Sydney Benedick

Who am I? 

My counselor identity and personal identity are practically indistinguishable: I am a helper and advocate by nature.  In both roles, I value authenticity, openness, justice, and human connection. 

Largely because of these values, my approach to counseling is person-centered, or humanistic. In short, this means I strive to create a compassionate and non-judgmental atmosphere by treating ‘clients’ as humans and not diagnoses. 

In addition to being a (resident) counselor, I am a friend, a daughter, a partner, a sister, a systems thinker, a ‘neat freak,’ a soccer lover, and a fellow person in counseling. 

I love working with:

People!  I strive to make people of all identities and backgrounds feel safe with me.  I take pride in offering unconditional support no matter who you are, what you’ve done, or what you’ve been through.  Though I make efforts to create a safe therapeutic environment, I recognize that my white, cis-gender identity inherently creates unease for some people. Concern about these dynamics is understandable. Please know that I am happy to talk more about establishing emotional safety.

My clinical experience has predominantly been with adults with substance use and co-occurring disorders.  Too often, those with “invisible” or “silent” conditions are dismissed or discriminated against within our current systems.  It is my passion to support people with addictions and other stigmatized conditions.  The chronic stress frequently accompanying a stigmatized condition is too much to handle alone. I hope to be a listening ear when it’s needed most. 

Some of my favorite approaches include: 

Within my person-centered framework, I incorporate therapeutic techniques from other counseling theories.  I choose counseling techniques based on the research surrounding the condition at hand. 

Most frequently, I incorporate components of the following types of therapies: Compassion Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  I’d be happy to discuss these further to collaboratively choose the right approach.

The most important takeaway, however, is that my personal counseling style fosters self-compassion, acceptance, and hope.