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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Expertise

 

I appreciate that in the introduction of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion the authors declare, “REBT [Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy] therapists (and trainees) tend to be an independent lot with divergent ideas about the practice of REBT,” as practitioners are encouraged to disagree with concepts provided in the book.

 

One area of personal disagreement reveals itself on page six. The authors state, “Encourage your clients to see that while you are an expert […],” as the text continues by suggesting clients “have the information” practitioners need to assist the people with whom we work.

 

My quibble with the word “expert” is minor. An expert is a person who has comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area. As such, expertise relates to expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.

 

Let’s briefly examine my qualifications. I began life coaching in my youth during the ‘90s. In the Marine Corps, serving the Department of Defense, I received focused training on military leadership.

 

When transitioning from military to veteran status, I was subcontracted to the Department of Energy and underwent managerial training for my supervisory role. Thus, my ability to coach others is associated with personal and professional experience.

 

For my Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education degree (2009), with a focus on justice administration, I honed my skills and knowledgebase related to educating others about knowledge, wisdom, and understanding in specific areas. This experience led to a career trajectory change.

 

I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling degree in 2011, having learned the basics of psychotherapy. I then began working with clients in the capacity of intake coordination, brief clinical counseling, and justice diversion.

 

Subsequently, I graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work degree in 2014, as I added to my skills and knowledge of clinical practice. Having coached and performed psychotherapeutic roles since then, I formed Hollings Therapy, LLC in 2021.

 

Along the way, I’ve received training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), REBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and I’m currently a Certified Personality Disorder Treatment Provider. Overall, I have over 30 years’ experience of working to help people improve their lives.

 

None of this makes me an “expert,” nor do I claim “expertise” in any of the aforementioned areas. Notably, one invaluable bit of advice I received during my first graduate program came from a professor who advised students never to claim expertise.

 

This is because the inferred meaning of “expertise” tends to relate to one who has attained all there is to know, and no human is capable of perfect knowledge. Although I’m a professional in my field, I’m not an expert.

 

A professional is merely a person engaged or qualified in a profession. I’m a psychotherapist who receives payment for provided services, though my clients are the people who know more about themselves than I do.

 

Regarding this matter, in a blogpost entitled I’m My Own Mechanic I used the metaphor of mental health issues as a vehicle and stated:

 

I wanted to learn how to work on my own vehicle so that I could not only repair it when things went awry, I could also use preventative maintenance to keep my car functioning in an optimal manner. Therefore, I learned of and have since practiced REBT.

 

I’m no expert. Still, as a professional, I understand how people disturb themselves and I teach them how to work on their own metaphorical vehicles. In this regard, the information I receive from those who know themselves better than I do is crucial for psychotherapeutic success.

 

Therefore, as a life coach and psychotherapist, I’m more akin to one who educates others about how to become mechanics rather than fulfilling the role of an expert. If learning to metaphorically change your oil, replace air filters, change your tires, and conduct other mental health maintenance tasks appeals to you, I’m here to help.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

References:

 

Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, October 15). I’m my own mechanic. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/i-m-my-own-mechanic

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

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