What can patients expect from you as a provider? I want patients to know that I believe in them. That I will coach, encourage, teach, model skills, laugh, and be real with them. I believe in being “with” my clients versus “providing treatment to” my clients. This means that I will ask them to rate their own progress and rate me on how I helped them - their feedback is essential so that I can become an effective therapist for the work we do together.
What do you specialize in?
- Anxiety and Depressive Disorders
- Trauma and Stress Related Disorders
- Relational systems health (Family and Group Therapies)
- Strengths and Resiliency Training
- Dual Diagnosis - the intersection of substance use/addictive disorders and mental health root issues
What makes you different as a provider? All providers bring a unique personhood and perspective to their work. What makes me different is the depth, breadth, and wide-ranging settings I have had the opportunity serve clients through. I have worked with children as young 5-years-old who are in inpatient psychiatric hospital settings, gone to families homes as a home-based community therapist, entered schools to provide behavioral supports to children and teens with behavioral challenges, and helped reunite families. My work with young adults and families has spanned from college settings to substance use inpatient and outpatient facilities to inpatient psychiatric settings. If there is a treatment setting that people have sought help in; I have worked there. In the end I find that we are all the same - we want hope that life can and will be better. Asking for help is just one of the first steps in that journey.
How long have you lived in Alaska? I have lived in Alaska off and on for 32 years. Originally, I was introduced to Alaska by my then boyfriend and now husband whom I met at college in California. I fell in love with Alaska - and the small town/big city feel of Anchorage. As a transplant from Minnesota I enjoy the mild winters and summers that are not too hot or muggy. Our family has “tried” to move away at least three times - but family, faith, fun, fitness, and future work opportunities keep calling us back so collectively we have lived here for over 25 years as a family.
How would you describe your family? Describing my family can at times take a minute or two. One way we can be described as a small nuclear family - husband of 30 years, two young adult daughters, and a very pampered cat. Yet, with the family that I married into I must often define “which” Terwilliger I am. You see, everyone with that last name is somehow related from New York, through Canada and on to the west coast. We love to laugh, sing, garden, learn about history together - especially our family history.
What sort of interests or hobbies do you have? I am a very curious and enthusiastic person. Therefore I like to try many different activities but have settle onto a few which I do regularly to “feed my soul”: singing, gardening, reading, belonging to book clubs, collecting tea pots, hosting high teas, walking, and hiking - especially with friends. Meditating/praying and volunteering — from PTA, to Sunday school teaching, to homeowner association board membership. Anything that will connect my mind, body and spirit is something I like to try!
Can you recommend five resources for your patients?
- Apps such as: SafetyNet, OZ (Objective Zero) for military Ambassadors; Insight, Careline (Alaska); Breath2Relax (these apps help with self-regulation and connection…we all need a lifeline sometimes!)
- Any “Tedx Talk” by Brene Brown - She is an amazing researcher who clearly explains why shame interferes with connection and growth.
- “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E Frankl - Frankl’s explanation for how to find meaning in life speaks truth from his real experience of suffering. A must read for anyone!
- “Learned Optimism” - by Martin E.P. Seligman - a “how to” book on changing your thoughts and attitude step by step.
- “Positivity” - by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph. D - another approach to changing your thoughts with 12 tools and a plan for monitoring your progress.
- “The Speed for Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey - Trust is the primary value at the heart of every healthy relationship.