In this interview with Dr. Brittany Woolford, PhD., we'll learn more about everything from Dr. Woolford's journey as a therapist to her favorite food. Dr. Brittany Woolford, PhD. joins our practice to provide specialized treatment for couples and families for issues including relationships, break-ups, divorce, sexual health, military life, and more.
Therapists have the great honor of witnessing some awe-inspiring changes and human experiences. What inspires you most about your work as a therapist?
One of the most powerful moments to witness in therapy is when a client realizes that something he or she thought was a permanent issue, a part of who they are, suddenly feels changeable. The moment the client recognizes that he or she has the power to change it, there is already movement toward a new version of themselves.
What is a phrase you say a lot in your work as a therapist?
One of the greatest things about being a therapist is that it is my job to hear people's stories and to be continually curious about their experiences.
What do you feel makes you unique in your role as a therapist?
I have known that I wanted to help others with their relationships since the 8th grade. I have been passionate and curious about this topic for as long as I can remember and I am such a nerd about it! I love consuming new research and perspectives on this topic and also continually learn from my clients about the meaning and importance of healthy relationships.
What input would you give someone who is on the fence about starting therapy?
Let’s try it as an experiment! Go into the process being curious about yourself and wanting to learn more. See what it feels like, what you learn, and how you could benefit! Anxiety about something new usually creates all of the most negative “what if’s,” but what if you think about the positive “what if’s?” “What if therapy changes relationships for the better?” “What if you learn to take risks and learn to enjoy life in a new way?” “What if you find a place where you feel heard and understood, and can change aspects about yourself that you never knew you could?”
How do you make new clients comfortable?
The relationship I develop with my clients is the piece of therapy I value the most! Entering into therapy takes strength and vulnerability and growth isn’t going to happen unless we develop a relationship where clients feel comfortable. An important piece of this for me is being fully authentic. I am honest about my reactions and experience with clients. It is important to me to build an authentic relationship, not a clinical, sterile, doctor-patient relationship.
What is one of your favorite self-help books, one that you often recommend to your clients?
Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller. It is a great read for anyone who has struggled with dating relationships. The book will have you saying “oh, yeah, I do that” plenty of times!
What does therapy look like with you specifically?
Therapy with me looks like developing a strong relationship with someone and joining together to be curious and explore aspects of your past, present, and future. I enjoy bringing in research and neuroscience to help explain patterns you are seeing in your life and relationships, and together we create a full picture of why you are the way you are and a plan of how to change aspects that are no longer working for you.
What is your favorite way to spend a day?
My favorite way to spend a day is to be outside and enjoying nature! I am excited to start exploring the rocky mountains and all the outdoor activities Denver has to offer!
What is one of your favorite quotes and why?
“Never are we so defenseless against suffering as when we love”. - Sigmund Freud
This quote sounds pretty awful at face value, but I think it points out an important piece about relationships. When we love we are going to get hurt at times, and that’s a big reason why most people avoid close vulnerable relationships. BUT, if we create healthy relationships we can turn towards the person who hurt us and have a strong healing moment and develop a deeper bond.
If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what food would that be?
Tacos, hands down! I was excited to learn the other day that some of my taco favorites from Texas (Torchy’s and Rusty’s) are in the Denver area!!!
What odd, unique or special gift or talent do you have that others might not know about?
I know how to ride a unicycle! In elementary school, I was fully dedicated to the pursuit of learning to ride a unicycle and to this day there is still a slightly deflated unicycle in my parent’s garage.