Get to Know Your Therapist, Heather Kilgore, MA, AMFT (AMFT139810)
Heather Kilgore, our newest AMFT, joined our team in August of 2023. Heather has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy.
As a Veteran herself, Heather joined JRM&A to support the Veteran community while also working with a team that shares the same goals when supporting clients. In addition to her clientele specialty of children and their families, she also works with clients struggling with anxiety, depression, family relational problems, and more.
1. What made you want to become a therapist?
While working at the campus Veterans office during my undergrad, I worked with an amazing clinical social worker that ran the office and supported Veterans with their transition into college and beyond. In seeing the way she was able to support Veterans, I knew that I wanted to make a difference working with Veterans in the area of mental health.
2. Have you struggled with mental health yourself?
I have struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my life. I have worked with many therapists that have helped me manage my symptoms and learn more effective coping strategies.
3. What does trauma and post traumatic growth mean to you?
Trauma is our experience and response to a dangerous incident or incidents. Trauma can be a physical danger, emotional danger, or threat of danger. Post traumatic growth is our ability to transform our outlook on life and grow from our experience of trauma. Post traumatic growth can include changing perspective on the traumatic event to shift the focus to the positive aspects such as surviving the event.
4. Which clientele population do you have the most experience working with?
I have the most experience working therapeutically with children and their families. I worked in a community-based setting working with lower-income families at schools, their homes, and other community spaces. Some of my clients included therapy focusing on anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, family relational problems, and eating disorders.
5. How do you support clients in their therapy journey?
I try to meet clients where they are at and allow them the space to share within their comfort level. Creating a strong relationship with clients is an important step that I focus on to ensure that clients have a place where they feel comfortable being vulnerable and accepted.
6. What is one unique thing about yourself that you would like your clients to know?
One unique thing about me is that I was a court reporter in the Army which required a heightened attention to detail. My skills as a court reporter come in handy as a therapist because listening carefully and sometimes hearing traumatic details while maintaining composure is an important part of both roles.
7. In your opinion, what makes JRM&A therapy unique from other clinics?
JRM&A has a strong focus on working together as a team. For the clients, that means you have a team supporting you towards reaching your goals. As a therapist, it means I’m able to grow my therapeutic skills while working with a supportive, inclusive team. In comparison to other clinics, I appreciate the focus on the team’s ability to work together and the emphasis on self-care to ensure that the therapists can focus on supporting clients.
8. What would you say to someone hesitant to use therapy?
I would be curious about what hesitations they have towards therapy. I think hesitation is a great place to start in therapy. Even if you just show up and talk about why you don’t want to try therapy, you might gain some insight while sharing that view. I’m here if you want to tell me why you don’t want to try therapy. You might lose an hour of your time, but you might gain a better understanding of yourself and improve your mental health in the process.
At JRM&A, our goal is to help people overcome struggles in life by working together to create innovative treatments for our clients.
To schedule an appointment with us, call (650) 386-6753 or visit our website https://joellerabowmaletis.com/contact-us/.