At Cedar Hill we recognize the importance of the therapeutic bond. In choosing a provider you are choosing someone you wish to open up to and begin a journey of therapeutic healing with. To assist in this choice we asked our providers a number of questions regarding their professional identity and therapeutic ideals.
Anne Bauers, MA, LAMFT
Why did you choose to work to become a therapist? My first career was in market research, and I loved connecting with people and hearing their stories. I wanted to connect with people about something meaningful, not just toasters and TVs, so I decided to become a therapist.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? I particularly enjoy working with couples. Whether couples are struggling sexually, fighting all the time, or wondering if they should stay together, I love helping them have productive conversations, reconnect, and achieve their goals. I’m also passionate about working with individuals in a relational transition, such as getting a divorce or blending families with a new partner.
Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? I’m always attuned to what is happening in the room, and help clients pay attention to their physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts. For this, I think of myself as blending experiential therapy and mindfulness-based work. I also believe the stories we tell ourselves strongly influence the way we experience the world, so I use narrative therapy frequently as well.
Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? I like to take a collaborative approach to therapy, so my use of homework depends on the clients. If you appreciate thinking through something or trying something new to make progress between sessions, I love using homework to help you direct your between-session work. But some clients find homework stressful and counterproductive – in those cases, I don’t assign it!
What do you see as your role when working with clients? I think of myself as both a guide and a fellow traveler. As a therapist, I have the honor of walking my clients’ paths with them for a time. I can provide perspective and ask questions my clients haven’t thought of, but my clients remain the experts on their own journeys.
What are some milestone or definitions of success for you with clients? I always set goals collaboratively with my clients, so we define success together. Part of my practice is to check in frequently with clients to assess if they feel they are making progress toward their goals.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? In therapy, I aim for my clients to feel safe, understood, and like they are making progress. Contacting a therapist can be scary, and doing the work of therapy can be hard, so know that I want to create a supportive and safe space for you to work towards your goals.
Why did you choose to work to become a therapist? In college I was involved as a program director and volunteer coordinator in different college organizations. After college I spent a year in AmeriCorps working for a homeless network in Washington state. I always wanted to be in some sort of helping profession, but it wasn’t until I participated in a women’s homeless shelter that I realized I’d rather work with people directly. Before then the work I did was largely in-office, or hands off. And it bored me to death! It also took me a long time to realize I could work with my lifelong interest in sexuality. When I figured that out (I credit Sex Nerd Sandra for this), I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? I Specialize in working with sexualized trauma and body image concerns.
Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? I mix and match. My lens is definitely grounded in trauma and attachment, and feminist theory though. I’ve done the first two levels of training in EMDR, and that has shaped the way I view therapy. I like to work with the “deeper” stuff, like getting to the root of an emotion, learning about primary attachment relationships, etc., but I also like to look for solutions in the moment, and I love homework.
Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? Ha! Yes. To be sure, I am flexible with it. I don’t assign books to people who don’t enjoy reading, for example. Homework is important in order to take the work of therapy out of the therapy session. I call it building brain muscles. You can’t step into the ring with John Cena and expect to have a fighting chance if you’ve never lifted a dumbbell or learned anything about wrestling. The same goes with your brain. It took a lot of time and energy to create patterns that are no longer serving you, so it will take time and energy to create new ones, too. The best way to do that is through regular practice.
What do you see as your role when working with clients? I think I can best describe it as being the faithful sidekick. I know a lot about some things, and less about others, but I’m here to help you make the best decision for yourself with what you have available to you.
What are some milestone or definitions of success for you with clients? For me it’s when they say something like “when I look back at a few months ago, I feel so much better now than I did then”. That’s the best for me. But often I see success in clients gaining clarity on something, or making a decision with confidence. I see success everywhere.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? One thing?! There are so many things! I think it’s important to me that clients know I’m pretty easy going. I value humor and I use it often. For therapy? I’d like to rethink the way our culture views therapy. I often see it viewed in terms of weakness. I don’t think coming to therapy should be a question of whether someone is strong or weak. We are all strong and weak at times. I’d like to view therapy in terms of struggling with something, and seeking professional guidance. Not to be glib, but you’d do that with a legal or financial quandary. Why not with a quandary of a psychological nature? And yet, getting to that point is a long road, so, my utmost concern is that the space I share with clients feels safe.
Why did you choose to become a therapist? I really enjoy listening to others and getting to know people. When picking my undergraduate degree of art and psychology, I felt like those were areas where I would have the most opportunities to get to hear people’s stories. After college, I went on to get a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Saint Thomas. When picking my practicum site I found I was drawn to working with people who had eating disorders. After working with this population, I noticed a lot of the clients I worked with were struggling with intimacy after restoring weight. Whether it was accepting their body while being intimate with others or wanting to look a certain way that aligned more with their gender identity, people often felt disorientated. This drove me to do more research into body image related to sex, which has lead me to where I am today.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? My specialties are working with women, men and children who have or had eating disorders and how they relate to their sexuality. When people have restored their body’s weight back to a healthy/stable place, their libido comes back online (hooray!). That being said, people are often left feeling self conscious about their body and afraid to get back in touch with it. This is where, together, we collaborate on how best to help you accept and get to know your wonderful body! 3.) Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? I do not have one specific theory I practice out of, as I like to mix and match! For me, it is very beneficial to draw skills/ideas from a number of theories when working with clients. A few of my favorites are: strengths based therapy, person-centered therapy, and a feminist approach to therapy. The overarching themes of these orientations are the therapist and client being equal and the client is the expert. I as a practitioner get to be in the room with a client and be a part of their journey through self discovery
Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? It depends! Starting out I may not assign homework but gently nudge you to try out things outside of therapy. That being said if the both of us feel there needs to be more structure/accountability, I would assign homework.
What do you see as your role when working with clients? I see myself as someone who has had a lot of schooling in human behavior while also acknowledging that no two people are alike. To me, the client is allowing me to walk alongside them in their journey. I get to reflect back their thoughts and feelings, while helping them reframe the negative views they might have of themselves.
What are some milestone or definitions of success for you with clients? An exciting milestone I see my clients go through is developing a loving gratitude for their body. I often see clients come in feeling upset and dissatisfied with their body. By working through those feelings together and understanding where those ideas come from, I find clients start to feel more at ease and connected to their body.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? I am very passionate about body acceptance and body love. Therapy can be hard and putting in the time to get to know/love your body can be difficult, but it is worth it because you are worth it! I look forward to getting to know you and being a part of your journey. I love working with all populations including the LGBTQIA community, monogamous couples, polyamorous couples, individuals, and kiddos.
Why did you choose to become a therapist? I had been practicing as a Yoga instructor, hands-on energy therapist, massage therapist and anatomy instructor since the early 1990’s. I wanted to synthesize all my experience and trainings in the mind/body/Spirit connection into a “complete package.” In the process, I became a certified life coach, but I kept having to turn away clients who wanted to dive deeper into their healing process. I finally got the hint and became a psychotherapist, to be able to help clients psychologically grow and heal. I now feel I have the insight, the ‘tools’ and experience to truly help people deal with life’s challenges.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? I work with adults struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, sexuality, relationships and self-esteem. Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? I mix and match my theories. I have a few that are at the heart of my work, but I respect and honor all the major approaches. I love bioenergetics, which is body-centered psychotherapy, that uses the sensations in the body as a doorway into the psyche. Psychodynamic theory is valuable for its attention to close relationships and how they enrich us, help us and hurt us. In this regard, attachment theory is useful for insights about how our early relationships shape later ones, and how we use defense mechanisms for both our personal safety but also how they create obstacles to intimate relationships. Solution Focused therapy is effective for goal setting and putting all the insight and healing that takes place into action. It’s kind of like OK, I got all that, now let’s get this party started! I look at this all as a form of the “complete package” I offer my clients. Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? Yes, but it’s not homework in the traditional sense that you will be graded on. When I assign homework it’s something we agree on in session. The purpose is to give people a chance to apply their newfound insights and skills to their lives. In a sense, to give them a test-drive. Even when people haven’t been able to do their homework, we use that as a tool for self-discovery. The question then is: What got in the way? What do you see as your role when working with clients? I am their committed listener, their mirror, their support and their guide. To learn more about me and my work, you can go to my personal website at: www.jumpstartcounseling.net What are some milestone or definitions of success for you with clients? The most basic is when clients leave my office feeling hopeful and in a better place than when they came in. The ultimate goal is to help people heal and grow into the human being they long to be. I use our final “wrap-up” or “completion session” when they’re done with therapy as a measure of success. That’s when we make note of where they were when they started therapy and where they are now. I make a point that we celebrate their accomplishments.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? I am a lover of self-care practices. The process of therapy is a journey with forward movement and setbacks. Over its course, the client will have breakthroughs and possibly setbacks . Self-care gives us the opportunity to remember to be truly compassionate with ourselves.
Why did you choose to work to become a therapist? Growing up I always valued of helping others. In my teens and early adulthood, I struggled with my own mental health and found therapy to be very helpful. However, I saw that there were large gaps of competency in the field that I felt needed to be filled and I figured I should do something about it.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? I specialize in working with gender and sexual identity issues, particularly within the transgender community.
Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? When working with clients I use a lot of cognitive-behavioral, narrative and feminist-empowerment techniques. I like cognitive-behavioral therapy because it is easily accessible, logical and gives client concrete, realistic goals to work on. I supplement this with narrative therapy, which examines how we tell our life stories, and allows a way to pursue personal exploration. Feminist-empowerment therapies play a large role in my therapy practice, as I often work with marginalized or minority identified clients who experience oppression.
Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? I often assign homework in therapy, but I don’t shame people about completing it, as it is difficult to make change in your life. I think one of the hardest parts about many mental health problems is that they cause us to get stuck in cycles of repetitive action or inaction that does not get them where they want to be. Trying new ways of being or thinking about how we are in the world is one of the ways to break these cycles.
What do you see as your role when working with clients? I see my role as providing space for clients to be open and genuine about themselves without judgment, providing expertise or feedback on how they see things, and helping them come up with strategies to overcome internal or external barriers they face.
What are some milestone or definitions of success for you with clients? I try very hard to allow my clients to define their own successes and milestones instead of having my own definitions. Success can be a reduction of symptoms, a new coping skill, progress towards a tangible goal, or just better insight into their own inner workings.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? I try to keep therapy casual, conversational and collaborative because having a good working relationship is the key to good therapy outcomes.
Why did you choose to work to become a therapist? I chose to become a therapist while I was working on my undergraduate degree in art. I was majoring in print and bookmaking, and the books I created were all focused on topics related to psychology and sexuality. I became more and more fascinated with the information-gathering portion of my projects, and towards the end of my degree realized that I wanted to do more than create books based on these topics. That’s when I started looking at graduate schools.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? My primary specialties are sexuality and trauma. I am trained in EMDR levels I and II, and am constantly seeking additional trainings to increase my competency in treating trauma and complex trauma. In terms of sexuality I enjoy working with people of all genders, sexualities, and lifestyles.
Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? I tend to mix and match, but the primary approaches I use are trauma-informed and client-centered therapy. I also use EMDR, the AIR Network model, and Internal Family Systems fairly often.
Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? Sometimes. If there’s something I want a client to observe, pay attention to, or practice I’ll ask them to try to find time over the week. If someone I see enjoys having homework between sessions I’ll try to give them some sort of focus at the end of each session. I don’t really hand out worksheets. What do you see as your role when working with clients? I see myself as a collaborator. I’m there to ask questions, provide education on relevant topics, create and hold a safe space for clients to express themselves, and provide support as people work through. 6.) What are some milestones or definitions of success for you with clients? Milestones and success look different for each person, but in general, seeing clients reach their goals and gain insight into themselves.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? I think this one is said by a lot of therapists, but I want people to know therapy is not a quick fix. EMDR is not a quick fix. Therapy is hard work, and it’s not always a pleasant process. However, it can be very rewarding and healing. I admire all the clients who make it into a therapy office—that first step takes a lot of courage.
Why did you choose to work to become a therapist? My dream job has been to be a therapist. I specifically realized I wanted to be a therapist that specialized in sexuality and intimacy when I was a junior in high school. I recognized catch-22 of American culture utilizing sex to sell product, yet stigmatizing one’s sexual exploration, I decided I wanted to help people navigate their identity. During my undergrad years I studied Family Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Gender Studies. My studies were all within a sexuality focus. My graduate school years were spent at University of St. Thomas’s counseling psychology program with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy. My studies focused on how society affects the individual and how the individual can affect society. In addition to academic pursuits I have 5+ years experience working as a sex educator working with individuals, couples, and classrooms. I have guest lectured at the graduate level as well as lecturing for non-profits and health services. Throughout my experience I began to recognize that there are a lot of folx who want continued support as they claim their personal identity. I see all therapeutic work as identity work and I see therapy as a catalyst to personal growth and evolution.
What are some of your specialties as a therapist? My specialties vary and depend largely on the clients. I specialize in sexuality and it’s systemic effects for the client. I am kink aware as well as poly competent. I also work with folx who are contemplating transition, are transitioning, and/or those who do not identify on the gender binary. A large amount of my work revolves around masculine identity and negotiating oneself in context to masculinity. This can be work regarding how toxic masculinity has affected someone to how one inhabits their masculinity in context to society. I work with a number of folx who may be challenged with erectile or sensation difficulties. I also work extensively with depression and anxiety based procrastination.
Do you have a chosen theory that you like to work with, or do you like to mix and match? I like to mix and match. My favorite modalities for treatment are Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused, and aspects of Internal Family Systems. My work is all through a systems model. Much of what I work on with folx makes space for recognition of how change can both affect and be affected by life, circumstance, relationships, environment and other factors.
Do you assign homework as part of therapy? Why? Yes, but only to those who find homework helpful. If our work is focused on behavior change, then yes there will be homework. If our work is focused on processing feelings, identity, or relationship dynamics, I probably wont assign much homework.
What do you see as your role when working with clients? I see therapy as a series of negotiations between the client(s) and the therapist. I see myself as walking with the client through their identified goals. If the client is crawling through the emotional mud, I am there trying to be there with them as much as I can. If the client is cheering at the top of a (goal) mountain, I am there (emotionally) high-fiving them.
What are some milestone or definitions of success for you with clients? Every milestone is specifically outlined between the client(s) and myself. In my experience milestones are marked by smiles, laughs, tears, frowns, acceptance, action, and future planning. Generally progress is felt on a level that is hard to quantify, but named in session and negotiated with the client.
What is one thing you would like prospective clients to know about either you or the process of therapy? I recognize that therapy can be intimidating and I can also tell you that there is a lot that can come from one hour a week. This hour may not always be the easiest hour of the week but I feel confident that it will assist in the client living their best life. As for something about me, I like to tell people that I use a lot of analogies in therapy. I think largely in analogies and find that conceptualizing a situation abstractly via comparison helps build empathy and understanding.