As an athlete, you’ve been strong your entire life.
Complacency, weakness, and doubt are not an option.
You know that being a successful athlete means pushing through pain and discomfort. 5 am workouts? A given. Squeezing in studying between tournaments? The norm. Playing through bruises, fatigue, and illness? This is what it means to be dedicated to your sport.
All your hard work and perseverance is paying off.
You’re in the best shape of your life.
You’re being recognized for your outstanding performance on the field.
You’re the MVP of your team and even on the verge of going pro.
You have it all, right? Maybe that’s how it looks from the outside, but inside you are struggling.
As an athlete, you are not immune to the barriers of life that everyone else faces. You feel stressed, enormous pressure, overwhelmed, anxious, and maybe even sad.
But now you’re ready to channel your drive and competitive spirit into your personal life and mental health so you can feel fulfilled on and off the field.
Many athletes have been made to believe seeking out therapy is a sign of weakness. This is not the case at all. Even the most talented athletes experience all types of challenges in their lives – such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, discrimination, relationship issues, or feeling overwhelmed with the pressures that come with competitive play.
Here’s where I come in
I’m Jessica Joiner, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Addictions Counselor practicing in Denver, Colorado.
I specialize in supporting athletes who are struggling with feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious due to the pressure and demands of being a high-performing athlete, transitioning to a higher level of play, or entering retirement from their sport.
I focus on supporting athletes, in all stages of their career, with any of the following issues:
- Pressure due to high expectations for yourself and from others to meet your goals
- Depression and anxiety due to life stressors, losses, or changes
- Transitioning to a higher level of play
- Coping with a recent or chronic injury
- Uncertainty regarding drinking or drug use becoming an issue in the future
- Abuse or addiction to alcohol, drugs, or pain medications
- Finding identity, connection, and community in and out of sports
- Adjusting to retirement from your sport
- Individuals who may be experiencing symptoms attributed to possible Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
- While medical professionals are unable to diagnose CTE when the individual is alive, if the brain injury is suspected, there are still action steps that can be taken to minimize the impact and plan for future challenges.
Why should you see a counselor who specializes in athletes? Because once an athlete, always an athlete.
Being an athlete is part of who you are and gives you purpose, structure, and a sense of belonging and importance. Even if you’re injured, retired from competitive play, or questioning who you are outside of sports, you don’t have to let go of your identity as an athlete. We will continue to apply the lessons you’ve learned on the field to your current challenges so that we can honor the accomplishments you’ve made in your career.
Would you hire a soccer coach to improve your batting average? Probably not.
Just like coaches and trainers have specialty areas, so do mental health counselors. Not all counselors are familiar with the unique mindset and spirit of athletes. Most have not played sports at a competitive level.
Therefore, when you see a counselor who specializes in the mental well-being of athletes, you don’t have to explain what your world is like or defend your dedication to your sport. Ultimately, you will have better results and start to feel better, faster.
When you seek out therapy with me, you will:
- Practice skills to channel your competitive spirit into your emotional health.
- Identify the action steps needed to ensure that your mental health will support you in advancing your sports career, not hindering it.
- Learn how to balance athletics, academics, and relationships without turning to substances or other unhealthy coping skills.
- Learn how to be a part of your team without overdoing it with drinking or drugs.
- Understand how abuse or addiction starts in the first place and the path it takes when it gets out of control.
- Understand the impact that stress, depression/anxiety, and/or substance abuse has on your life, sports, academics, and loved ones.
- Gain an understanding of how to manage symptoms attributed to possible Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
- Medical professionals are unable to diagnose individuals with CTE while alive. However, if the brain injury is suspected, you can learn how to minimize the impact and plan for future challenges.
If injured or retired, you will learn how to integrate and honor your athlete identity with present-day life and responsibilities, including finding purpose after your sports career ends.
Working with a mental health therapist or addiction counselor is NOT the same as working with a sports psychologist. The work we do in therapy is not specifically geared towards enhancing your performance, but on your mental health and relationship to substances. However, as you start to make progress in therapy, your performance will most likely improve.
Here’s how I’m different
I’ve been immersed in competitive sports my entire life. Practices, competitions, and the revolution of each sport season enriched my life from a young age. I’ve been a competitor, a coach, a teammate, and an avid fan. I’ve walked alongside family and friends as they pursued collegiate and professional level play.
You have a competitive spirit that not many therapists could understand or truly appreciate. It’s likely that many of your non-athlete loved ones don’t understand your devotion to your sport.
I will not belittle, diminish, or undermine your dedication and commitment to your sport. I will respect your goals and the dreams you have for yourself. In fact, I will show you how that motivation and drive for success can be channeled into your mental and behavioral health- which will only improve the likelihood of you achieving your goals.
Bottom line: I get the culture of sports and know how to work with it, not against it. I know that being an athlete is an identity, not a hobby or pastime. I will not ask you to change that core piece of who you are.
How do I start?
The next step is for you to schedule a complimentary consultation call. During this call, I will ask questions about the current struggles you may be facing. You will have time to ask questions about me, my experience and skills as well. From there, we will determine the best frequency for us to meet and schedule your first appointment.
To schedule an appointment for individual or couples therapy with me, call my office at (303) 895-0635 today.
New Client Information
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