Aloha, my name is LaVon Petersen, and I am licensed in Hawaii (LCSW4815). My approach to therapy combines trauma training with parts work and somatic therapy on one end and on the other end, I assist clients in finding practical solutions to problems. This means that you and I will work together to find both the "why" of what you bring to therapy (childhood development, history, and social context) and the "what" (how to change what you want to change). I tend to work with people pleasers and high achievers who feel there is something lacking in their personal lives and relationships. I work mostly with adults. I see individuals who want to make meaningful changes.
I use a person-centered approach and enjoy doing therapy with teenagers through adult years to help them navigate and cope with challenges in their life. I strive to assist clients in processing their emotions and learning coping skills to deal with everyday stressors and decrease symptoms.
Generally, I work with clients who have challenges with various kinds of trauma, anxiety, familial, depression, stress, and more. I am most comfortable with these aforementioned conditions.
My communication style
My office and virtual platform are a space where people can explore issues surrounding relationships, gender, trauma, grief, etc. I believe a person's time in therapy should be utilized to promote overall wellness and improvement in their quality of life. Clients have provided me with feedback in the past highlighting that it feels comfortable with working with me and opening up to what is on their hearts and minds.
My journey to mental healthcare
When I was in the military, a friend had invited me to a volunteer event working with at-risk youth. At that event, I had worked alongside a Clinical Social Worker. I loved the work, and it was the first time I actually met a Social Worker. She talked with me about the type of work she did and her path to getting to where she was. It was then that I reflected on my military career and how I always found myself in not just leadership roles but helper roles. Once I left the military, I knew that I wanted to help and give back in some way to the community. I started and finished my Bachelor and Master of Social Work program. Helping people in the real world who were fighting hard to survive was an engaging, powerful contrast to the dusty study of the ancient past that I’d left behind. I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for. I’ve always felt a strong connection to working with people who are not always seen and heard because of past trauma. Now, in my practice, I strive to encourage adult clients to find their own unique voices and they are seen. I love what I do, and find myself touched daily by my clients, my colleagues, and the many wonderful helpers in our world.
My goals for you
Client goal setting is vital in treatment planning. Therefore, I approach goal setting by starting by asking them what their overall goal really is. Identifying a starting point is next. Helping your clients face and understand exactly where they are in terms of this goal is a good place to start. It's important that they are honest with themselves as well, by examining where things currently stand.
My first session with you
In the first session, we are both getting to know each other. We can explore what brings you to counseling, as well as gather some background information like your career, education, relationships, and perhaps medical history. Most importantly, we will begin building rapport with one another and establishing a healthy therapeutic alliance.