Interview by Jiovann Carrasco, LPC-S
Callye introduced herself to me when she was a graduate student at St. Edward's University and asked to volunteer. I'd never had a volunteer before, but she seemed so eager to learn more about the counseling field and had such a great sense of humor that I couldn't say no. Callye proved to be very resourceful and bright. She has a quick wit and never fails to crack us up (espceially at our annual karaoke holiday parties!)! When she began her practicum, having her on our counseling team was a no brainer. Now that she's graduated with her Master's and earning her clinical hours toward full licensure, she continues to provide quality clinical care and value to our team. So without further adieu, here's the interview:
What made you decide to become a counselor?
I’ve always been someone who thought a lot about life. Imagine me as that slightly weird kid trying to analyze human behavior, having 7 year old existential crises, and annoying my older brother by asking questions about death and the meaning of life. (His response? “Callye… go away.”) So as you can imagine (considering the things I thought about), I was this little ball of anxiety, desperately searching for answers in order to ground and soothe me. I have always felt acutely different from others, always on the hunt for my place in the world. And this is something I realized many other people feel too. So an underlying theme throughout my life has been this idea of seeking connection… connection with self, others, and the world on a deeper level. I believe all of these traits then led to me having a knack for helping people confront, understand, and re-examine their lives, which ideally leads them to either making changes or finding peace with their experiences.
If you could teach the world one skill or technique, what would it be?
I want people to realize that they can’t hate themselves into happiness. That beating themselves up and letting their inner critic run rampant is not helping them improve their lives. I think people fear that if they aren’t hard on themselves, then they won’t be motivated to make the changes they want… but that’s just not true. I want people to start gently laughing at that mean voice in their heads. To recognize that voice for what it is -- a well-intentioned, albeit misguided and foul mouthed friend who wants you to be happy -- but then let it know you’re going to be kind to yourself instead.
What's the most common problem your clients bring to you?
They’re anxious. They’re stuck. And they feel that they shouldn’t be feeling the way they are feeling. I think many people feel they are uniquely flawed, as though there’s something about them in particular that’s not good enough. And people are scared. They’re scared of the unknown, scared of their emotions, and scared that they aren’t making the most out of life. While my clients come in and talk about a range of different issues, I believe most of those issues can be boiled down to those themes I just mentioned.
Have you been in counseling before and what did you learn?
I’ve been to counseling during multiple stages of my life, and so I learned different things based on what I was struggling with most at the time. If I were to generalize all of my therapy as a collective experience though, I think the most valuable insight I gained was noticing patterns in my life, and what my M.O. was. Even when the issues I struggled with changed, I started to recognize that the manner in which I struggled was similar. I was able to see that it’s not so much about the thing I’m dealing with as it is about how I approached the thing I’m dealing with. So because I have a deeper understanding of my patterns in life, I don’t feel enslaved by them. I can see why I’m feeling a certain way, and recognize that I am free to choose a different way to approach it at any time.
If you could recommend one book to all of your clients, what would it be?
I can’t think of a single book that would deeply resonate with all of my clients since they each have different concerns, personalities, and interests. For me personally though, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl was a really powerful book that showed up in my life at just the right moment. I always suggest it to my clients who are grappling with the deeper, more existential questions of life.
What inspires you to want to help others?
Speaking from the bottom of my heart, I truly want people to feel special. To feel like they aren’t alone. To know that they are seen and understood by someone else, and that they are good enough just as they are. So my heart is warmed every time I get to help a person feel these things.
Also, I strongly believe that life is malleable, and therefore it excites me to know that it is within each of my clients’ power to shape their lives in ways that will bring them greater joy and meaning.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is struggling with anxiety, perfectionism, or is going through some sort of existential crisis. They are feeling overwhelmed and realize that they can no longer avoid the thoughts and feelings they’ve been trying to push away. I work well with clients who want to have a deeper understanding of how they operate: clients who aren’t just looking for a quick fix, but rather, who want to learn new ways of approaching life.
How do you take care of yourself?
The #1 thing is that, years ago, I decided to like myself. This means that even when life gets hard, or when I don’t do things perfectly, I don’t turn against myself. I believe having a positive relationship with myself and always trying to see what I can learn through my experiences helps me stay balanced and content regardless of any hardships I’m going through.
In terms of healthy habits, I’m pretty inconsistent. I should probably eat healthier and sleep more and work out more and read more and hang out with friends more and blah blah blah. But sometimes I don’t want to. And at this point, I’m OK with that. I just try to honor my needs and wishes at the time and avoid guilting myself about things.
Some things I enjoy doing though which spark joy would be playing sports, being outdoors, playing with my dogs, dancing, watching stand-up comedy, and spending lots of hours listening to music and building perfect playlists on Spotify. If ever I’m in need of a “pick me up”, I know I can turn to any of those activities.
About Our Blog
Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.