Alfiya James is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Georgia, and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Georgia. Alfiya earned her first Master’s degree – in Science from the Kazan State Pedagogical University in Russia. That was many years ago, but, interestingly, her students –she taught foreign languages to adults—often stated that they regarded her classes as psychological relaxation sessions, despite the intensive foreign language training. Alfiya has a sophisticated set of interpersonal skills including empathy, warmth and acceptance, genuine affect, interpersonal perception, and focus on a person. These innate qualities became of great asset to Alfiya for building trust and providing psychological comfort at assessment and therapy sessions when she started to work as a social worker.
Alfiya’s social work experience includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, and psychotherapy within substance abuse treatment clinic, outpatient mental health agency, and private psychiatric services setting. Alfiya has worked with a variety of clients including children, adolescents, adults, geriatric clients, couples, and groups. What is characteristic of Alfiya, she has genuine passion for helping; she seeks to continually improve and provide the most effective services. There is nothing more rewarding for her than moving her clients forward in growth and change.
Her treatments are individually tailored: age, culture, gender, level of distress, personal strengths, intellectual and emotional make -up are all taken into consideration when the matching theory and interventions are chosen. Alfiya has good intuition and clinical sense about what will work for her client. She is experienced in CBT, Schema -Focused Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and Cognitive therapy. For better outcomes, she uses additional techniques and exercises from Rational Emotive Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Existential therapy, and Positive Psychology.
Alfiya’s belief is that as infants and children, we, humans are vulnerable and helpless, and to develop in a psychologically healthy way, our certain basic needs must be met. When basic needs are unmet, normal, healthy psychological development goes wrong and gives rise to our unhealthy cognitive schemas through which we view the world and ourselves. For example, a person with Defectiveness/Shame schema believes that he/she is internally flawed, and others will always withdraw from the relationship. Such people may feel alone in the world. Someone who was abused in childhood and developed a Mistrust/Abuse schema may seek out abusive relationships in adulthood and remain in them for many years. There are 18 different schemas and they perpetrate our distress and failures. The good thing is schemas can be healed and, in the result, we emerge stronger, wiser, and happier.