Our member spotlight this month is on Alex Barnette, LMFT-A, Supervised by Blake Howard Norton, LMFT-S. Learn more about Alex below:
What are your favorite books of all-time?
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner is kind of my go-to when I’m feeling confused about a client or when I need to get more systemic in my view. There are a few pages I can flip to and instantly feel more clearheaded.
When I need inspiration or confidence I revisit anything by Brene Brown, usually I Thought It was Just Me (But it Isn’t) Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I am Enough”. As a therapist I am so much more comfortable being human and connected to my clients thanks to her work.
My favorite non-therapy book that is actually kind of a therapy book is Furiously Happy byJenny Lawson. Some of her tangents are a bit much, but my husband has caught me belly laughing to this book multiple times.
By the way I think all of these authors endorse each other’s work.
What is your niche? What types of clients do you like to see?
My passion is working with couples that feel stuck or are struggling to connect—primarily couples transitioning into marriage or considering divorce. I also really enjoy working with individuals looking to empower themselves in relationships or create resilience to feelings of shame and loneliness.
What has been a private practice success for you so far?
Canva and Unsplash are amazing. I could easily spend far too much time on these apps.
What is a private practice goal you hope to achieve in 1 year? 5 years?
I'm committed to continuing to strengthen my “therapist tribe”. We’ve got a great group started at Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Center, and I’m looking forward to developing our presence and connections in the community.
What’s something you commonly say to your clients?
Hmm two of my favorite questions are “When you observe ___ what’s the story you tell yourself about it?” and “How do you notice yourself responding to that emotion?”.
I tend to do a lot of clarifying boundaries with clients so maybe “You are not responsible for _____’s feelings or reaction”.
How would your clients describe you in 3 words? What about your closest friends?
I think clients would describe me as warm, logical, and a little goofy. My closest friends would probably describe me as hard-working, quirky, and genuine. I used to hear cute, sweet, and high strung a lot more often.
What’s a song lyric or quote that you find meaningful?
The first ones that come to mind are “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen” from Brene Brown and “Substantive change does not occur in one hit-and-run conversation" from Harriet Lerner. Actually, this about sums up what I ask of clients—a willingness to show up and understand that change is a process.
What’s something you feel passionate about?
The importance of connection. In my personal life that means connecting with my close friends and family through quality time, connecting with myself through self-care (running, reading, being mindful and mindless), and connecting to the God/spiritual world through meditation and prayer. When I neglect any one of these areas, I always feel the difference.
Who’s in your fur tribe? Are you a crazy cat lady or one of “those” dog moms? Or are you more of a reptile or rabbit person?
I have two rabbits that I’m pretty obsessed with, Dutchess and Dexter. They’re litter trained and roam freely. They’re the most innocent creatures and they’re silent observers like me (a lot of the time). Most people don’t get it so it’s ok if you don’t either ;-)
Alex's contact information: