Staff Therapist Q&A: Crystal Grimsley, PLPC

What can clients expect in the first few sessions working with you?

In the first few sessions of working with me, you will be welcomed into an inviting environment that is both supportive and challenging. We will spend time defining your goals by thoughtfully assessing both the known and the unknown issues that you believe to be problematic. You can expect to gain insights through a meaningful process of exploring your challenges to better understand where you are now in your journey and how to facilitate the growth and development needed for achieving a happier and more fulfilled life. 


How would you describe your therapeutic approach/style?

I like to approach therapy from a very honest, straightforward, and genuine place. I am also one for humor as I believe that not only is there healing in laughter, but laughter can be the very tool we need to help us pump the breaks on some of our more rigid thought patterns and begin viewing things from a lighter-hearted perspective. I like for my client’s to know that I am present with them. I like to demonstrate this through acknowledgment, validation, and reminders that this experience is for them. Meaning, I meet my client’s where they are. Where they are willing to go, I am here to guide and support their process.

Are there any client systems or presenting problems you especially enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with those who struggle with conflict. Conflict can look like anything from anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, communication difficulties, poor boundaries, parenting challenges, marital discord, to family-of-origin issues. Whether it be internally based or relational, conflict can be the very underlying factor that stands in our way towards achieving happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. I often encourage my client’s to lean into their conflict. This is especially beneficial for those who have avoided their conflict in the past. By doing so, we not only normalize our conflict, but we can begin to boldly face the factors that have helped to create the conflict in our lives. 

What do you like to do for fun and/or relaxation outside of work?

Currently, my latest focus has been on learning to become a runner. It’s been both fun and challenging, which I am learning to embrace. Generally, I am all for creating meaningful experiences in my life. I’m intentional and this materializes in the form of my engagement in activities such as attending power yoga classes, hanging out in coffee shops and used book stores, and spending time at the lakefront a few times per week.

What do you believe are some of the key factors leading to positive change?
I have grown both professionally and personally in my understanding of the process for creating positive change. It is helpful to first understand that we are all free to independently design a change path that is unique and meaningful. I enjoy working with my clients to identify unique factors to embed in their process towards achieving positive change. Some of those factors can include setting intentions towards achieving change; committing to their process; welcoming and learning from mistakes; opening up to being supported by loved ones as they journey towards positive change. 

What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?

It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to utilize my educational and professional experience to join my clients in achieving their goals. I truly enjoy helping as a third, sometimes fourth or fifth, party participant in my client’s journey as I am able to offer my clients a fresh perspective on how to approach and resolve their challenges. It is most rewarding to be able to witness and celebrate the positive strides that client’s make as they begin experiencing change.

Crystal sees clients in the Loop office. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact today!

Natalie Underway