For as long as I can remember, I found myself fascinated by this thing we call being human. I was curious to understand what it meant to feel so many different emotions and to have so many different experiences shape the way we think and behave.
By the time I’d entered my undergraduate program, I was ready to jump head-first into studying psychology. Not surprisingly given my lifelong interest, my fire was fueled. While I was excited by all that I was learning, I wasn’t yet sure how I would use the knowledge and experience I was building. I looked to peers, professors, and psychologists that I was meeting to learn more about what it meant to apply this learning.
To be honest, the concept of therapy that I saw reflected back to me wasn’t one that I identified with. What I saw was a model that seemed to imply that people were broken or harmed and needed to be fixed, and that the practitioner was the one to change the person. While I already knew that therapy could be so impactful, I didn’t resonate with this outdated version.
It was then that I started looking around for a concept of therapy and human change that fit with my own values. I learned more about our innate drive for self-development as human beings, and our own capacity for growth. I knew from my own life that making significant shifts was always within my capability if I had the right tools. I started to understand that a therapist’s role was to help facilitate the insight and access to the tools for us to make positive changes in ourselves. With this more aligned understanding of the power of therapy, I knew that this was my future.
Today, I’m honored to be in this role each day. I have the opportunity to help my clients sort through what already exists in them so that they can water their authentic parts and watch them grow. I help them sit with even uncomfortable feelings or thoughts and meet them with compassion. I encourage them to consider how they want to be remembered and to start living in a way that moves them closer to their values.
This work has also allowed me the privilege of walking alongside many clients who are healing their relationships with their own bodies. I specialize in helping clients explore how diet culture impacts them and begin to reject it in service of honoring their core values. We do this at a steady but compassionate pace, and we identify ways to build a more respectful and trusting relationship with their bodies. I help clients remember too that we do not have to love our bodies in order to respect them.
And at the end of the day, I have the opportunity to invite my clients to bring all of the parts of themselves and get to say, “I hear you. I see you. You are not alone.” It is eternally humbling.
Alyse Dittrich, Psy.D., received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Xavier University. She completed her pre-doctoral fellowship at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where she provided short- and long-term therapy to students with a variety of presenting concerns. Dr. Dittrich has training and experience working with individuals across the lifespan and at all levels of care, including inpatient and outpatient treatment settings.
Dr. Dittrich specializes in working with individuals who are interested in changing their relationship with food and their bodies. She also has expertise in working with individuals experiencing grief, anxiety, depression, and complicated relationships. Dr. Dittrich works primarily from an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) lens as she encourages individuals to turn toward uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, and experiences rather than trying to change or push them away. She also utilizes ACT to help clients clarify and move toward their values in order to live a more meaningful life.
Dr. Dittrich believes that living in line with her own values and meeting individuals with her most authentic self will empower them to do the same. She strives to ensure that everyone who enters her office feels seen and heard and encourages individuals to meet themselves with the compassion they offer others. She is committed to providing trauma-informed and affirmative care and practicing cultural humility in her work.
- that turning toward what makes us uncomfortable is both possible and necessary to become our most authentic selves.
- that we can dismantle diet culture, one day at a time.
- that sensitivity is a super-power.
- that all foods fit.
- that pets can help us heal, connect, and make meaning.
- that two seemingly opposite things can be true at the same time - and usually are. that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have and that everyone can always do better.
- that while loving our bodies all the time is not a necessary or realistic goal, body autonomy is.
- that comfort and rest are absolutely essential.
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