An Interview with Pam Minichiello, MS, LMHC

by Amy Aubertin, MS,RDN,LDNPam Minichiello

This blog is part of a series of interviews with the clinicians at the Counseling and Nutrition Center 360. Here is an interview with Pam Minichiello, one of the psychotherapists.

How would you describe your approach?

Well, I use an integrative approach and am flexible in choosing interventions that are suitable to the issues and the person I am working with. For example, I incorporate trauma informed treatment, both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help in the development of coping skills, mindfulness work, education regarding the mind and body connection, and exploration to help people gain deeper insight into how their past relates to present problematic patterns. I am also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which can help build capacities to manage stress, as well as treat for trauma. My overall style is active – I ask questions, like to use humor and try to help each client develop or hone qualities of self-curiosity and self-reflection. I believe this gives people the best means for success in making the changes they are searching for.

What is a first session like? What can a client expect?

The first session is one hour, including a small amount of paperwork. We discuss current issues, difficulties, and how therapy may help. Part of the session involves beginning an initial assessment to start to better understand what’s going on, what the client is looking for from therapy, and jointly begin building a plan for treatment.

What importance do you place on the multi-disciplinary team?

For clients with an outpatient team, I work closely with the team which includes the client. I have found that this collaborative approach provides the best understanding of one’s issues and therefore, the best care for my clients.  

What got you into working as a therapist?

I’ve always been fascinated by how the brain works, human development and behavior, and the mind-body connection. I had a satisfying corporate career before returning to my earlier interests and more personally meaningful work. As a therapist, I can help people navigate through the challenging issues we face at various times of our lives.  We are social beings evolved to need each other, and to be able to be part of someone’s growth and healing as my life’s work is very meaningful for me.

What keeps you energized in this work?

First and foremost, my clients keep me energized. I see their strengths and resilience every day and this truly inspires me.  Additionally, I am constantly learning – from trainings, from new research in the field, and from my colleagues and clients.  

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I love the outdoors – walking or hiking, backyard bird watching, cycling and traveling – arts and local music.  Also, I cherish time spent with my family, including my cat ;).  And I’ve recently begun to meditate more regularly, in addition to Yoga.