counseling takes a mental and emotional toll given the amount of time you spend walking through difficult situations with your clients. What is your favorite thing about your job, the thing that at the end of the day makes you happy you found this calling?
AD, LPC: This question leaves me smiling and searching for words that won’t come across as too cheesy. It is such an honor and pleasure to witness the changes that happen. To watch someone who was once stuck and feeling defeated but now moving in empowerment and hope- what a privilege, what a great feeling.
LRE: If you could tell us one more thing before we let you go for your next appointment, what would it be?
AD, LPC: I know firsthand that setting up an appointment with a new counselor can feel really difficult! If I can answer any questions or offer any information about what counseling is, I’m more than happy to do so. I want to make things as simple and un-intimidating as possible.