The counselors working at The Imago Center do not take their therapeutic knowledge for granted. From advanced trainings to personal study initiatives, they are always learning new ways to help their clients. Ginny Graham is no exception, and she says it’s the agency’s openness to learning that makes it a special place to work.
“We receive great supervision from professionals who are constantly learning and teaching other professionals…I love that our staff meetings allow opportunities to hear about the professional development that is always taking place among colleagues,” she says. “I love the ongoing collegiality – the opportunity to participate in weekly case presentations – the stimulation of hearing how other clinicians are growing professionally – the variety of perspectives helps me stay current and enhances my practice.”
Upon joining the agency in 2006, Graham became trained in Imago Relationship Therapy and she says it transformed her understanding of how people best connect. “Slowing things down, and providing couples with skills and opportunities to talk to each other safely really allows them to deepen their understanding of each other and of themselves as individuals,” she reflects, noting that she agrees with the Imago notion that conflict provides us with ongoing growth opportunities.
“So often folks are so scared by their issues, that they spend most of their time avoiding even addressing them. Or if they do, the way they address problems only adds unhealthy complications. It’s a pleasure to normalize conflict for clients and help them experience the difference between talking about issues in safe, skillful ways rather than toxic, reactive ways. I love watching them relax and open up to each other,” Graham says.
More recently, Graham has started training in the Internal Family Systems approach to counseling. “I love the way it allows me to help clients not only understand their complexity, but to connect with themselves in deep, transforming ways,” she notes.
She is enthusiastic about how this new lens helps her in her work with individual clients, particularly those facing anxiety and depression.
Graham also acknowledges that because therapeutic change is ongoing and challenging, she needs to always be learning new things to best help her clients. “I’ve always been compelled by the Christian understanding that God is love. On both a personal and professional level I know how difficult it us live into that reality,” she admits. “I am continually challenged to help clients as well as myself find ways to grow in our capacity to love both ourselves as individuals and others. I love the way psychology enhances our understanding of how to grow in this dimension of our faith lives.
“I believe that we are intrinsically relational – that we are not meant to confront the challenges of life alone – I love that my training allows me to companion people and help them grown in their understanding of themselves as complex, wondrously-made individuals,” she explains.
Graham works out of The Imago Center’s Arlington and Alexandria offices. She may be reached at 202-449-3789 x715