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If you are new to therapy, you may have doubt or skepticism about how talking with someone can help, especially if some of your concerns are long-standing and unyielding. Depthful therapy, however, is much more than talking. A healing relationship allows your thoughts, feelings, and experiences to be heard, respected, and explored. It also provides a respite for self-reflection and exploration in ways you may not have ever experienced. In my experience, although alleviating symptoms found in the DSM (our diagnostic manual) may be a very important initial goal, it moves far down the list of what patients want out of psychotherapy and on which experienced therapists focus.

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So what really is psychotherapy and how does it work? There are many different perspectives and theories about what psychotherapy is and how it works. Therapists spend their entire careers wondering and playing with different approaches in an attempt to find a satisfying answer. If you engage with social media, you may have noticed how common it is for therapists get in unhelpful arguments over theoretical approaches, vehicles of change, and what approach is the most effective. My perspective is this: the therapeutic approach depends on the patient and the needs of the patient. Psychotherapy is a collaborative and interpersonal endeavor that will likely evoke familiar problematic relationship patterns that can be worked through with the therapist in a supportive, contained space. Although this can be strange and uncomfortable at first, the therapy relationship is much different than one you might have with a friend or colleague; grounded in dialogue and respect, the therapeutic relationship provides an opportunity to talk and express yourself openly without censuring your thoughts with a therapist who is able to truly listen, and who has a curious, non-judgemental stance.

I enjoy working with adult individuals, couples, and families with concerns listed on the previous page, though this is not an exhaustive list. Please feel free to ask about my experience working with other concerns. I have a particular interest in working with folks who have had previous therapy experiences that have been unsuccessful/unhelpful or who have conditions that seem to be "resistant" to psychotropic/psychiatric medications. If you are looking for something different, please reach out and we can talk about what therapy with me can look like and how we can work together to help you find some relief.  Through our work together, you will find that I have deep respect for concerns and suffering you are bringing to therapy and hope to listen deeply and provide a safe-enough space for you to begin to transform patterns of your life that are impeding your ability to be compassionate with yourself, build depthful and connected relationships, work and play creatively, and lead a fulfilling, meaningful life. The pillars of my therapeutic approach also incorporate elements from feminist, queer, liberation, and anti-oppressive praxes and I strive for a practice that is LGBTQIA+-affirming, trans-inclusive, anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, and anti-racist. Moreover, I am sex, kink, fat- and all-ability positive. I have experience working in a variety of settings, including community mental health and medical clinics, inpatient hospitals, outpatient psychiatric clinics, residential/PHP/IOP programs for substance use and eating disorders, university counseling centers, and private practice. I currently work at the Marshfield Clinic as a clinical and health psychologist and am a faculty member in the adult post-doctoral fellowship program. I specialize in working with medical professionals, including physicians, residents, fellows, nurses and counselors/therapists. I am also an instructor at the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Professionally, I am the co-chair for the Division 39 Graduate Student Committee and am an Executive Officer on the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Psychology (Treasurer).

Carli Gurholt, PsyD, ABPP
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