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Meet the Therapist - Nia Jones

Updated: May 29

Nia Jones, LCPC, gives us insight into what a session with her looks like, what drew her to be a helper, and the barriers insurance can create for clients and clinicians.





Click here to learn more about Nia's experience and connect with her for a consultation.


B'well Counseling serves Baltimore and the surrounding areas. Clinicians offer in-person counseling in our Towson office, with telehealth and hybrid services available. Feel free to explore our website, or learn more about our therapists and philosophy on our YouTube channel.


Transcript:


Jake: Jackson-Wolf, LCPC (he/him): We are back with another wonderful conversation to get to know one of our therapists, Nia Jones. I'm Jake Jackson-Wolf, joined by—


Katie Cashin, LCPC (she/her): Katie Cashin. I don't know if we're actually on these sides when we point to each other—


Jake: That's what I meant. I don't know how it'll—


Katie: Yeah, there.


Jake: Like the Brady Bunch.


Katie: Yeah. I'm Katie Cashin, therapist and co-owner at B’well Counseling.


Jake: We are super excited to be joined by one of our longest-tenured therapists here, Nia. Before we launch into the questions, is there anything you want to say by way of introduction, or do you want to leave the good stuff for the conversation?


Nia Jones, LCPC (she/her): I'm happy to be here. I'm ready to—We'll leave it for the questions, I guess.


Jake: Option B. I'm here for this.


Katie: Let's go.


Jake: Let's launch right in with what's turning into my favorite question, which I've maybe said about another question in a previous interview but I believe we're allowed to change. So, what's your client Venn diagram look like?


Nia: My client Venn diagram. I get a lot of people looking to work on relationships. So, if that means parents, partners, kids, with themselves, or their relationships with themselves. I would say that's one part, and then I also get a lot of people wanting to deal with their anxiety, if that's general or social. If we were to put at least one in the middle, I've seen a lot of presenting concerns, like it initially brings us in, really reaching back to childhood in some way. If that's how they were treated by peers or caregivers, messages that they received about gender, sexuality, race, education even, change, you name it. Those messages I've seen a lot of it go back to the beginning, in a way.


Katie: Yeah, stuff at the root. I think you're starting to talk into some of this. If that's what's at the root, is there anything else specific that's bringing people in to see you? Anything happening in those relationships or anything specific happening in their life that's bringing them in?


Nia: Yeah, it could be something happening at work or some type of rift in a relationship. If it's like, my kid is growing up too quickly, and I need to talk about this, or if it's a change in partnership. That can be a change in a partner's life, in the partnership or dynamic of the relationship. If it's opening in any way, closing in any way. Yeah, again, like those transitions. A lot of anxiety can come with any type of transition as well. So, yeah, definitely say those areas. I think also like unlearning and redefining. I get a lot of people quoting that word for word, like, I need to unlearn this, and I want to redefine this in a specific way, which is really powerful and impactful. Also, the parts work, values-based work, where people will come in and kind of name it as that, or I'll kind of reflect and be like, this kind of sounds like some values-based work. I wonder if you're open to that? Yeah, that's definitely a gist of it.


Katie: This isn't surface level stuff, especially. I love that language of unlearning and redefining. And also go, what a brave thing to do in our world in 2024, to be willing to be open to even know it's a possibility to unlearn something. Just so grateful that people can find you in that, knowing that that's—you speak to that so well. Very cool.


Jake: Yeah, already in our—I don't know how long we've been having this conversation, but very briefly, I just get this depth. And that’s my general experience of Nia, right, is that we get into depth in a way that feels—that can be really intimidating or scary, I think, to people. But you do it in a way that feels so safe and comfortable like, oh, Nia seems good here, so in that social referencing place, I go, okay, so I must be good. She doesn't seem scared.


Nia: Yeah, I appreciate that. I definitely hope so. I've also gotten a lot of feedback with how I show up with people. Like, if that's just me being authentic, being real. I know authenticity can sometimes feel like a fluffy word, like, “How do I get to that? What does that mean?” I always am just being real, like who I am, and how that fits into the therapist role. I definitely value safety and pacing.


Jake: Well, to just lob a giant question at you, what's your why in this work? Why do you do this work?


Nia: Yeah. I think it was as often I feel like it's it's a pivoting or like an anchoring thing for helpers. Right, it can be. It's gonna sound a cliche initially, but just helping people in those like intricate pieces of healing. Like I really get to be and help people in their journeys of being human in this project. And I don't take that lightly. So I think that's really cool and can be really impactful.


I also think that we as therapists, in a way like heal generational trauma, generational wounds. So I value like this specific avenue of helping. I think it's really, really special, really important. And not everyone can be a therapist. So I guess that's a part of like my purpose, my why.


Jake: It feels right?


Nia: It does. Yeah.


Katie: Seems so important to name, and not even in a not in a territorial way of like, not everyone can be a therapist. But I think there's a… there is this kind of narrative, I don't know. I remember, especially when starting, being like, what am I doing? I'm just sitting here listening like, I'm gonna get paid to sit with someone and listen? And there are people who I know who have felt a real barrier to doing therapy who used the language of like, how is this even a job? You're just listening or sitting. And that makes what you just said really important. It actually isn't something that everybody has the capacity or space or skill for and like people who or maybe not even forever. Maybe for some folks it's not a sustained thing. And to really understand that as a gift in different ways.


Already, I'm being reminded that yeah, Nia, one of your gifts is this ability to zoom out and to hold perspective and to almost honor… No, to definitely honor the big work that you are doing with people. And I'm gonna try to like, zoom us in now to what a session with you looks like. Can you tell us a little bit about how that goes?


Nia: Yeah, I appreciate that. Well, I always show up with, like the areas I know I wanted to check in on with folks. And that could be like surface level or deeper, like, "Hey, we were at this really deep spot last time. I kind of want to dive back and check in with that." Or it could be like, "How are you physically? How is it like being in this room right now, joining today like in the middle of your day?" But I really follow and flow with each person's needs if that's like unpacking something or finding insight. Yeah, it's not very structured. I really invite the flow for us both as well. If I'm feeling something or seeing something for them, I'll ask if I could share that, or yeah, just always having permission for them. As therapists, I don't believe that we're blank slates. I believe that we are intuitive. We sense things, you know, if that's in a space, or if that's in the content of these. So I like to, you know, sometimes pause at first. Ask if it's okay to pause where we are in the conversation, to notice something together. If it's like body shifts or a sense of something, a curiosity, or something that's been said. I may also invite like breathwork, or maybe some movement into sessions. To really, you know, if it's like, especially if it's anxiety and trauma. I believe that we can't always like stay up here where we talk. We have to really bridge the body with the mind. So I try to do that.


Jake: The thread that's coming through so far in this conversation to me is consent, which I know is rooted in this place of being trauma-informed, right? And understanding that people have autonomy when they show up in this work, and being able to… the way that you weave that through, it feels so masterful, like so... I don't know an even better word for that. It's like you're asking questions and inviting somebody into something without it feeling like, like I said earlier, of, we're gonna dive down deep into this painful place or this uncomfortable place. It feels like both fully informed consent, and also inviting and warm where I'm like, "Oh, I wanna talk to Nia about my childhood trauma right now." But I won't, because that's not the place for this. Later if you're open to it.


I think I have some ideas about how you'll respond to this question. But let's go with it. What keeps you inspired to come into doing this work every day?


Nia: Hmm. It goes back to my, why in this... of like, why did I want to do this in the first place?


Yeah, I mean I genuinely love when I do as a therapist, and like being there for people. If it's exploring, dissecting, I guess caring for people in this way. I believe it's a gift. I've seen that it's a gift.


So yeah. And also like sharing space with other therapists. And that's getting together to do some art, shout out to Caitlin Cordial, or if it's like consulting. I've consulted with both of you so many times, and if that's like a "hey, could we meet for this amount of time?" or if it's like popping into each other's offices? Naturally.


So yeah, hearing from other helpers, practitioners, and that's inspiring.


Katie: That feels very real that. I appreciate the dual answer there of sort of what… Maybe what is our organic inspiration? What is it that got us into this? What continues to light that fire. And inspiration takes some work and investment, and it sounds like the response to that is like, yeah, connection continues to feed that connection in some way, is what allows that inspiration to be like energizing in the day to day.


I'm really yeah. When we do get to consult, when we had those years of supervision together which to me all felt like a gift, I'm hearing in this what I got to hear through that so often as you really approach this from a lens of this is an honor, and this is a gift to get to do… yes, to get to do this work, but to get to sit with this person. And they're like you said, whatever that person brings, whether it's what's happening in the present, whether it's tied to generations. I imagine within how you do this, it highlights its own particular challenges. What do you see in your work as some of the challenges that you, your clients face in this work?


Nia: Yeah, yeah. I, well, what level are we talking here like, what? What level?


Katie: All of them, any. Which one speaks to you?


Nia: Yeah, I think I can't help but not think about insurance initially, like starting out. I know we've had so many conversations about structures in our world and systems insurance under values, clinicians, and I think that that can create like a trickle down effect of other people undervaluing it or not having the space to truly understand it. More like be in it, maybe. Or even like, afford it, like our healthcare system. As a therapist I directly see how the systems in our world, our institutions, everything, everywhere in our world, our laws and everything. How that directly affects our clients. And the people close to them, like, if it's their family, if it's like going back to kids or partners. I really see that. And that's hard. That's really challenging, because there's only so much that we can do. And you know, if it's like an hour, or in our therapeutic relationship. Yeah, I guess I took a systems lens with that. Yeah.


Katie: Jake, go…


Jake: We've had these conversations, you know, a million times around here when we did take insurance. Now that most of us don't, you know I... It feels like this… I know that I've I've sort of stopped and reflected many times and gone, "Wait! How did we become responsible for fixing an entirely broken national and perhaps global healthcare issue?" Right? There's this moment of clarity, of like, "Oh, my God! We’re this small practice in Towson..." and we feel this way. I'm imagining solo practitioners in our area around the country that stop and feel that same weight of like, "How's this landing on me?"


Katie: Hmm.


Jake: And this is a societal issue. That, like is a fabricated issue, right, of ever since insurance got involved, which, like I'm imagining at the time being such a profound shift of alright, we can get some more access to this for people, and then the ways it continually eroded over decades to this place that we're at now of. I don't know that there's a therapist around that won't have an opinion about insurance, whether they take it or not.


Jake: There's a every therapist has this relationship to that system professionally, often right? That says this can't be it. And the ways that that bleeds into the work right of none of us got. I don't. I didn't have any formal education or training on insurance and graduate school. This wasn't a part of the work then, and now it just gets sort of jammed right in between us, of between us and our clients. Often.


Katie: Yeah, it creates that opposition, Jake, that you like are really good at pointing out a lot of the time where, when you're in it, whether it's in a session, whether it's figuring out how to do this as a job. It can feel like it's you against the person across the table from you in the couch and the seat across from you, and to zoom out.


Nia, I'm so glad you went to systems and structures and want to say, by the time other people are listening to this video they will have heard, I think, most of our conversations landed there, which is affirming and like encouraging and disheartening ways that almost everyone on our team that we've had this conversation with goes like.


The challenge is like, not what's happening in the room. It's what's happening outside that's having to come in. That all of our team has named that in some way, rather than client resistance is the problem. Like.


Nia: Yeah.


Katie: Yeah, no, you went right there, and that's very that's very real. Is there anything else within that that you notice or that you do with that with clients?


Nia: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I first and foremost, like, I'm gonna be with whoever's in front of me. I'm gonna be with my client and be was in a way of like hypothetically, energetically, physically, emotionally. Yeah, I'm gonna empathize. I'm not gonna just say "that's hard. I hear you, and that's hard.” I'm not gonna just say that. Sometimes you know that that can be enough, of course. But I do find that like when it comes to how people are affected institutionally with our laws, again, like healthcare, all of it, politics, you know. We do have to bring that into the conversation and interventions. So I may share, you know how I feel about something just to help bring more space to it to help them feel heard? And share other things I heard to help it, you know, if it's like thinking about it, or like action oriented things. Yeah, I'm I'm gonna show up in those ways, and you know, I may also just like, listen and let them know if it's venting, or talk through what they think could be helpful or not. Or just be in silence together.


Katie: It sounds like you let your humanity show.


Nia: Yeah.


Katie: I think that's… Jake, you were talking about depth with Nia. I think that's something that I recognize feeling. Whenever we get to talk whenever we get to connect. It's like, alright, back to the human for a moment. And I'm so grateful for your willingness to share and be with us today and talk with us a bit about that. Yes, talk about the work that you do, but again drop in here as the wonderful human that you are.


Nia: Thank you.


Katie: Yeah.


Jake: I think we've named with other folks that we all have wonderful bios on our websites, on different directories and what have you and people can, will, and have read those things. I don't know how you get this from there right? And this feels so real. And you use the word authentic earlier to actually get to… This is the Nia that we know and love around here. That I'm just excited that if even one other person who watches this gets to have a little bit of a different sense of what's it like to sit in a room or on a zoom call with Nia, what a gift to that person today.


Nia: Hmm.


Nia: Thank you. Yeah, thank you both so much for having me and providing the space and same kind of things. And seeing you. Yeah. So I'm grateful.


Katie: So are we.


Jake: So some of the logistics near you are currently accepting new clients right as of May 2024 and seeing folks both in person and virtually.


Nia: Yes, that's correct.


Jake: And as we have with everyone else, we'll have Nia's contact information on a card at the end of this. You can also find her at our website, bwellcounselingservices.com, email her at nia@bwellcounselingservices.com. I'm really hopeful that this has been an insight for people into meeting and getting to know Nia, and that, you know, some folks might want to get to know her even more.


Katie: We hope you will. Thanks everyone for this conversation today and for everyone who's tuning in. Until next time.


Jake: Be well.


Katie: Be well, everybody.


B'well Counseling Services offers therapy in Towson and surrounding areas. Clinicians offer both in-person, telehealth, or hybrid sessions. Click here to learn more about our philosophy and clinicians.

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