Crystal ForbesLPCC

Headshot of Crystal Forbes LPCC

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What’s the most profound, insightful, or interesting thing you’ve learned as a mental health professional?

Early on in my clinical practicum, I started to see how often the root of mental health distress comes from trauma. I first started to see patterns of trauma with substance abuse/addictions when interning at an addictions/rehab treatment program. When I started learning more, I was surprised how trauma treatment is not fully taught in graduate programs. Trauma research is relatively new in the sense of the history of mental health disorders studies. Unfortunately, some mental health providers do not even discuss with their clients the past trauma they may have experienced. What I learned is that trauma is complex. It’s not about whether or not you experienced a life or death event, combat battles in war, or if you suffered abuse growing up. It’s those significant experiences in your life that impacted you and struggled to recover from. Many, but not all, who experience trauma often struggle to cope with life stressors. This can then lead to those negative coping behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol. Trauma impacts can also present in other ways such as anxiety, depression, self-worth issues and other mental health distress. I work hard with my clients to help resolve any trauma that they have experienced. I actively educate myself to further my knowledge of how trauma can impact an individual and best treatment available. Because what I have learned so far, is that trauma can not only affect your mental health, but also physical health. And for me, this is something that needs to be discussed in considering one’s overall well-being.

What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?

The biggest barrier in people seeking treatment is the stigma of mental health treatment. People worry they are going to be judged by their loved ones and or associates, they might be perceived differently or as unstable, that seeking counseling would be considered weak and or something for only the severe mental disabled person, such as schizophrenia or psychosis. Sometimes the barrier can be what has been portrayed in the media, film or TV that can often be portrayed as cold, insensitive and unethical. Regardless, there is fear and uncertainty for the individual seeking counseling. It is a big decision and taking that first step can be daunting. This is something I acknowledge with my clients. It takes strength and courage to participate in this process. I spend time in letting clients know right away, that it is ok if they aren’t sure counseling is for them. But I will do what I can to make it a comfortable and beneficial experience for them.

What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?

My path to becoming a therapist really started with my first job at 15 years old, in a small homestyle restaurant. What I discovered is that I really loved helping, talking and getting to know my customers. At that time, I was painfully shy. But at work, this whole new me emerged. Then, during my senior year of high school, I was selected to be part of a retreat training for peer support. Here again, I found this part of me that came so unexpectedly natural. At the retreat, I was often told how easy it was to talk to me, that I made them feel heard and supported. I started to consider what this would mean in moving ahead in my higher education and career. However, life had different plans. I ended up with only a year and half of college before having to pause my college education. It was many years before I was finally able to complete my education. I went back to college as an older student, graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology and went on to a Counseling Graduate program. I realized that for most of my life, in some way, I had always been a counselor. I just needed to make it official. And even though it took some time to get there, it all worked out and I am happy that it played out like it did. I never lost my love of helping and getting to know those around me. Now, I able to use my life experience to help connect to those I work with.

Specialties

Depression

Anxiety

Substance abuse

Suicidal ideation

Trauma

General Expertise

Careers

Relationship Issues

Loss/Grief

Self-Esteem

Social Anxiety

Addiction

Abuse/Survivors of abuse

Body image issues

In-Network Insurance

Aetna

All Savers Insurance

Cigna

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Nippon Life Insurance Company of America

Oscar Health

Oxford Health Plans

UMR

Fees

$150

First Session

$110

Individual Therapy

Types of Therapy

Individual Session

Clientele

Young Adults (18-24)

Adults (25-65)

Seniors (65+)

Treatment Approaches / Modalities

Mindfulness Practices

Integrative Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy

Training / Certifications

Registered for course and will be EMDR trained and certified Fall/Winter 2021

Trauma informed/educated

Licensure

NM, LPCC, CCMH0201851

Education

Masters Counseling and Guidance, New Mexico State University

Work History

I have been working as a mental health counselor for the past 7 years utilizing an approach where the focus on is the client, not the problem. Where the client can set the pace of their counseling and is treated with respect, acceptance, nonjudgement and empathy. I also take an integrated approach, meaning I will use interventions from other therapeutic theories. One therapeutic approach does not fit all, and it is important to adjust therapy as it fits best for the individual. This has translated to established therapeutic relationships that allow clients to attain their goals of treatment. I have primary worked with clients who deal with: anxiety, depression, trauma, addition/s, stress management, grief and Bipolar disorder. My clinical counseling experience includes working at mental health hospitals, school and career counseling, community care & mental health clinics and crisis counselor, with continuing multicultural and ethical education and trauma informed treatment. Since March 2020, I have been working from home using telehealth/webcam video for counseling sessions with my clients. I found have this to a be very useful and beneficial tool. It has allowed my clients greater access and flexibility to their counseling sessions. Given the time and patience it takes to get used to meeting via webcam, telehealth counseling can be quite similar to meeting face to face.

Location

Remote therapist, Las Cruces, 88001, NM