Natasha Bourgoin is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Plymouth, Massachusetts specializing in trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, and couple's therapy. She has additional training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and also employs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness practices to equip clients with tangible strategies they can use to overcome negative thoughts.
Natasha brings her own experiences on the transformative nature of effective social work to her practice, believing that culturally competent and accessible care can profoundly improve the lives of individuals she serves. We asked Natasha more about her work with clients and her guiding philosophies on therapy.
Natasha’s background and personal life
How did you decide to become a therapist?
The decision to become a therapist was born out of a deep-seated desire to make a positive impact on the world. Having experienced first-hand the immense need for mental health services, and the scarcity of providers, it became clear that something had to be done.
In 2010, while struggling to attend school and raise a five-year-old daughter, I found myself homeless and in the midst of a crisis. It was at this point that a remarkable social worker stepped in to provide the support and guidance that I so desperately needed. Her unwavering dedication and compassion truly inspired me, and it was then that I knew that my calling lay in the field of therapy.
What was your previous work before going into private practice?
I have significant experience working in various psychiatric units where I have provided compassionate and evidence-based treatment to patients with diverse mental health conditions. Additionally, I have been involved in group practices where I have conducted one-on-one therapy sessions, utilizing my skills and expertise to help individuals overcome their challenges and lead fulfilling lives.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I find great joy in spending quality time with my family and friends. In my free time, I enjoy exploring my creative side and brainstorming innovative ways to give back to the community I serve. I believe that every individual has a role to play in making the world a better place, and I am passionate about doing my part.
Natasha’s specialties and therapy philosophies
What guiding principles inform your work?
The guiding principles that shape my work as a therapist are rooted in creating a safe and non-judgmental space for my clients. I recognize that everyone has their own unique way of navigating their mental health struggles, and that the stigma surrounding seeking help can be a major barrier to accessing the support that one needs.
In my practice, I strive to eliminate any sense of shame or judgment that my clients may feel, and instead create an environment where they are free to be themselves and work towards becoming their best selves. My goal is to support and empower my clients on their journey of self-discovery and growth.
What clientele do you work with most frequently?
I work with adults 18+ and working with individuals who have faced complex trauma, depression, anxiety, substance use, and relationship issues. I am drawn to this population because trauma is a big issue in most people's lives, and it causes other unhealthy ways to cope, which may include alcohol or drug use.
I am also drawn to working with this population because some of these traumas can cause it to spill over into your day-to-day life, which may start to affect your relationships, leading to depression and anxiety.
Can you tell us more about your work with clients who have experienced complex trauma?
I find working with this particular population immensely rewarding, as they face unique challenges in overcoming trauma and moving forward. While this can be a difficult process, I have observed that it is possible with the right approach.
As a therapist, I provide evidence-based EMDR therapy to help individuals reduce the intense emotions and feelings that arise when they think of their traumatic experiences. By doing so, I empower my clients to heal from their trauma and lead a more fulfilling life.
Can you tell us more about your specialty in depression?
Depression is a diagnosis that often has deep roots in a person's past or current life circumstances. The challenge for many individuals struggling with depression is identifying the underlying cause of their condition and finding a way forward. As a therapist, I work collaboratively with my clients to help them understand the factors contributing to their depression and develop strategies to overcome it. By providing a safe and supportive environment, I help my clients gain insight into their condition and empower them to take control of their mental health.
Can you tell us about your work with clients experiencing anxiety?
It's normal to experience some anxiety at times, but when it begins to control your life and affect those around you, it can become problematic. People with anxiety often struggle with fixed ideas about how others perceive them. Acceptance Commitment Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that can help individuals with anxiety overcome these obstacles.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I derive an immense sense of satisfaction from my work as it allows me to contribute positively to my community. By utilizing my experience and skills, I can help individuals overcome the challenges they face and empower them to lead a more fulfilling life. Witnessing the positive impact of my work on my clients' lives, and seeing the progress they make, motivates me to continue providing the best possible care and support.
Therapy sessions with Natasha
What will our first session together be like? What happens in ongoing sessions?
In a session with me, we will work collaboratively to identify and prioritize the goals you wish to achieve through therapy. Once we have established these goals, we will work together to develop strategies and interventions to help you achieve them.
Throughout the therapy process, I will continually assess your progress and adjust our approach as needed to ensure that you remain on track and do not become stuck. My aim is to provide a supportive and empowering therapeutic experience that helps you achieve your goals and live a more fulfilling life.
How long do clients typically see you for?
To give you an idea of my workload, I typically see around 20 to 25 clients per week. This allows me to provide personalized and individualized care to each of my clients while also ensuring that I can accommodate the needs of new clients seeking therapy.
Do you assign “homework” between sessions?
Absolutely. I believe that the therapeutic process extends beyond the confines of a therapy session and that individuals should have access to tools and resources to support their progress outside of our meetings. To this end, I often assign homework in between sessions that allows individuals to practice the skills and techniques they have learned in therapy. This may include worksheets, journaling exercises, or other activities designed to promote self-reflection and personal growth. By doing so, I help individuals develop the insight and skills needed to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
How do you help ensure I'm making progress in therapy?
I take a proactive approach in ensuring that you are making progress in therapy by conducting regular assessments and closely monitoring any changes in your behavior and attitude. By doing so, I can gauge the effectiveness of our therapeutic approach and make adjustments as needed to help you achieve your goals.
Additionally, I strive to create a safe and supportive environment in which you feel empowered to make positive changes in your life. As you begin to see progress and experience a sense of hopefulness, I know that the work we are doing together is making a meaningful difference in your life.
How do I know that it’s time to start seeking therapy?
It's natural to face challenges in life, and sometimes these struggles can be overwhelming to handle on your own. If you have been trying to overcome a particular issue but are finding it difficult to make progress, seeking therapy can be a helpful option.
Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for you to explore your thoughts and emotions, gain insight into your behaviors, and develop new skills and coping strategies to navigate your challenges effectively. Remember, seeking therapy is a sign of strength and self-care, and it can lead to positive changes in your overall well-being.
How can I prepare for our first session?
If you are preparing for your first therapy session, I recommend coming with an open mind and some initial thoughts on what you are hoping to achieve through therapy. Consider what success in therapy would look like for you, and what changes you would like to see in your life as a result of the therapy. Having a clear understanding of your goals and intentions can help us develop a plan of action that is tailored to your unique needs and preferences.
Additionally, I encourage you to be as open and honest as possible during our sessions so that we can work together to help you achieve your goals and improve your mental health.
How will I know it’s time to end my time in therapy with you or reduce session frequency?
Together, we can delve into the therapeutic process and identify the specific factors that have contributed to your current improved mental state. By analyzing these factors, we can gain a deeper understanding of what works best for you and continue to build upon your progress.
Why should I seek therapy, rather than turning to my partner, friends, or other loved ones?
It is advisable to seek therapy instead of relying on a loved one to help you through challenging times. Your loved ones may not be equipped to provide professional assistance, and by seeing a therapist, you can receive the full benefits of their expertise.
What advice would you share with therapy seekers?
Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall wellbeing, and it directly impacts our ability to lead a fulfilling and productive life. When our mental health is compromised, it can be challenging to make progress in other areas of our lives. As a therapist, I understand the importance of addressing mental health concerns and providing individuals with the tools and resources they need to overcome their challenges.
By taking a holistic approach to mental health and wellness, I help my clients develop the insight, skills, and resilience needed to thrive in all aspects of their lives.
Visit Natasha’s profile to read more about her and contact her for an initial consultation!