Therapist Spotlight: Julia Chapman, MSW, LSW

Julia is a psychotherapist at Wildflower. Julia’s clinical areas of specialty include anxiety, depression, suicidality, disordered eating and body image issues, self-harm, relationship issues and boundary setting. She has a particular interest in working with adolescents, young adults, those experiencing life transitions, those experiencing body image struggles, and those who are on a journey through parenthood in its various stages. Julia her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rochester and her master’s degree in social work from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Read Julia’s full bio here.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a psychotherapist?

I think it’s human nature to remember times in our lives when we’ve struggled, and I’m no different, but when I look back at those times I also remember all of the people who were there to help me and lift me up. I’ve always been interested in the ways in which our experiences shape us, but more than that, I chose to be a psychotherapist so that I could provide that safe and supportive space I’ve found so helpful in my own life.

As a psychotherapist, what part of your job is most satisfying?

For me, it’s hearing (and watching!) my clients learn that they are capable of doing things they didn’t think possible. I feel genuinely privileged to witness my clients discover their inner strength, their values, and their abilities and be alongside them as they build a life that feels authentic and full.

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

My therapeutic approach can be described as relational, warm, and direct. I believe my clients are experts of their own experiences and feel privileged to be trusted with their stories and walk with them in their journey of growth. I bring authenticity and compassion to every session and incorporate humor when appropriate in my work with clients. I tend to draw on components of ACT, CBT, mind-body connection, and creative expression when appropriate.

Why do you believe that psychotherapy can help?

Simply put, because I have seen it help! Being able to explore your emotions, fears, concerns, and behaviors in a safe and nonjudgmental space can help us learn so much about ourselves. I think everyone deserves to be able to explore themselves while feeling validated and supported. When we get the chance to know ourselves deeply, it’s so much easier to live a life we feel aligned with.

What are some of your specialties and what drew you to them?

A few of my clinical specialties include anxiety, mood disorders, emotion regulation, self-harm, and working with adolescents and parents or families of adolescents. I feel strongly that every emotion (even the ones we don’t love to experience) tells us something important, and therapy can help us understand how to express and manage those emotions in a way that feels productive. I also have experience bringing in mind-body connection to sessions and value understanding how the brain and body work together to experience the world.

What is one thing about psychotherapy you wish everyone knew?

Therapy isn’t magic, it’s about learning and recognizing our own patterns and figuring out where change can happen. The more of yourself you’re willing to bring into the therapy space, the more of yourself we’ll both get to know. Also – we can definitely bring light and laughter into therapy, in fact sometimes it’s exactly what’s needed!

What is your motto or personal mantra?

It might seem simple, but a mantra I use in my own life is “you can do hard things.” I think we tend to get caught up in how long or difficult something might be and it can scare us away from even starting, reminding ourselves that we’re capable is sometimes the push we need to just begin. Sometimes it’s just one foot in front of the other until we get to where we’re going.

What are your favorite self-care activities?

I love to cook a good but simple meal and share it with those I love. Getting outside and being in nature always helps me feel more grounded, and sometimes just relaxing on the couch with some reality television is all I need to unwind.