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This month our social media maven, Sara Paules, is highlighting local therapist Anne Crawford who is an LPC in the Austin area. She sat down with her to ask her a few questions.
Hi Anne! So excited to get to chat with you today and want to thank you for putting in the time to meet with me. I read a bio you wrote recently where you described yourself as having a wicked sense of humor and knew right away I wanted to interview you and see what you're all about. I guess to start right off the bat, tell me a little bit about what your niche is?
Thanks and no problem at all. I'm happy to do this! To answer your question, I really have three primary areas that come up for me: attachment issues, life transitions and mid-life work.
Tell me about what got you interested in working with those different specializations?
Well, I really got into attachment issues because of my own attachment work. I enjoy helping others recognize these issues and working on how it impacts the person's current relationship.
As far as life transitions go, I just feel like everyone experiences some type of transition whether it's the transition out of marriage or transition into a new job or new decade in life. Some life experiences appear devastating on the surface, but most times you can find the golden nuggets in those experiences and begin to shift one’s thinking. I find those times to be very interesting to work on with people.
And mid-life work is fulfilling for me because it’s a time in a person’s life where they’re wondering if they want to live the second half of their life like the first half. Many times people do a 180 in their careers or they do deeper spiritually. It’s ripe with material to work on.
It sounds like you have a pretty good idea about what clients you enjoy working with and why. What about long-term or short term work? Which do you prefer to work with and how did you come to this conclusion?
Although I've done and sometimes still do some short-term work, personally I prefer long-term work. I realize long-term therapy is not for everyone, however, I appreciate the aspects of deeper therapeutic work. Deepening your experience in life has not only been beneficial for me personally, but it’s also been extremely rewarding to help others enrich their own lives at that deeper level.
You sound very passionate about the work you do and I keep hearing you relate back to your own experiences in therapy which I know is a big reason why many therapists get into this field. That being said, how did you know you wanted to be a therapist?
Well for a long time I felt like it would be something I’d enjoy, but I didn’t think I could go back to school after a 20-year hiatus. However, when I really began to think about my career in a different way it all came back to my own therapeutic work. It was the one area of my life I had been devoted to for 20+ years. I never wavered on it and I knew what a difference it made for me personally and professionally.
Thank you for sharing! Okay, so therapy talk aside, tell me a random fact about you.
Hah, I’m not sure this is particularly interesting, but in the late 90’s I drafted voice actor agreements for all the Walt Disney animation and Pixar films.
Whaaat?!?! No way! That's awesome!
Okay, next question: Do you have any private practice goals for the next year? Anything you're struggling with as a new therapist that you're hoping to work on?
My main goal is to do more networking. Networking functions are a bit uncomfortable for me, but I’ve made a commitment this year to put myself out into the community.
What is the best piece of advice that was given to you about starting a private practice that has been helpful for you so far?
One thing that has really stuck with me is to make relationships that can support you for a lifetime. Having close friends and colleagues who are eager to recommend your services when needed is a real gift when you’re starting out.
Love this! So that's the end of our interview. I just wanted to say thanks again for sharing your time and wish you luck in all your future private practice endeavors! And if anyone is interested in reaching out to Anne, we've listed her contact information at the bottom of this page.
Anne E. Crawford, LPC
My Instagram feed sometimes makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a bloody war.
On one hand I have the Boss-Girls: female entrepreneurs that post pictures of meetings, laptops, button up blouses, and empowering slogans. They wear high heels and pencil skirts and love telling me how to kick some butt on their Instastories.
On the other hand I have the Self-Carers: laid back ladies that post pictures of creeks, bubbling brooks, hammocks and yoga classes (with props, not heaters). Their Instastories show me views from their cottages, or meals that they are enjoying late in the morning.
Every once in a while I feel like I'm being asked to pick a side: do I want to hustle, or do I want to flow?
The truth is that I truly love both. I love that charged energy of spending days working hard. I love the feeling of being accomplished and getting sh*t done. My ego eats that up.
I also love being completely lazy. I am built to sleep to 11am. I can lay around and read for a full day without any itch to get up. I have no internal drive to go to the gym. I'm very good at lying around.
Why oh why do we have the idea that one way is right?
Balance is boring.
Every yoga teacher worth their salt will tell you that you only learn to balance by falling. I have never seen the most accomplished yoga teacher balance indefinitely. We aren't made for it. We are beings meant to explore and change. It's wired into us.
Balance isn't a straight line. Instead, it's an even wave with adjustments back and forth. Remember that nice harmonic sine wave from algebra? That's balance right there, loves.
Think about a kid on a balance board: they sway towards one foot, then the other, and the goal isn't to stop moving, but to not hit the ground.
In the same way, running a business will never ever be an even keel. You're gonna hustle sometimes, and you're gonna flow sometimes. Both are necessary. When we get in trouble is when one side is weighted terribly more than the other.
Frankly, neither one is very satisfying without the other. Would Wonder Woman be much fun without a villian? Who is she going to lasso? We need both the hustle and the flow in order to find the balance.
Don't pick a side. Hustle and flow until your heart is content.
I thrive on staying busy. So much so that I regularly wish there were more hours in a day just so I could achieve more of what I want to do. I make lists of possibilities, spend time researching subjects that pique my interest and enjoy planning trips and social gatherings. I naturally fill my schedule and when a gap of time opens up, I jump in to fill it with something else fun and exciting.
In my twenties, I worked full time, went to grad school at night and still managed to maintain a wide circle of friends, participate in the Austin social scene and begin a new relationship. A factor that supports me in this lifestyle is that I tend to be extremely positive. I find negativity limiting and uncomfortable; I’m the master at reframing something to see the lesson learned or the potential for growth.
I have thrived on my enthusiasm, endurance and positivity and these traits have led to many great successes, but my greatest strengths have also contributed to my downfall, resulting in disappointment and burnout. When a friend cancels on our dinner plans last minute the momentum of my frantic life is suddenly slowed.
Without something to fill my time I’m forced to be still, connect with my emotions and realize that I am exhausted. I will positively reframe something, rather than actually processing the pain and hurt. In that moment I’m avoiding dealing with the painful feelings, which means I’m missing out on the full range of emotion.
Luckily, I found a tool that ushered wisdom, awareness and a tremendous amount of personal growth. This tool is the Enneagram of Personality.
The Enneagram is an ancient system describing nine distinct and fundamentally different personality types. A circle with nine numbered points symbolically represents the Enneagram, which is from the Greek ennea, meaning nine, and gram meaning a figure or drawing. Once you discover your type, the Enneagram becomes a roadmap that provides insight into your growth areas and helps you become a more authentic version of yourself. It shows how we are wired, both negatively and positively, and helps you manage yourself and how you interact with the people around you. Master Enneagram teacher Suzanne Stabile says it is “nine ways of seeing, nine ways of being and nine ways of responding to what you see.”
Unlike some personality typologies, knowing your enneagram number doesn’t box you in; rather, it helps you understand the box you are in and insight on how to get out.
The Enneagram is a dynamic personality system where the nine types are all equally valuable and no type is better than another. Some people may find only nine types to be limiting but it is best explained like a color wheel. While there is one color green there are an infinite number of shades of green just as each person in this world is unique.
You will find yourself within one of the types, which are fluid and adaptable focusing on the healthy, average and unhealthy range of personality.
As helpers, the first step to a therapeutic relationship is joining with the client to understand their worldview and the Enneagram is another tool in your toolbox to understand yourself and others in relationship. It helps us connect with our clients and become more loving and compassionate to our differences. The Enneagram is tremendously helpful for self-care and helps you watch for the red flags that you’re slipping into unhealthy behaviors.
Can’t wait to learn more about your Enneagram type?
Join me on Friday, June, 16 12 pm-1:30 pm to start your journey with Exploring the Enneagram: The personality tool that will take your practice to the next level. Reserve your seat here.