Janine Leki

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — Dr. Seuss

She/They

Marriage and Family Therapy, 2015; Regis University in Denver, CO

Taking clients for waitlist, starting February 14, 2022.

What’s therapy with me like? I focus on trauma work, LGBTQIA issues, and adolescent/teen therapy using an eclectic mix of modalities and interventions, though I tend to lean most heavily on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) , Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

Some people (myself included) say that EMDR looks and can feel a bit like voodoo, however it’s also been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of many types of trauma. I like this modality not only because I’ve watched many people find empowerment and freedom from past traumatic experiences, but also because of the emphasis on deconstructing the shame and detrimental self-beliefs left in the wake of trauma. At the end of this process, we focus on installing more balanced and healthy beliefs about self and the world that allows people to finally recognize their self-worth and value, maintain healthy relationships, and improve their functioning in all areas of life.

I tend to see themes of low self-value and/or low self-worth in many of my clients and threaded through many of our sessions, and both CBT and DBT therapies lend well to recognizing our existing strengths, learning tools for change, and challenging our detrimental and harmful intrusive thoughts. I know how exhausting it can be to constantly be fighting your own brain for control over your thoughts and feelings, which often ends in us feeling like our own worst enemies. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is really about understanding the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how each of these things has power and influence over the other. Being able to recognize intrusive or irrational thoughts for what they are can sometimes help us realize the fight might not be against ourselves so much as against a specific function of the brain, or even against the ways in which society has taught us to view ourselves and the world. DBT offers useful skills and tools to regulate emotions, tolerate distress and discomfort, clearly assert our needs and boundaries within our intra- and interpersonal relationships, and tune into the present. Sometimes life circumstances, poor mental health, or a combination of both (and other things) can make us feel and act in ways that are out of control, and the never ending acronym-laced interventions in DBT can help slow us down and restore that sense of calm and control.

How I’ve kept learning… I am a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. I’m a Board Approved Supervisor, and am always on the lookout for trainings in trauma-based interventions, sex therapy, and LGBTQIA issues.

Who do I work with? I work with adolescents and teenagers (12+), young adults, adults, and middle age folks and am able to provide individual, family, and couples therapy.

My impacting identities are… I am queer and a Highly Sensitive Person.

I feel allied/aware/part of/informed/knowledgeable about…LGBTQIA+ (part of), polyamory/consensual non-monogamy (allied, knowledgeable about), BIPOC (allied, always working to become more knowledgeable about).

I am the best fit for a client who…is ready and willing to find and understand the things that bring happiness, pleasure, and contentment to their lives, even when that means taking steps into uncomfortable change.

I am not a good fit for clients who…is wanting a psychoanalytic approach, or who expects therapy to be a quick and easy pill.

What makes me unique? I bring my whole self to session, humor, sass, cursing and all. I prioritize creating a space where my clients are seen and valued for exactly who they are. I am happy to take things at a slow pace if needed but am also likely to give a direct challenge or homework assignment to encourage movement towards progress. I’m a trained systems therapist, so even during individual sessions we’re likely to discuss how family (and societal) dynamics and culture impact personal expectations, beliefs, and world-view. I may encourage my clients to bring in a family member with whom they’re having issues or conflict, or we’ll work on understanding the client’s patterns and habits that might be making relationships difficult to navigate.

 

The Practical Stuff

What insurances do I accept? I am in network with CareFirst BCBS and Evernorth (previously known as Cigna).

Do I offer telehealth or in person sessions? During COVID, right now I’m just doing telehealth but will offer at least 1 day of in-person sessions once the COVID infection rate drops (again). I love both modalities for different reasons – I tend to use a lot more creative/expressive interventions during in-person sessions, while virtual sessions allow greater flexibility and convenience for my clients (as well as more cat cameos on my end).

 

The Fun Stuff

Did you know…In my free time, I take woodworking classes, play softball, and work on jigsaw or crossword puzzles.

Any pets? 3 cats – Phineas (fluffy tuxedo chonk), Sprout (long-haired void sausage), and Squib (the angsty elder).

 

What I’ve Learned Lately

  • DSM-5 Differential Diagnosis for Clients with Trauma: Four Steps to Accurate Diagnosis, PESI, 1/9/2020
  • BOCPT Approved Supervisor Training, LCPM, 3/19/2020
  • What it Means to be a Kink-Aware Therapist, AASECT, 3/12/2021
  • Working with Trauma Related Shame and Self-Loathing, Ferentz Institute, 4/15/2021
  • Managing Traumatic Stress: creative Tools for Virtual and In-Person Treatment, Ferentz Institute, 4/23/2021
  • Therapy with Highly Sensitive Persons, Towson Counseling Center, 10/20/2021
  • Sexual Health Assessment and Treatment in Clinical Practice, University of Michigan School of Social Work, 10/29/2021

How to Give me A Buzz

The best way to contact me is…via e-mail at janineleki@constellationcounseling.net.