Chasity Ingle’s approach to therapy involves a lot of empathy edged with some humor and even a bit of sarcasm.
All three are essential elements of her therapeutic guidance helping her clients heal their damaged relationships. Plus, opening up to her clients in a real and straightforward way allows her to build relationships to better understand her clients and get to the root of their problems.
It’s an approach that Ingle takes at her new practice, Creative Thoughts Counseling Center at 332 3rd Avenue in Jasper, where the 29-year-old Jasper native has been seeing patients on a two-day-a-week schedule since January. Beginning in May, she will expand her hours to five days a week.
Ingle likes to work with families and couples because relationships are an important part of an individual’s overall health. Since opening her part-time practice, she has had a lot of demand for helping people with relationship issues. She sees the breakdown as a symptom of a culture that doesn’t talk about how a healthy relationship works.
“I don’t think it is talked about enough,” she said adding that the mass-appeal of romantic movies and books adds to the problem by painting an unrealistic picture of marriage and family life. “I have couples coming in asking if they are even fixable. The number one message that I want to get across to them is that they are perfectly average and this is something a lot of couples deal with.”
And those unrealistic expectations aren’t relegated to any certain age. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with couples in their eighties,” Ingle said.
In addition to working on relationship issues, Ingle also specializes in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing); a form of therapy that assists individuals with healing from traumas like those experienced by victims of sexual assault and combat veterans.
Using the simplified explanation of left brain right brain propensities, Ingle explained the left side of the brain is where facts, details, and specifics are stored. Talking about the traumatic experience can help that portion of the brain to heal. However, the right side of the brain stores sensations, images and emotions and is the source of dreams and nightmares causing victims to relive their experiences. Since talking about the experiences doesn’t necessarily help that side of the brain, a different approach is needed.
To break through, these clients are given physical stimuli that help activate that side of their brain as they work through the stressful moments. “The really cool thing about EMDR is clients don’t have to talk to me very much about the traumatic experience,” Ingle said.
According to Ingle, in addition to victims of violence and combat veterans, the therapy is helpful for police officers and firefighters who are exposed to traumatic events as part of their jobs.
Ingle’s career began with her working with veterans’ spouses as they dealt with their loved ones going on a deployment. Her husband Shawn, a Dubois native, was in the Army at the time and she was able to take her own deployment experience and apply it to help.
But, therapy wasn’t the Jasper native’s first choice for professions. “In high school, I wanted to be a middle school math teacher and then I did a student-teaching thing for kindergarteners and determined that was not exactly what I wanted to do,” Ingle said.
It wasn’t until she took her first psychology class at IU that she decided it could be a career path she would enjoy.
So, her senior year at IU she added another minor and then was accepted to the master’s program at Purdue University Calumet. With her background, Ingle could have become a social worker, however, she felt drawn to the healing that can occur through repairing and establishing strong relationships and communications with families and couples. “Personally, my family has gone through some things that I think lended itself to me wanting to fix things for other families,” she said.
For Ingle, those relational issues are sometimes key to helping people heal and many times, she finds a common issue. “I think we often love people the way we want to be loved rather than loving them how they want to be loved,” she explained.
The 29-year-old family and marriage therapist doesn’t mind making fun of herself either. “I tell my couples it must suck to be married to a marriage therapist because I always come home and think I’m right. Like, I clearly know better,” Ingle laughed. “No, but really, my husband has taught me a lot. He’s done a wonderful job at educating me on the male side of things.”
In the end, Ingle is seeking those a-ha moments; those moments when her clients finally understand how to overcome their emotional problems. “Just hearing them say, ‘that is it (the problem),’ or, ‘I’m not going to make those choices anymore,’” she said. “It’s just seeing them actually finally get it and then start to practice it outside of my office.”
Ingle and her husband Shawn live in Jasper and have a two-year-old son.
Ingle offers a free 15-minute assessment per client (couples will received two 15-minute assessments for free). Information on the practice can be found online at Creative Thoughts Counseling Center and on Facebook. Or by phone at 812-848-2213.