Lisa L. Krystosek, JD, LPC
Hello! Thank you for your interest in the therapeutic services I provide to the St. Louis Community.
The decision to seek counseling is a very personal one. I believe my clients need to be comfortable with the counselor they choose. The therapeutic relationship I develop with my clients is one based upon trust. It is important for you to identify and consider your specific needs as we progress through the counseling process to build and maintain that trust. To that end, I believe it is necessary for you to know a little about me before we get to work. Below are answers to the most common questions I receive on a regular basis. Of course, if you have additional questions, please give me a call or send me an email.
What are those letters after your name?
The letters represent my education. JD stands for Juris Doctor. I earned my law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 2001 and I am a licensed attorney in the state of Missouri. MHA stands for Masters of Health Administration. I earned this masters degree from St. Louis University School of Public Health in 2001. MA stands for Masters of Arts. This is my degree in counseling. I earned this degree from from Missouri Baptist University in 2012. LPC stands for Licensed Professional Counselor. I am licensed to practice counseling in the state of Missouri.
But that is not the end of the alphabet, folks! I am currently working to earn a doctoral degree in Counselor Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Where is your practice?
My office is located in downtown Clayton, Missouri. Equine-Assisted services are provided at Dashwood Farm, located approximately 5 minutes from St. Louis County in High Ridge, Missouri. I accept clients from the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
What is your theoretical orientation?
That is just a fancy way of asking how I approach the counseling process. I am a client-centered, humanistic, solution-focused therapist who focuses on crisis intervention and trauma recovery. I believe my job is to support my clients and provide appropriate feedback as they address issues and implement strategies to overcome personal life challenges. I consider each client's unique needs and integrate complementary methodologies and techniques to ensure a highly personalized approach, tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, I help my clients build on their strengths to attain the personal growth they desire.
Why do you provide the option to include horses in counseling sessions?
Horses are intuitive creatures with a keen sense of awareness to what is happening in their environment. After all, they are prey animals living in a predator dominated world – yes, we humans are considered predators! Therefore, horses constantly monitor the actions of the animals and humans that surround them and react accordingly. In fact, they notice our subtle, non-verbal body language that we may not even be aware of.
So, how does this help me, as a counselor, relate to my clients? Think of the horse as a mirror, reflecting what clients are thinking and feeling, even if they aren’t saying a word. Horses are completely honest in their reactions to people and provide significant clues into what is going on behind the scenes, so to speak. In addition, horses are social creatures, just like us. They have unique personalities, likes and dislikes. They prefer to be around other horses and live in a hierarchical structure of the herd. Some horses are leaders, others follow. Some are serious and all business, others are clowns and like to play. Sound like some people you know? These traits in horses may actually help people learn and grow as individuals as they interact with different types of horses. Observing the horses' reactions often prompts clients to develop new perspectives and understanding of themselves.
Why do you provide the option to include dogs in counseling sessions?
Many clients are comforted by the presence of animals and find having a dog to interact with during counseling sessions to be helpful as they work through stressful issues. Dogs are not necessarily used in the same manner as horses are used in the therapeutic process. While horses mirror a client's reactions, dogs tend to complement therapeutic interventions and provide support to clients experiencing anxiety or symptoms of depression.
Why did you choose to be a counselor?
The short answer to that question is easy: I like helping people reach goals and achieve satisfaction in life. As a counselor, I have the ability to work directly with people who want to better themselves, their relationships and their careers. In essence, I want to make a positive impact on this world and help other people do the same.
With over a decade of experience as a litigation attorney, I have helped clients resolve a broad range of legal issues. What I discovered, however, was that many clients were not satisfied with the legal remedies available. In most cases, the only measure of a client's damages was a dollar value and I soon learned that money is often an inadequate solution to the client's problem. In fact, most of the legal issues I handled arose from emotionally fueled personal disputes. I found myself trying to uncover the underlying problems to determine the best course of action for my client. In a very memorable case, I realized all my client wanted was an apology and, by obtaining that, we avoided years of litigation. My experience with that client was the spark that began my journey from the legal world into the counseling profession.
As an attorney, I am also well aware of the stressors present in the workplace. As a counselor, I believe the "takes one to know one" notion is applicable as I work with other professionals struggling with work-life balance issues.
In addition, I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the St. Louis area. This is a volunteer position that I take very seriously. My job is to help children who have been removed from their homes navigate the legal system and ensure they have a voice in the decisions made about their future. My work in this volunteer position has had a profound impact on my view of the world and was a driving force in my decision to become a licensed counselor.