Interview with Natasha Collins, Marriage and Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

10.) KP: Can you describe your “ideal client” for your private therapy practice? 

Natasha: My ideal client would be someone who is self-motivated and ready for change. I understand that somebody might not know exactly what the change will look like, or how to make change happen, but the willingness to think about or consider doing something differently, or trying something new, is important.

Active participation in the therapy process is also a crucial ingredient for therapy to be successful. It’s not just about the therapist doing the work, but about the individual engaging in therapy, being an active participant as well.

KP: So by that do you mean that the client should be actively participating during the therapy hour or are you referring to doing things outside of those meetings as well?

Natasha: I mean both – being active during and between sessions.  For instance, part of my approach may involve homework or exercises outside of the therapy session, so being active would include being willing to invest time and energy in between visits.

By active participant, I also mean somebody who recognizes that their engagement in therapy is important to their interpersonal growth and development and shows up; they’re open to engaging in the work in session.

Lastly, my ideal client is somebody who’s open to honest and direct feedback.  I see that as a pretty critical aspect to the therapeutic process.  I am working to create a supportive space in which I can share my thoughts and observations about patterns of behaviors that I’m noticing.

KP:  Hearing you talk about those pieces reminds me of my own experience as a therapist and something I’ve heard from many others, that the people who tend to make the most strides in therapy are those who are actively engaged. It can take a much longer time to shift an entrenched pattern or depression, for instance, with just looking at the problem and putting attention on it just once a week in therapy.  Granted, that’s better than nothing, but people move along so much faster when they’re actively engaged in carving out time outside of the therapy to work on the changes well.

It is hard work but totally worth it. Of course, I’m biased but that is what I believe!

Natasha: Yes, I think this is an important part of the initial conversation in therapy, to talk about the process, that it’s going to involve some hard work  — setting the expectation that to see movement and change, work is required.

KP:  Natasha, thank you for your time.

Natasha: Thank you, it’s been my pleasure.

For more information, please visit Natasha’s website:

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