Jessica Malecek, MA, LMFT has the most experience working with adolescents, but she welcomes people from all walks of life. She enjoys providing play therapy to children ages 5 and up, and is working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist.
MOTIVATED BY PAST EXPERIENCE
In her previous role she worked in an inpatient setting, She helped individuals who were experiencing severe behavioral issues. Witnessing the many different disorders and how they impact people gave her insight and perspective. Most of all, this career experience taught her the importance of prioritizing safety. As a result, she is now intentional about ensuring there are thorough safety plans and protocols in place. This includes contacting parents if there are issues, and discussing and following up on safety each session. Overall, Jessica seeks to magnify the importance of safety in all areas, especially the mental health industry.
She believes mental health is just as important, if not more so, as physical health. Mental health is not as obvious tot he naked eye and it is severely stigmatized. As a result, many people don’t seek help when they should. This causes challenges to intensify, which can perpetuate further issues and make it more overwhelming when they do seek help. Jessica wants to get people the help they need as soon as possible. In a perfect world, people would go to therapy proactively, before there are even any issue. This way they could learn techniques that strengthen their mental health and relationships before there is a crisis, rather than having it be a last-ditch effort.
GOOD LISTENER, EMPATHETIC, AND CALMING
A crucial part of providing therapy is being a good listener. It is important to Jessica that people know she listens to them because it shows that she cares and is invested in their progress. However, she is also comfortable with silence. She wants to make sure people have finished their thought before she responds. This helps people to feel heard and understood. In addition, she practices active listening and avoids cutting people off or assuming how someone will finish a sentence.
One way that she puts herself in someone else’s shoes is through perspective-taking. This allows her to better understand the experience of others. She is also empathetic and calm, which gives her a natural advantage in her field. Many people come into her office worked up and her calm presence often balances them. She believes it is important to be genuine because it helps build trust and offer support.
FOCUSES ON THE INDIVIDUAL’S NEEDS
Jessica is solution focused in her approach. This includes building skills, strengthening relationships, and reducing symptoms. She also does a lot with positive self-talk and helps others improve their self-esteem. It is rewarding for Jessica to see progress. Even small wins, from week to week are something to celebrate.
To learn more or schedule an appointment with Jessica Malecek, give our Cedar Rapids location a call at 319-375-3119!