Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips is a counselor, art therapist, and marriage and family therapist. She maintains a private practice and teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

  • A Green Office?

    Jul 15, 2010
    Lately I have been thinking about in what way can even a small private practice such as mine take steps to be more protective of the environment? I think in part I am motivated not only by “green” impulses but recession response. I look at where I can cut costs and improve the bottom line- and there’s so little overhead in general that it is hard to find places to cut. My main expense of course is the direct pay that I receive- and the rent I pay for the space I use. Those aren’t changing and if anything both creep upwards. But when I look at paper products, snacks, and office supplies in general- then I find some ways to cut as well as be more environmentally friendly. Some people advised me early in my private practice that if you make your office look expensive then you attract clients willing to pay more.
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  • Permission Granted

    Jul 09, 2010
    I like the concept of permission, as it flows from some sense that there are rules and guidelines to be followed and in life seeking permission is generally a good thing. “May I help you?” is even a small lesson in seeking and giving permission and may be the crux of the therapeutic contract. Clients grant us permission to help them. So can we then really “give permission” to clients to experience feelings or express grief or anger, etc.?
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  • Does This Marriage Have a Chance? Welcome to the Garage.

    Jul 02, 2010
    Usually it’s not too long before this question comes up- often at the end of the first session as the couple looks to me with a combination of hope and despair and says “do we have a chance?” Surely I am not the only counselor that this question is posed to. Holding multiple credentials brings a wide variety of clients to my practice including a fair amount of marital work. It’s like taking your car to the garage and asking- can you fix this? We know there are things we should or could have done to maintain the car but once a problem hits we really hope and want for someone else to just make it right for us. But a marriage is a complicated vehicle and may have been mired in rust and dust for a long time.
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  • Summertime, and the Visitation and Childcare Issues Go Crazy...

    Jun 29, 2010
    Not the usual finish to that line. No- the living is not 'easy' for most parents in the summertime. Multiply any problems by 10 for each factor families have to deal with: minimal access to affordable childcare, absence of willing or able relatives to help out, inability to pay for or get their children transported to the many good summer programs that often exist, conflict over "whose week is it" or needs for flexibility around vacations or trips, etc. etc. It's enough to make a counselor scream, so imagine what clients feel when faced with these difficulties.
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  • Are You a Nest-builder, Outlier, Busy Person, Latecomer, or Sleeper?

    Jun 08, 2010
    These are all categories of participants I have noticed in my recent spate of trainings and lectures. I enjoy providing training for a variety of reasons not the least of which is it forces me to update and articulate my own knowledge base on an ongoing basis. Additionally training is a good revenue stream to add to clients, teaching, consulting, etc. I enjoy training and provision of continuing education not only for the income but the networking and exposure I get to a variety of other professionals.
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