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Social Worker’s One-On-One Approach Works Wonders

Most people would agree that life has its fair share of problems. Most people would agree that their own lives were full of enough problems. Most people wouldn’t be happy to listen to other people’s problems and try to help them out.

But then again, Pamela Bell isn’t most people.

Licensed clinical social worker and founder of her own psychotherapy practice, Bell has made it her life’s goal to help other people get through the problems that plague them. Seeing up to eight patients a day, she works on a one-to-one basis, exclusively with adults. For 14 years, she has been aiding people with a wide array of issues in their lives, like anxiety, excessive worrying and depression. But what Bell finds most often is that her clients are going through what she calls “a rough patch.” This could be anything from grief or a loss of loved one to the transition phase of becoming a parent or getting a divorce.

“Most of the people I see are very highly functioning and want to maximize

their personal happiness,” Bell said. “Some of them are just in a middle place, looking for the tools to help them cope.”

Bell says that it’s part of professional ethics to stay current, and she does a lot to make sure she is on the cutting edge of her field. Every two years, she completes at least 30 hours of continuing education. She also participates in a consultation group where she gets to talk out ideas with other therapists and tries to see what the newest, most effective methods are. “We live in a very exciting time because we’ve got new ideas and we’re learning more about the brain,” Bell said.

New approach

What has lately fascinated Bell is a new approach called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR ). This eight-phase technique has been determined to be an effective method to treat trauma. Bell says that it can be used to help treat a victim who has been involved in anything from abuse to a car accident. She often sees trauma patients almost make a full recovery but finds that a “small something is eating away at them.” She thinks EMDR can help get rid of that something.

“I want to get the most to a client in the least amount of time,” Bell said.

When Bell goes home, she makes sure to leave her work at the office.

“It’s important to tend to your own self care,” Bell said. She exercises and practices yoga and meditation to make sure she keeps herself centered. She also started the Arms Wide Open Project, where she hopes to create at least 100 international human rights activists for the empowerment of women and girls.

Being a therapist does have it perks. “You bear witness to incredible amounts of change in other people,” Bell said. “They help themselves.” She is making sure people are living the lives they were born to live and, by doing so, Bell is living the life she wants to be living.

This special advertising section was written by Christopher Nelson, a freelance writer, in conjunction with the advertising department of The Washington Post and did not involve the news or editorial departments of this newspaper.