Marla Stromberg, M.Sc.
BABCP Accredited Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist
When I work with you, I am very aware that I may be the first person you are opening up to about your problems, and I appreciate how difficult that may be. First and foremost, my aim is to help you feel understood.
Feelings of anxiety and depression can feel very isolating. Perhaps you have made a conscious decision not to tell your loved ones, or anybody at work how you’ve been feeling. Whilst you might feel this is the best way of handling this right now, it can feel exhausting putting on a brave face and concealing how you really feel.
Although talking to your nearest and dearest may feel frightening at first, it can sometimes feel like as if a huge weight has been lifted once you have.
Whether or not you decide to open up about how you’ve been feeling to your loved ones, you don’t have to conceal how you feel when you come and see me. You can cry, you can laugh, you can talk about anything, without fearing repercussions.
My Therapy Approach
I will listen to you, I won’t judge you, and I will always be honest with you. I’m easy going and from what my clients tell me, I’m easy to talk to!
The way I work is very directive, yet collaborative. For the first few sessions, I may take the lead, directing and guiding our sessions so that they remain focused and productive. However, as you gain more experience in your role as a CBT client, you will take the reigns and assume more responsibility for the direction of our sessions.
When you work with me, you will notice that I like to laugh, and I believe that the role that laughter plays in releasing those feel-good endorphins is under-estimated.
My experience in working with perfectionists and worriers (Worried Wharfers as I call them) is that they lose all perspective and can’t see the wood for the trees. My job is to help you see the bigger picture.
The big picture
My clients appreciate my ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly, so that we can put in place an action plan to help you recover from what it is that is keeping you stuck.
I have a no nonsense approach; I will always be honest with you and will let you know what behaviours or thinking patterns I think need changing. I believe in giving honest feedback, even if the truth sometimes hurts! This is never truer than when I think you are engaging in self-destructive behaviours, like drinking too much, or working too hard (yes, it is possible to work too hard); I will let you know.
It’s OK to have spells of working long hours, late nights and week-ends, but when this is done on a regular basis, it leads to burn-out. There are also certain self-destructive behaviours which undermine therapy progress, i.e., arriving late for session, not completing agreed therapy assignments, frequently cancelling therapy appointments in favour of work, etc.
We will need to address these issues openly, and as soon as possible, so that you can get the most out of therapy.
I understand your struggles
Do you base your self-worth on what you earn? Do you base your self-worth on your title? I have news for you: this is risky! It is risky because it leaves you vulnerable to feel like a failure if your earnings don’t increase, or you don’t get the promotion you think you deserve. The other news I have for you is this: you are more than your title (MD, Executive MD, Partner, Associate) and you are more than your income!
I know you. I know you spend a lot of time dwelling on the past, and worrying about the future.
You wish you could live in the present, and enjoy the moment-for once.
You spend an excessive amount of time perfecting tasks, and wish you were better able to judge when to stop working on a task (especially when the extra time and effort you put in does not add value to the task).
Together, we will break it all down so that your problems seem less overwhelming; we will make sense of it all together.