Name: Alan Hunt
Licensing Info: LCSW NY State #080036
Where you live: Brooklyn, NY
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Time working at Talkspace: 3 mo.
Time working as a Therapist: 10 Years
Why are you working in therapy/mental health?
When I was in undergrad I had a great professor who had the wonderful ability to promote motivation, hope and inspiration in me. I eventually realized I wanted to do for others what she had done for me. So in my work I’m always seeking to nurture hope and spark inspiration. That professor was a LCSW psychotherapist — so I wanted to be one, too.
What made you start working at Talkspace?
As a therapist of “in-person” therapy for nearly a decade, I’ve seen how fulfilling the journey of therapy can be. But it occurred to me that people with less access to therapy, busy schedules, family obligations, financial stress and other issues should have the opportunity for therapy. I’m finding that Talkspace offers a truly unique experience of therapy for people in these situations. So I’ve been working with eager and hardworking clients at Talkspace ever since.
What has made you feel the most pride in your work?
That clients invite me into their lives. I’m always honored and humbled to become a part of my clients day-to-day life. It can be a bit scary sharing one’s problems with a stranger and I always try my best to make the experience of therapy as comfortable and safe as I can. Overall, it’s a great gift to be trusted and invited into someone else’s world.
Can you think of a specific instance or moment that was inspiring?
For me, moments of inspiration come when my clients realize their goals. When the depression that is crippling them lifts, when the anxiety that strangles them eases and when the miscommunications and pain that debilitate their relationships resolves. These are the moments when I am inspired to continue the work I do.
Why is what you do important?
Even in the year 2016, mental health issues are unfortunately stigmatized in movies, TV, music, media and daily life. This stigma causes people to isolate and stay quiet about their problems for fear of being judged as “crazy” and many other reasons. There aren’t enough hopeful ideas or inspirational messages about the possibility for help and support around mental health. So what I do is so incredibly important because I’m one more therapist in the world to speak truth to the stigma of mental health and send the hopeful message that help is here and you don’t have to suffer or be alone.
If you had once piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
Trust the process of therapy. It can be very challenging to work through the issues for which you’re seeking help. But the results of progressive and productive therapy are worth the time and effort. I’ve experienced that on both sides — as a therapist and as a client.