Maddison Adimora is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX specializing in anxiety, trauma, women’s issues, and depression. She also has a particular passion for working with women of color and helping them navigate race and cultural identity-related challenges. Maddison draws on multiple frameworks in her practice, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused therapy, and life coaching. She describes her therapeutic style as down-to-earth and individualized.
We asked Maddison more about her work with clients and her guiding philosophies on therapy.
Maddison’s background and personal life
How did you decide to become a therapist?
Growing up in the culture of silence that plagues many African American homes, I watched the curse of generational trauma stunt the individualistic process of human growth and development within various lifecycles of the women in my family. With my story being written before I was even conceived, I was labeled by many systems as at-risk, under-privileged, under-served, marginalized, impoverished and vulnerable. I decided to shock the system, break generational chains, and label myself as opportunity-taker and change-maker.
I understand how women of color have to balance it all and navigate the channels of life to escape negative labels, strong opinions, and judgement without people hearing you speak one word. I have laid down my cape of “Strong Black Woman” to indulge in and exude luxury while simultaneously protecting my peace, and I want that for other Black women too!
What was your previous work before going into private practice?
I have been doing what I describe as my passion work by serving in roles of non-profit leadership and development, education administration with a specialization in college access, research in community mental health, and operating as a data systems analyst in one of the largest community mental health agencies in the nation. This was all prior to my current role of providing mental wellness services in my own private practice, iMINDS Counseling & Wellness, PLLC, which I am extremely proud to say is Black-woman owned and operated.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy peace by connecting with nature by exploring local and national parks, being a forever foodie and trying out different cultural cuisines, and staring into the soul of artists through their curated pieces that have been put on display in local and private museums.
Maddison’s specialties and therapy philosophies
What guiding principles inform your work?
As a Black, bi-cultural, cis-gendered, able-bodied, and heterosexual woman, I believe that healing is a journey for everyone including myself, my peers, like-minded professionals, “the individual,” or just the person that needs a safe unbiased space to process stuff. We all go through things and this human experience can be frustrating and tiresome, but also really worth it. As with any journey, there are going to be some days when things are not fun, and you will ask yourself, “Why am I in therapy?” Well, you can rest assured that as a human that also has to deal with life and a person who also utilizes therapy, that I am with my clients every step of the way.
What clientele do you work with most frequently?
I primarily work with professionals of color, artists, entrepreneurs, and everything in between, to help them find a sense of empowerment to take up space, find balance, and create peace in their everyday lives all while staying true to their genuine and authentic selves. I'm drawn to work with this population, because I am truly saddened to see marginalized populations not having a seat at the table. I am helping my clients to stop seeking approval to be offered a seat, but rather create their own tables and opportunities.
Can you tell us more about your specialty in supporting high-achieving women of color?
As a Black woman that is also high-achieving and child-free, I personally identify with the struggle of juggling and navigating societal norms that toss aside and devalue women that challenge the status quo. Common challenges that my clients face include maintaining financial and emotionally equitable relationships, communicating and establishing healthy boundaries, and isolation from not subscribing to societal and cultural norms.
In sessions, I hold space for my clients to connect, identify, and process their emotions, as many times, this is their first time where they’ve felt vulnerable enough to allow themselves to take part of this human experience. I guide my clients through the process of mindset shifting and pivoting to connect them with peace to increase their feelings of value and self-worth.
Can you tell us more about your specialty in helping clients navigate race and cultural stressors?
I work with many clients of all genders, races, and walks of life to process and heal from the continuous political and systemic cycles of abuse that perpetuate racial and cultural injustice. This has hit home for many of my clients as trauma porn fills their lives through news and media outlets that keeps them in an unwavering state of anxiety and depression. While in session, I utilize healing breath work and narrative therapy to allow my clients to release themselves from the mental prisons of socio-political overstimulation.
Can you tell us more about your specialty in mood disorders?
Many of my clients come with their own idealized version of their mental health needs where they over identify with sensationalized and clickbait therapy terms. I take the time to teach my clients clinical terminology and definitions to assist them with properly identifying and expressing their emotions. I allow my clients the space to connect with their emotions free of judgment and provide them with education of how to effectively and healthily treat mood disorders.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding aspect of my work is that I get the honor and privilege of providing psychotherapy services for the culture. I describe my counseling philosophy as a culmination of life experiences and formal education that has led me to discover my love of the helping profession. I am a forever student of my craft, as I am always learning and implementing the best practices to assist my clients of how to unlock their higher consciousness and restore peace.
Therapy sessions with Maddison
How long do clients typically see you for?
I typically have clients average 6 months to 2 years of care. Although I subscribe to an eclectic theoretical framework for therapy with my clients, I am a strong advocate of utilizing solution-focused principles to assist my clients with creating master keys within their toolbox so they can feel empowered to maintain the change outside of the shared therapeutic space.
Are there any books you often recommend to clients?
I'm an avid reader and I have a ton of books that I recommend to my clients. My always and forever favorite reads are:
- Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
- The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House by Audre Lorde
- The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
Do you assign “homework” between sessions?
I do not believe in the prescription of "homework", but rather peace maintenance assignments to aid my clients with their healing work outside of the time we spend together. I empower my clients to understand that they have the agency and choice to create peace anywhere they are.
How do you help ensure I'm making progress in therapy?
Together, you and I will set up check-points where we reflect on your successes and gains, but also respect the challenges that remain. We will then collaboratively brainstorm to develop new strategies to tackle those situations head-on.
How do I know that it’s time to start seeking therapy?
I believe there is no specific time to start seeking therapy, however, firstly, I encourage all people to check-in with themselves by doing mental and physical body scans. Then, secondly, to ask yourself, "Do I have the emotional bandwidth to do healing work?" More often than not, the need is there, however, the lack of space for vulnerability in many people's lives may deter them from or prolong their journey to connecting with therapy provided by licensed mental health professionals. Having the emotional bandwidth is not only crucial, but it is an absolute necessity to ensure your safety when beginning your therapeutic wellness journey.
How can I prepare for our first session?
My best tips that I encourage all of my clients to implement prior to their first session with me, is to clear their minds of expectations and utilize my prescribed set of questions to check-in within themselves prior to and immediately after the session to make sure they feel emotionally safe. These questions are the very first introduction that my clients get sent out prior to our first engagement when scheduling a consultation.
Visit Maddison’s profile to read more about her and contact her for an initial consultation!