Why I Became A Therapist
Get To Know Me!
By: Alex Dixon
Edited by: Melissa Tijerino
Hi! I want to introduce myself, my name is Alex Dixon, LMSW, the founder of Alex Dixon Therapy! I’m a Licensed Master Social Worker in Plymouth, Michigan.
My road to therapy started because of consequences. I made some mistakes and had to learn to live with those mistakes. I started attending therapy on a weekly basis even though a part of me didn’t think it was going to change anything. I surrendered to the process anyways because I knew I couldn’t go back to living the life I was living before. I became familiar with the ups and downs of the therapy process and began to trust it a bit more
Realizing that in order to grow and move forward in my life meant oftentimes needing to go backwards first. That’s when I discovered there were layers of emotions that needed to be uncovered before I could make any legitimate change. With so many layers of fear in the early stages of the process I became obsessed with digging deeper
Thinking “what is it like to live a life without fear?” Questions like this drove me to uncover the next layer only to find more buried emotion that I didn’t know existed in my life. Fear, Anger, guilt, and shame dominated my emotional process and became the most significant pattern I have ever learned about myself
As I dug deeper through the emotional layers I learned there were so many aspects of myself that I wasn’t feeling and integrating into my life. I was just burying the emotion. This lead to discovering a lot of repressed memories and experiences that I cut myself off from feeling at a young age. For me, being obsessed with my own therapy process is like becoming friends with the unknown
I never knew what I would uncover under that next layer but I wanted change so bad In my life that I had to find a way to get there. 10 years later I am still digging. Why? Is a question my wife throws at me all the time. “Why keep digging and stirring up stuff?” The answer is because I am obsessed with the process
Where I Grew Up
I grew up in Plymouth, Michigan with my mom, dad and younger sister.
I went to school in Plymouth starting from kindergarten all the way through high school where I graduated from Canton High
What Inspired me to Become a Therapist
I remember being in college, at the beginning of the semester, we had to introduce ourselves and share a little bit about why we wanted to be a social worker. It always seemed like the majority of the responses I would hear were “I want to help people”. This never felt like a good reason to me
I knew that any job I got I could most likely put myself in a position to help people. At the time, I didn’t necessarily know that I wanted to be a therapist but I chose social work by simply ruling out other professions based on what I would have had to learn and do in the curriculum
I tried to align this with my interests the best I could and I knew social work would help me explore something I thought about a lot which is “why do people do what they do?” “What drives people’s behavior?”
I knew I wanted to be a therapist early in my college career but I never felt like I had a great reason why until more recently. What inspired me to become a therapist was that I became obsessed with my own therapeutic process. It’s taken me a long time to realize this but I was hooked on my own therapeutic process from the beginning. From that point on, my interest in that process only grew larger
The Price to become a Therapist
10 years later of digging through unresolved emotional layers and putting a magnifying glass over my life
I have become somewhat picky about who I do my personal work with. I think the price to being a therapist is you have to continuously self-reflect and revisit your own therapy process
It seems a bit hypocritical to be a therapist and not do your own work.
I currently meet with a psychiatrist on a bi-weekly basis for 60 minute therapy sessions. I actively check in with my mentor reflecting on my own emotional and spiritual growth, I am heavily involved in a 2 year advanced hypnotherapy training program where we learn new clinical skills and do our own personal work bi-monthly, I meet with a clinical supervisor twice a month to get support on complex cases, and I am in the process of embarking on a new journey of applied shamanism as I believe that is the path I am being called to
For me, most of my confidence as a therapist and supporting clients has come from doing my own work
In my opinion, the price of being a therapist is you have to do your own work. Everything I give out to clients to try, I have already used it to see if there is value in it. How can anyone be a therapist if they don’t continuously revisit their own process?