|On the blog this week I am excited to announce that we have a special guest who is joining us for a Q&A to share about her personal and professional background, as well as her business 1L Designs. I met Alison online through a Facebook group we are both members of and instantly realized we had a few things in common, including a passion (and career) for helping others and a love of essential oils.
If you have any questions or comments for Alison after reading through the Q&A feel free to comment below or reach out to her through on of her contacts in the following section. If you're interested in reading previous Q&A's on the blog, click here to bookmark them for later.
Let's get to the Q&A!
Q1 Tell us a bit about your background, both personal and professional, that has led you to become a Professional Counselor?
I have worked in the field of psychology for over 10 years and I am so grateful to be helping others feel hopeful and positive about their future. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s Degree in Clinical & Counseling Psychology and a Certification in School Counseling in Pennsylvania.
My specializations include work with individuals couples, and families of all ages and across a number of therapeutic settings including education, private practice, outpatient, & residential. I believe this has led to my unique approach in treating individuals based on their own needs while being a guiding force towards self-awareness and growth.
I have an extensive experience working with children & adults with (but not limited to):
I utilize techniques from various therapeutic orientations including CBT, psychoeducation, mindfulness, play therapy, and creative arts. I believe the best therapeutic relationship is built upon trust and non-judgement, which provides clients with a safe environment and produces successful outcomes.
Q2 What kind of clientele do you see in your practice?
I specialize in anxiety and depression specifically with women who have experienced some type of major life changing event such as recent trauma, post-partum depression, career change, job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, miscarriage, chronic illness, and more. I help women of all ages regain a sense of identity & put purpose back in their lives.
I also work with families and children who have special needs. Along with my clinical expertise, I have spent many years working as a school counselor in special education. This has given me an incredible amount of experience working with children on the autism spectrum and those struggling with a learning disability, ADHD, ODD, and emotional support.
Q3. How would you describe the most rewarding aspect of your job as a therapist?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to help others feel there is hope for the future. I believe that everyone deserves to be heard in a safe and non-judgmental space and I feel so lucky to be helping guide others towards a journey of self-discovery.
"I believe that everyone deserves to be heard in a safe and non-judgmental space and I feel so lucky to be helping guide others towards a journey of self-discovery".
Q4. Who has inspired you the most in your practice or in your life in general?
I have been so inspired by my mother and father. My mother is also a licensed therapist and has always taught me to see the good in people. She is always willing to put her own life aside for others and be there to listen, which is also a quality I believe I have. My father is a successful financial advisor, which is where I think I get my business savviness from. He is one of the smartest men I know and also one of the kindest and thoughtful. Both of my parents have raised me to be a tolerant, accepting, and non-judgemental woman and for that I am so thankful.
Q5 You also have a business, 1L Designs, where you share one-of-a-kind jewelry for women including aromatherapy bracelets for purchase. How did you get started with this?
It all started on a beautiful spring day in Philadelphia, Pa. I needed a new necklace to wear for a night out on the town, but I wanted it to be one of a kind. I always really enjoyed accessorizing and also love keeping up with the most current fashion trends, so I thought ‘why not try to create my own piece?’ After researching the jewelry industry and spending hours brainstorming, I was ready to start creating!
Once my first piece was done, I found an outfit to match my beautiful new necklace and met my girlfriends out for dinner in Philadelphia. As I was out and about, women were coming up to me asking where I got my necklace. I was so excited to tell them that the necklace I was wearing was one that I HAD MADE!
I knew then that I wanted to spend more time making other women feel just as beautiful and alive as I did that night. A couple weeks later, 1L Designs was born!
I feel so fortunate to be able to share my love of fashion and sense of jewelry design with the world. I hope that my passion for fashion continues to make women feel alive and vibrant.
Q6 How would you say aromatherapy and essential oils are part of your own life?
They certainly are! I have been using essential oils for over 2 years now and have never felt more energized, balanced, and healthy. I use essential oils to help cleanse my mind, body, and soul! There are certain oils that I use quite frequently for medicinal purposes such as peppermint (helps with digestion), lemon (antioxidant with high Vitamin C), and Cardamom (also helps with digestion). Other oils I use for my mental wellness such as Lavender (helps reduce stress and anxiety) and Chamomile (helps calm the mind and also works to treat skin conditions). Many of the oils are used interchangeably since the mind and the body are 100% connected.
"I have seen more and more clients wanting to educate themselves on more natural and holistic types of treatments for their physical and mental ailments".
Q7 Would you say there is a connection between aromatherapy and essential oils and the work that you do as a Professional Counselor?
There is 100% a connection. Even though essential oils have been around for thousands of years, there isn’t too much knowledge about their benefits related to the mind & body in the western world. Recently I have seen more and more clients wanting to educate themselves on more natural and holistic types of treatments for their physical and mental ailments - which I think is amazing.
While I am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), most of my therapeutic work highlights an individual’s strengths built upon a holistic approach. I try and guide clients towards finding awareness within themselves that helps them gain insight on thought patterns that may have become upsetting or troublesome. I also educate my clients on the benefits of essential oils and their mental health. One of the first suggestions I make is for clients with anxiety, is to buy lavender oil put a drop on their pillow at night. I have received such wonderful feedback on how well it helps with sleep.
I find that CBT along with a holistic approach helps empower clients to create their own change and break negative thought patterns while discovering a life that leads to new possibilities.
"I think the most important thing to remember is that SELF-CARE needs to be priority in your life, along with your work responsibilities".
Q8 It seems like you may juggle wearing several ‘hats’ in your everyday life; a counselor, business professional and entrepreneur and, of course, the hats you wear in your daily life. How do you find balance in all of this?
I think the most important thing to remember is that SELF-CARE needs to be priority in your life, along with your work responsibilities. Without it no one should expect to find the mental capacity to run a business, take care of a family, or to generally stay sane. I make sure to find time to incorporate self-care into my daily life, which helps me stay focused and balanced. I make time for those things in my life that I love & make me feel good such as yoga, biking, hiking, reading, meditation, watching a movie, spending time with family, taking a bath, getting a glass of wine with a friend, etc. I can not stress how important it is to find time for self-care. It helps me recharge and find the energy I need for both of my businesses.
Q9 Where do you see yourself in the next 1, 3 and 5 years in terms of your professional career?
I definitely see myself having a full-time private practice in Conshohocken, PA within the next 5 years! I also see 1L Designs Essential Oil Bracelets being sold as wholesale in a number of yoga studios, holistic stores, & apothecary shops, whole foods, etc. I plan to work towards pattening my brand and continuing to make women and men feel more grounded and balanced!
Q10 Do you have a particular motto or a favourite quote that inspires you either personally or professionally?
I have a couple actually...
Thank you SO much, Alison, for sharing about yourself, your professional background, and your unique talent of creating beautiful and uplifting pieces of jewelry.. it was a pleasure to get to know you and your values better.
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Have any questions for Alison, essential oils, or any other queries? Share them in the comments below! Thanks for reading. :)